I Disagree! 6 Civil Conversation Skills for Kids, Teens & Families by DoingGoodTogether
Parenting Teens Relationships
5 years ago
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Too often, we avoid talking about issues we really care about. At Doing Good Together we believe that facing disagreements with heart and curiosity is a crucial skill to teach our children and ourselves. In this age of divisiveness, strong communication skills are critical. Here are some skills to practice as a family:
- Begin with respect. Establish mutual respect before beginning a potentially divisive discussion. As in, "I respect how you (treat others, volunteer, coach, etc.), and I'm curious what you think about (the issue you'd like to get into).”
- Speak from the heart. Steer your conversation toward personal experience, rather than learned talking points.
- Listen to understand. Resist the urge to interrupt. And ask more questions: "What do you think would happen if…?" Or, "How would you solve this problem?" or "Tell me more about that."
- Get used to being wrong. And be willing to admit it.
- Don’t be afraid to disagree. Be an “upstander” for your ideals.
- Practice conversational empathy. Give those you are talking to the benefit of the doubt. Assume they are being honest and have good intentions.
Visit Doing Good Together for more practical strategies to bring these tips to life.