1. Take A deep breath
Get comfortable, and focus on just being there. This is a good time to turn off the television. Perhaps go for a walk. Whatever you do, turn off your phone - all the way off.
2. Just start talking
"Umms" and "ahhs" are a great place to start. Hesitation and sweaty palms are signs of forward progress and impending success. The thing is to just stumble forward.
3. Try not to be perfect - speak from the heart
This is not a time to deliver a perfect, well-planned monologue. In fact, plan on a shaky start by sharing your imperfections, personal experiences, fear and aspirations. Above all else, speak honestly - from the heart.
4. Stop. listen. inquire.
Stop talking. Allow there to be some silence - and don't interrupt it! When your child does begin to speak, cherish that they are sharing their feelings, views and concerns. Set judgment aside in favor of arriving at a sincere understanding. Feeling stuck? Just ask another question.
5. Validate the other point of view
Be especially thankful if what you hear is unexpected. A genuine point of view is not always one's liking, but there is no greater gift than to hear feelings shared from the heart. Take the time to state your understanding of the other point of view.
6. Give a long hug
The longer the hug, the stronger the confirmation of unconditional love. Savor that.
You've just had a genuine conversation.