Building a relationship with your teen through podcasts

Talking with your teens, especially about touchy subjects like relationships, planning for the future, and behaviour can be difficult. We have times when we have things we want to say, but we know that it is important that we present the information in a way that is easy for the teen to digest. Building a relationship with your teen through podcasts is one way to start discussions and build or rebuild those bonds.

How Can Podcasts Help Relationships with Our Teens?

Podcasts are an easy way to digest information. Magazines are where we, as parents, got our dating and makeup advice, and, while still available, aren’t used as much. If you want an easy way to build a relationship with your teen, relating to them helps. Nowadays, podcasts present a passive way to get information into listening ears.

The next time you’re in the car with your teen, start listening to one of these podcasts, and, as long as their AirPods aren’t in, they’re bound to listen. Captive audiences help, right? You may be surprised by how much usable information they take in on that car ride. Not only will it open the conversations, but you may also be surprised what you learn about their world and your teen.

Podcasts to Listen To with Your Teen

Are you wondering what it is like to be a teen? Do you want to relate to your teen? Do you think you know what it is like for them but afraid to ask if the headlines are their reality? On the other hand, teens notoriously know it all. So, why not bridge the gap between your teen and you and build a relationship? Listen to these podcasts with your teen to help build a positive relationship with them.

TeenTalk currently has just one 12-minute podcast but focuses on what it is like in high school, what teens are thinking (and worrying about), and has various topics that you may be surprised that they’re dealing with. This teen-life focused podcast may open your eyes more than their ears, making conversation topics easier for your family and be a great introduction for many more podcasts to come.

Teen Girl Talk siblings, Franklin and Susie Cota touch on all the topics that girls are facing today. They consume and discuss media made for teens while also recalling and regaling with stories from their own teenage pasts. We’re talking movies, tv shows, books and more! There are plenty of trigger warnings, and for families not used to talking together, I would say parents may want to listen alone before listening together.

MentalMusic is a music-based podcast for teens, by teens, focusing on teenage mental health-related issues. There haven’t been any recent podcasts (it ran from 2017-2018 with the last recording released in November 2018) but this one is truly worth a listen. Listen to episodes such as Social Media and Mental Health, National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, Dealing with Back to School Stress and How Your Family Can Help.

Ask Me Anything by Mamamia is the short, sharp, car-trip podcast giving heartfelt answers to real-life anonymous questions from teenage girls from friendship dramas to first crushes. Featuring author and columnist Rebecca Sparrow talking about topics such as How do you say no to a friend who offers you alcohol?, How to not feel bad on Instagram and How to avoid drama cyclones at school.

Teen Life Coach helps with both easy and tough decisions faced by older adolescents. From anxiety and sibling relationships, teens have a lot going on and in a hyper-social media world, it is hard to not have one’s life on display. I feel like quite a few should have trigger warnings, even for parents! Do you know how to discuss suicide? Divorce? Many topics are difficult for parents, but this podcast has over 100 excellent topics that really help teens know that they are not alone.

Teenager Therapy by Flighthouse discusses everything from vaping and anxiety to feeling alone and astrology. These are all very popular in teen culture so you may learn more about what they vibe well with and what has quickly become outdated.

Dear Teen Girl by Sequoia Williams is a podcast where girls will be able to express their opinion on topics that they face and get advice on how to navigate through those things. This gorgeous review was left on the Apple Podcast site “Teen Girls – you’re in the right place! This podcast has you covered on how to grow and develop into an amazing young lady. It’s not easy out there in the world today for young girls; everyone can use a little support and guidance. This podcast speaks the truth and shines a light on the things that are truly important to young ladies. If you are looking for an uplifting place for encouragement and advice-driven by a deep desire to help young ladies be successful, this podcast is for you! Can’t wait time hear more.”

Teen Life w/ Cole, Kaci, & Kya where they talk about whatever they want, whenever they want! The teens cover topics such as the BLM Movement (with a focus on white privilege), School Shootings, Authenticity, Peer Pressure and Failure. I’m hoping once life goes back to “normal” post-COVID they start recording again. Like Teenage Therapy, teens will find it easier to relate to and absorb information when it’s coming from someone the same age as them.

The Mortified Podcast based on the popular international stage show and documentary series, features adults sharing the embarrassing things they created as kids– diaries, letters, lyrics & beyond– in front of total strangers. Relive the awkwardness of adolescence with true tales of teen angst, from the hilarious to the heartbreaking. Each episode offers listeners an all-access pass to Mortified live shows worldwide, intimate interviews, and occasional special guests (including Elijah Wood, Alanis Morisette, Busy Phillips, Ezra Miller and more).

Revolutions podcast is one way to introduce broad political topics to your teen. Today’s teens have a mountain of information at their fingertips, but most of what they get are in 60-second Tiktok clips. Use the historical revolutions to find out what they think about today’s struggles.

Dear Hank & John are real brothers and vloggers John Green (a young adult novelist) and Hank Green (a YouTuber) that use their podcast platform to have listeners ask questions and receive dubious advice in exchange.  Every week they bring you the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon. The advice they give out is mostly good and always entertaining.

Stuff You Should Know often abbreviated as SYSK, is a thrice-weekly podcast and video series published by Stuff Media and hosted by Josh Clark and Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant, both writers at HowStuffWorks. Since debuting in 2008, the podcast is consistently ranked in the Top 10 on iTunes and is one of the most popular podcasts in the world, being downloaded millions of times each month. It is not necessarily for teens but there are a variety of topics that this podcast introduces that can be conversation starters. Josh and Chuck discuss topics ranging from science to fashion and everything in between. You will enjoy listening together to such titles as What is fascism?, Maggots: Good For Healing Wounds, Turns Out, to Sacagawea: Impressive Teen and What is biophilic design? (hint: it’s all about bringing the outside in).

Teen Mom Trash Talk is slightly controversial because it discusses reality TV characters and teen pregnancy. But teen pregnancy is a reality for some, and some outrageous situations may make real situations easier to discuss. If you’re not familiar with the Teen Mom series, check them out before starting the podcast.

Before you send your teen off to college, the military, a gap year or a full-time job, check out Stuff Mom Never Told You. Older tweens can start discussing what it means to be cisgender or not, way easier than most parents can discuss the same topics. So, listening to why men have pockets on jeans and women have fake pockets, may just start a conversation that opens you to the life of a middle or high schooler.

Tweens and teens often feel they aren’t being heard by adults or that we don’t understand what they are going through. They are a very knowledgeable generation, who’ve been empowered by having access to so much information (sometimes too much). So, having information from other sources coming to them in a passive manner may help you connect with your teen. Continuing on with these conversations is the next step. The goal of listening to podcasts with your growing adolescent is to connect. Parenting is hard! Open up the heart to their world: Listen and then talk.


Charmaine Chung

Charmaine Chung is one half of the lady boss team behind Somewhere Between, a resource for super mamas everywhere raising kids in the feisty pre-teen and early teen years. Beginning her career in retail fashion, before moving onto the music industry, working for major record labels, Charmaine eventually moved from Sydney to Laos to follow her dreams of starting a family. Four kids and 14 years later, she’s back in Canberra where motherhood has won her over, leading her to develop Somewhere Between - for mums just like her - raising kids who are navigating that space between their childhood and teenage years.

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