How do we train our teens to have difficult discussions with those we disagree with?
💥Let's be honest, this is even difficult for us as adults. If we have had a difficult discussion and think that the person is wrong, misguided, or annoying, our natural response is to pull away from them, to shut them out and shut them down.
💥We see this posture in our political climate today.
💥Is this the best way to communicate?
💥I would venture to say NO! Look at where this has gotten us! To a place of attack, name calling, and accusations. This is place of tearing down instead of building up.
💥How can we move forward and train our teens to do better than we have done?
💥Teach your teen to see things from others perspectives, and find a common ground. For example, we can all agree that regardless of your political affiliation, that each party truly believes they are doing what's best for the people. So what if we started there? Believing the best and listening with curiosity to understand instead of accuse?
💥Why is this important?
💥If our teens learn how to look at hot topics in a curious way, we learn, we grow, we show others respect, we demonstrate empathy, and we build bridges vs. tearing them down.
💥Does being open to various dialogues mean that you need to agree?
💥Absolutely not and here is where the problem lies right now! Many feel that if you don't agree with their position, you are persecuting them. This is not truth! You can disagree with someone and still enjoy dinner with that person when you are a mentally secure bridge builder.
💥In the past, republican and democratic senators would debate topics all day and enjoy dinner together at night. Those days are gone as now most can't stand to be in the same room as those who don't agree with them. We can do better and our teens are our hope!
💥When did we get to a place that who you are as a person is defined by your opinion on hot topics?
💥One tip we can train our teens to do is when there is a hot topic, get together with the person, face to face to discuss it. NEVER, I REPEAT, NEVER, write about hot topics on social media, emails or texts. When we do, the receiver of the communication misses out on all the subtle facial cues and potentially empathetic body language that accompanies your conversation.
What tips do you have for engaging in difficult conversations?
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