Dr. Rich Patterson

Initiating A Conversation

As an educator, I frequently have noticed that some students have difficulty initiating a conversation.  For whatever reason, they feel like they have nothing to say or that they don’t know what to say.  As parents, when we notice that our kids are struggling when meeting new people, it is essential to talk with them and help them with some skills toward initiating a conversation.

Part of this difficulty lies with just knowing how to be ourselves with knowing that we can and casually react to what is going on and not worry about it being perfect, or cleaver or showing that we’re smart.  Here’s what I know, teach kids, and adults, for that matter, the three steps to great conversation.  1)  Be the first to approach someone, don’t wait for them to come to you.  2)  Turn the conversation to them as quickly as possible.  Please don’t spend time talking about yourself; find out their interests, why they are at the event, or where you meet them.  3)  Offer them something that will help them.

Always leave a conversation with a thought, or something you can send them, maybe that you’ve written, or something you’ve read, such as this blog.  When you leave the person you are speaking with; they will feel like you and enjoy more conversation.

By taking time to help kids with this life skill, they will:

  • They will be able to appropriately express themselves-which is healthy and feels good!
  • They will improve their relationships with others, a life skill to be sure!
  • They will most likely get more of the things they want.

By keeping the conversation short and effective, you leave them thinking that you were helpful and can make a difference for them.  Teaching our kids how to initiate a conversation is a life skill that can benefit them forever all of their days.  You can readily tell the kids who have this skill and use it effectively.  People are immediately drawn to them and engage with them frequently.

I write about The Art of Conversation here for you to read, The Art of Conversation – Dr. Rich Patterson (

Indeed has a post on 13 Ways to Start a Conversation here, 13 Ways To Start a Conversation (With Examples) |

Let me know how you initiate a conversation in the comments below.

Yours for Better Parenting,