As parents, grandparents and friends of young people, we have the benefit of a lifetime of experience that can help. When talking, it’s important to remember that young people have not lived our same experiences; while we may have made it through things far harder than Covid-19, their life experience and perspective is different. This may well be the hardest time in their life so far. So we can offer empathy, advice and hope, sharing stories of how we got through the hardest times in our life. And we can offer an actively listening ear — to understand how they are truly doing.
Here are 11 topic prompts you might ask next time you find yourself in conversation with a young adult:
What music are you listening to these days? Anything I might like?
What are you reading? Would you recommend it?
Tell me about a good movie or Netflix series you’ve seen recently.
How are your friends / co-workers / peers at school doing?
What keeps you up at night right now? What worries are on your mind? How can I help?
What are some of your good memories from this past year?
What has been a struggle for you this past year?
What classes are you getting the most out of this semester? Any great instructors?
What’s toughest about school these days?
How is work going right now? I’d imagine some days are easier than others. Tell me about it.
What’s getting you out of bed in the morning? What gives you a sense of purpose?