Small Talks: Tips from Talkers

Not sure how to get the conversation started? Nervous about saying the right thing? You're not alone. Hear from other Wisconsin parents, caregivers, coaches, and mentors on what they've learned when having small talks with the kids in their lives.

Mother and daughter sitting and talking

Nervous? It's normal

Learn how these adults worked through their stage fright and started having small talks.

"Once you have those conversations and you get over that initial fear of feeling uncomfortable, it gets with anything. The more practice, the easier it gets."

Watch this video with Spanish subtitles

Getting prepped

Learn why these adults believe preparing for their small talks is key.

"It doesn't have to be that detailed, but make sure you feel comfortable with the topic that you're talking about, and you have some background knowledge on it to provide them with good feedback or advice."

Watch this video with Spanish subtitles

Learning to listen

Hear why an important part of having small talks is listening.

"It might calm your nerves a little bit to have them kind of talk first about the subject."

Watch this video with Spanish subtitles

Bouncing back

Hear why it's not important for your small talks to be perfect.

"You're not going to have all the answers, so it's foolish to pretend that you will. I think being able to be vulnerable, and to admit when you're wrong, and to admit when you don't have the answer is really powerful. It goes a long way, I think."

Watch this video with Spanish subtitles

Keeping it up

Hear why having lots of small talks over time is more effective than one big talk.

"If you only save conversations for the big things, then it seems like a big thing every time. Whereas if you can make it more of a commonplace, everyday thing, just a part of normal life, they're going to feel more comfortable. They're going to feel more safe."

Watch this video with Spanish subtitles


Take small steps, too

Having conversations is important, but it's not the only thing you can do. In fact, there are several big and small actions you can take to help the kids in your life build confidence and reject both underage drinking and substance use.

A mother and daughter playing a video game

Last Revised: March 7, 2022