The Importance of Conversation

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The Importance of Conversation

I’ve recently had some really fun and amazing conversations with my 4-year-old. I savor these moments. Sitting in a booth at a restaurant for dinner, right next to each other, our faces close, looking into each others eyes and just talking. And, boy, my Alex can talk. She was telling me all about a periscope (the ones that pirates use, of course) that she has in her brain and how she could see through things. She was telling me all about what the inside of my face, nose and ears looked like. It was fascinating, funny and I enjoyed every word coming out of her mouth.

I love seeing my children’s eyes light up and the excitement they have when we are having a conversation. When they see that I value their words and thoughts, they feel good about themselves. By seeing that I am actively listening and engaged in true conversation with them, they are learning A LOT. They are learning about listening, they are learning how to ask questions, and they are learning they have value. They are forming their opinions, beliefs and personalities all through important and everyday conversation. I know that this will build a solid foundation of trust and connectedness that will help us as we grow as a family and also help my children as they grow as individuals.

Conversation is a great source for our everyday stories. Think about some of the most important moments in your life and about the relationships you have. The foundation of nearly all of these is conversations. When we are learning about one another, we are listening and enjoying simple moments together.

I remember my first date with my husband like it was yesterday. I remember what I was wearing, what he was wearing, his car, the restaurant and most importantly, our conversation. I was tremendously excited about this date. He was smart, successful and funny. I knew we had a connection and I couldn’t wait to see how our date would unfold.

We had a wonderful first date. We talked and talked and talked. About everything. We talked so much that our date moved from dinner to two different places so we could keep doing what? Having one of the best conversations of our lives.

And, when I look back on this magical evening, you know what was completely missing? Cell phones, television, tablets and other insignificant distractions. When was the last time you could say that? When was the last time you really had a good conversation? I think that conversations build us up, they help us when we need it the most, and they are an important part of our everyday lives.

You see, this is what being present is all about: connecting through conversation. Let go of the distractions. Don’t let the insignificant interfere with significant moments that shape your life.

So, how do we do this? We ask questions, we have fun, we let go, we listen. I have some suggestions for great conversations, especially at dinner time. Enjoy them.

2017-05-04T14:44:53+00:00

10 Comments

  1. Hands Free Mama February 19, 2013 at 1:31 am

    This is so beautiful and so powerful, Jessica. You have made me think about my family’s dinner conversations. When my sister and I were in our teens, I can remember sitting around the table eating dessert and just talking about life with my parents. We continued it through the college years and when our friends came home with us, they would often remark about the dinner time talks. We loved to bring new people in on the ritual! I am blessed to say we STILL enjoy this special time of conversation with my parents. My children are not quite to the age where they can appreciate it, but they are seeing its importance in our lives.

    I love the topics you write about and that you do it in such a gentle, inspiring manner. I was thrilled to receive your latest email with good news. I am so thankful. I will be responding soon. Much love! Rachel

    • Jessica
      Jessica February 19, 2013 at 1:39 am

      I love that you had that experience as you grew up. I am hopeful that my daughters will say the same thing one day. 🙂

  2. LISA Brock February 19, 2013 at 2:03 am

    My kids would sometimes complain that the world had to stop for dinner time when they were growing up. The old fashioned phone, was left to ring many nights – to their dismay. But now, as young adults out on their own, they define this as a key & positive difference in our family life compared to others they know. They promise it will be the same when they have a family. (They had to do dishes too…a basic life skill. I laughed when they went to college and would be amazed that kids did not know how to do such basic things.) There is no substitution for dialogue and it is a window to their world, including concerns, fears, insecurities and all the good stuff too. Good for you Jessica – good for you.

    • Jessica
      Jessica February 19, 2013 at 2:33 am

      Thanks, Lisa. It is so great to read about how much your children have valued this in their lives. I just can’t imagine my life without these moments, each and every day. You are incredible and your support means so much!

  3. Adrienne February 21, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I love this post! I need to slow down and just have conversation more with my kids. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Nice post Jessica, you are so right I love a good conversation although with the little ones there isn’t always the time 🙁 Your Alex sounds like my Olivia, she’s also 4 and really into Pirates right now, must be something in the air 🙂 She too talks a lot and we do have some engaging chatter in all of that. Thanks for sharing this.

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    • Jessica
      Jessica February 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Isn’t it the best? It is hard to find the time, but when we do, it is so awesome.

  5. Meg March 3, 2013 at 6:38 am

    I love this! My son is four and the conversations we have are fantastic! If, as you pointed out, we are free of distractions. I’m so glad to be unplugged from FB this month as I felt it and my phone (constantly checking out of habit) were distracting me. I’m really working on being less distracted, clearing some mental space in my mind and being present with my children and husband. It’s an exciting journey and I don’t want to miss it because my nose was in my phone scrolling updates because I needed a ‘break’ Thanks for sharing!

    Best,
    Meg

    http://amindfuljourney.com/

    • Jessica
      Jessica March 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      That’s exactly right! It helps so much to unplug and have uninterrupted time.

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