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 betweem generations 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?”
Discuss what is going on in the news, read a student's advice to an adult, think about some of the “Conversation Starters” and Diary pages. Share your responses and practice communicating respectfully.
Choose one of the topics below. Ask, "what do you think about this?" 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 anonymous 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.