Conversation does not seem to be a valued skill in America today. We are good at pointing fingers, making judgments, taking sides, insisting we are right and that we we have rights, and looking out for #1. After all, “we’re worth it.”
Conversation happens in that middle space between two opposing viewpoints, between authority and those under authority, teachers and students, police and the public, and between parents and children.
Conversation involves a greater focus on listening than on putting in your two cents worth.
The value of non-judgmental conversation is that it declares respect for each other. “I value you so much that I will strive to truly understand what you are telling me. I will attempt to see things from your viewpoint. We may agree to disagree, but it will be done lovingly and with respect.”
It’s easier to have these conversations with strangers than with those whose love and respect you truly desire. “What if they reject me when they know what I really think?”
Have you had this kind of conversation with your teens about sex?
This is not a conversation calling for judgment, but one brimming with clear information and understanding. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate constructive conversation about things that really matter, that will have a lasting effect on your lives.
I appreciated Dr. Carolyn Leaf’s blog: Let’s Talk About Sex. She offered scientific truths and helpful suggestions for having the conversation: parents and teens together.