Chances are that your student’s worldview has expanded during the past semester. After all, that is one of the main reasons higher education exists.

However, listening to your student’s different perspectives and rationales may be surprising at first. Don’t worry – you still know your son or daughter. There just may be some topics that he or she is exploring, learning more in depth, and forming decisions that don’t fully jive with your own perspectives. That is where understanding, love, and agreeing to disagree can be your very best tools.

Some of the topics that may arise include:

  • Religion and spirituality
  • Politics
  • Vegetarianism and veganism
  • Culture and race
  • Poverty and homelessness
  • Courses of study
  • Humanitarian issues
  • World news

As you listen to your student share his or her perspectives, try not to call them “wrong” or “misguided.” Instead, allow your student to express and explain his or her views. Ask questions, if you like. Share your perspectives, too. You may not agree on every little thing, yet try to remind yourself that learning to express points of view – no matter what they are – is a strength that will serve your student very well in the long-term.