How did it make you feel? 

How did it make you feel?  There are multiple ways to ask this question, the key is why are you asking this question and what are you going to do with the information when you hear it.   Teens have limited emotional literacy, one thing you could do is help expand their emotional literacy and their emotional expression leading to a better ability to emotionally regulate.  So, teens will say I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m angry; but what kind of happy – excited, calm, or what kind of angry – murderous rage or a mere blood boil.  When you ask how did it make you feel? We listen to how they felt and how they managed that emotion; that is all we have to do, not fix it, not correct them, definitely not invalidate them.  What we want to do is listen, validate their emotion even if we do not agree with it, can we hear it, understand that it is relevant to them.  

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