Everyone knows that it’s important to keep the lines of communication open in families. But that is often easier said than done. The purpose of Let’s Talk is to foster better communication by encouraging frequent “little” non-confrontational conversations. Too often, “a talk” means a parent lectures and a teen rolls his eyes. Or what starts out as an opportunity to talk turns into questions that are answered in monosyllables.
“How was your day?”
Really communicating? No.
Discussing some of what is going on in the news, or looking things up together, or answering one or two of the “Conversation Starter” questions and sharing your responses are intended to help family members of different generations practice communicating respectfully: to just talk together. Having the same opinion is not the goal. The goal is to simply share opinions about the question or the topic on the page. The process is easy and a surprisingly effective way to get to know each other better.
Each button below leads to a potential Conversation Starter. Just choose one and ask, “what do you think about this? There are no right answers and there is no right order. These are just intended to be talking points. Instead of just asking, “How was your day?” read the directions below, choose one of the topics below to discuss and see where the conversation takes you.
The directions below for parents should be followed by their children also.
Listen with patience and respect. Don’t interrupt or offer advice or try to persuade. Simply listen respectfully and share your opinions when it is your turn to speak.
Give the speaker time to answer. There are no right answers or wrong responses, just the sharing of opinions.
Respond with interest and curiosity as if you were talking to a friend.
Parents, ask your child what he thinks of the student who contributed one of the writings. Can he relate to the writer? Does he know anyone who has a problem like that?
Ask your child/or parent what they would like to say to the writer’s parents.
If you are reading one of the Diary pages, share (briefly) how the writing makes you feel and what you would like to say to the student who wrote it,
Parents, wonder (to yourself, or aloud) if your child might have been the one who contributed one of the stories or quotes.
Talk about just one page or more than one. Each of you can respond to the same writing or choose different pages to think about. You can involve other members of the family in these discussions, or not, whatever works for you.