Becoming emotionally intelligent requires a willingness to share your views on life and an ability to listen when others share theirs. That’s why these short conversations are so important. They give kids the chance to practice sharing their feelings, opinions and big ideas in a safe and structured way. As students practice each week, their comfort will grow alongside their voice.
Last time we discussed respect. What does it mean? How do you know if you’re getting (or giving) it? Now, let’s apply it to people they know and love – their friends.
Start this conversation: What do you respect most about ________? Or, who’s someone in your class that you have a lot of respect for?
Of course, follow these with the big W: Why?
Here’s why this question is so important. We gravitate toward people we respect. We try to emulate their strengths and live according to their morals. If kids can grow up developing an awareness of the kind of people they respect and if they know why they respect those qualities, they’ll have an easier time (1) navigating future opportunities, (2) making friends with beliefs they support and (3) accepting the differences of others.
Through respecting others we choose the people we rely on as guideposts. Let’s help kids identify those guideposts.
For younger kiddos try asking: What do you like about ______? (insert friend’s name)
Remember, the objective isn’t to influence who children respect, it’s to instill in them an awareness of their values as it applies to their relationships.
Let me know what they come up with!