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How to Talk about the Content of a Tiny Guide with a Young Person

By Cultures Of Dignity | April 9, 2020

These Tiny Guides will help you quickly comprehend core social and emotional concepts, understand their impact on you and your relationships, and equip you with tools to put them into action. 
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Below is a facilitation tool to talk about the content of the Tiny Guide(s) with young people!

Dear Teacher or Other Awesome Person,

Hi! Thanks for downloading a Tiny Guide (or hopefully more!) This facilitation tool gives you the roadmap to talk about the Tiny Guides. What we have shared below are some of the strategies we use at Cultures of Dignity when we train educators and work with young people. Think of it as a lesson plan for teachers but it’s for you. 

How Do You Share Them?

It’s totally Ok if a young person explores the Tiny Guides on their own without a structured discussion or “lesson.” We also want the Tiny Guides to give you an opportunity to learn with and from each other. But..that can be tricky. If you anticipate having a resistant child, it can be good to have a “soft” introduction like leaving one open on your computer or downloading a guide on your phone, showing it to them and saying something like, Can you check this out and tell me if you think this is useful? Remember: You know your child best. You know the best approach!  

Other Things To Watch Out For…

  • Let them do the work. It can be tempting to do the work for your child or direct them to focus on particular aspects of a Guide. Young people are on to us: if they sense that’s what we’re doing they’ll tune out or believe that you have an agenda; probably one that they don’t agree with. 
  • Have patience. It takes a while to understand these topics let alone apply them in your life. 
  • Choose your timing. Avoid introducing a Guide in highly emotional moments. For example, showing your child the Tiny Guide on Anger during a conflict and saying, “Maybe you should read this!” probably won’t go well. Sharing the Anger Guide when things are calmed down and then saying, “I know you’re angry and I was looking for ways to understand what you’re going through so I found this. Will you tell me what you think about it?” gives you a better chance of having a productive conversation.
  • Remember you are separate people. For example, you may feel and manage anxiety very differently than your child.  Recognize and encourage them to create their own strategies. 
  • Validate, don’t relate. Avoid telling them that you were young once so you know what they’re going through. While you may have had similar experiences when you were young, you don’t know what it’s like to be growing up now. So you can say, “When I was your age, I had similar experiences but you’re growing up in a different time and environment than me. So it’s really important that I listen to what things are like for you.”
Download This Discussion Guide

What If You Want To Have A Discussion? Lesson Plan

Your Preparation

Time: 5 Minutes

  1. Review the content in the Tiny Guide(s). Look for specific places you want to talk about with your child.
  2. Review the Principles and lesson plan below

The Principles When You “Teach” Anything to a Young Person 

  • Listening is being prepared to be changed by what you hear. It doesn’t mean waiting for someone to stop talking so we can tell them why they’re wrong and we’re right.
  • Everyone has the right to have different opinions and feelings about a situation. No one has the right to say that another person’s opinion or feelings are wrong. 
  • Be aware of coming across lecturing or making assumptions and judgments about them. 

Time to Teach/Talk

Time: 15-30 minutes
Where: Neutral/comfortable setting (kitchen table, couch) with cell phones in different room
When: Mutually agreed upon time for best concentration

Ages 7-10

Ask your child if they want you to read it silently, out it loud, or each of you read separately.

Ages 10-14 

Give them the option of reading the Guide together or each of you reading it on your own and then coming back to discuss it together.

Debrief Questions

These are organized by age, but you know your child best. Feel free to pick any of the questions below. You do not have to get through all of these questions. Just talking about one and letting the conversation flow is also a great strategy. 

Ages 7-10

  • What new words did you learn in the Tiny Guide? What did those words mean to you? 
  • What do you think is the most important part of this guide?
  • What do you want me to remember from this guide to support you?

Ages 10-14

  • Did you learn something new?
  • How does this guide apply to your life or our lives? 
  • Is there a time in your life that relates to something you read about in the guide?
  • What do you think is the most important part of this guide?
  • What is the most important part of the guide for me to know?


Ask the question below and share your answers with each other

What are three things you learned from this Tiny Guide?

Where Do We Go From Here? 

Ask your child if they would like to check out another Tiny Guide. Have them review the list and they can choose the next one they would like to learn. Schedule a time for the next Tiny Guide discussion!