The Lost Art of Conversation: How to Create Healthy Dialogues within our Families

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We all know how hard it is to just sit down and talk with one another. Given how many ways there are to communicate these days, it's no wonder that face-to-face conversation can feel like a dying art form.

          Children need - as Jesse Jackson used to say - "our presence and not just our presents" - especially at this time of year! Here are some pointers for how to have a conversation with your child:

·        Listen twice as much as you speak

·        Listen like you mean it: eye contact, open body language, loving tone of voice

·        Give undivided attention (turn off the phone!)

·        Suspend judgment ("I know what you are going to we go again...this is so childish/boring/typical")

·        Avoid "interrogation"

·        Wait without interruption

·        Respect the silence - just sit together!

·        Find common ground - there certainly are places where you agree...

·        Take advantage of "captive audience" times (like riding in the car, where there is "shoulder to shoulder" intimacy rather than "face to face" intimacy)

·        Create family rituals: use a talking stick held by the speaker/share three things about your day/take turns picking a topic of conversation.

We can all benefit from one another's loving attention.  What are you waiting for?



As the holiday season approaches please consider a gift to Quaker Bolivia Link (, an organization I work with that helps to provide clean water and adequate nutrition to the Aymara people of Bolivia.


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This page contains a single entry by John published on November 15, 2015 6:36 PM.

Learning from Our Actions: What Would You Do Differently Next Time? was the previous entry in this blog.

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