5 Tips for Having Meaningful Conversations with Children & Others

June 3, 2020 , Jennifer Severson

It’s our responsibility at Big Brothers Big Sisters to stand beside our community and BBBS volunteers, youth and their families to ensure they have the support and resources necessary to continue mentoring and inspiring our youth to reach their potential.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll have opportunities to come together to discuss the George Floyd tragedy and to address the issues that continue to challenge and divide our community. Until then, we encourage meaningful conversations with children and others about important topics like diversity, equity and inclusion.

How to talk about recent events:

  1. First and foremost, listen. Remember that you don’t need to have all the answers or solve all that is happening in other people’s lives. Simply be there to listen and support them.
  2. The conversation is about them and their experience, so listen to LEARN.
  3. Be compassionate, authentic and trustworthy.
  4. If reaching out over the phone, ask if now is a good time to talk. You may want to connect, but you also need to respect what might be happening for them at that moment. 
  5. Ask direct, open-ended questions and listen thoughtfully to the responses. For example, ask:
    • “How are you doing? How is your family?”
    • “There has been so much happening locally and around the nation, how are you feeling?”
    • “How can I best support you?”

To our Bigs and volunteers: Thank you for continuing to partner with us to enrich the lives of Twin Cities youth through mentoring. If you feel your Little’s family is in need of resources, this list from United Way may be helpful: United Way 211 Civil Unrest George Floyd Tragedy

Please continue to visit our Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities Blog for up-to-date announcements and resources.