How to communicate with your teen

February 15, 2010 4:59:26 PM PST
Five simple ways to open the lines of communication.

1. Kick up the speed of your conversation:

  • Keep it short and simple

  • Create a conversation; don't deliver a lecture

  • Make most of your interaction positive; don't focus on the negative.

  • Take advantage of time alone: talk in the car; while waiting for an appointment; during a television show.
2. Speak their language:
  • Accept that text messaging, online chat, and cell phones are the way they "talk".

  • Recognize that for teens, human interaction isn't necessary to their everyday means of communication.

  • Learn to text! Your teen will respond to a text even if it's a situation where he may not answer your phone call.

  • It's important to not feel offended when they are texting while you are talking.

  • Set expectations in regards to text. For example: No texting during dinner.
3. Learn who your 'online teen' is:
  • Know what social networking sites your teen is a part of and discuss it with him. Make your teen aware that you will be checking these sites and reviewing his computer usage also. Make it an open and direct conversation.

  • Pay attention to new trends and Web sites in use by teens. Visit these sites, and learn what they are about. Join the sites and create your own page!

  • Ask to see your teen's page.

  • Don't be afraid to ask your teen: remember this is how your teen is represented to the rest of the world. For example: Employers are checking myspace pages of potential employees to learn more about their life style before hiring them
4. Stay Calm and Be Patient
  • Let your teen speak at his own pace.

  • Recognize a teen will not tell you everything, but he wants to talk stop what you are doing and make time for the conversation.

  • Watch your body language. Teen are masters in deciding that you don't really want to listen, that you are angry, or that you are in a hurry. Keep eye contact and encourage them to keep talking with open ended questions.
5. Give advice when necessary; don't become Dr. Abby
  • Give your teen an opportunity to become a problem solver. Keep your 'fix it' mentality to a minimum.

  • Give your teen permission to make mistakes; perfection is not the goal.

  • Be cautious of 'snooping' or becoming a detective with your teen in order to get the answers. If you want to know ask!

  • Always tell your teen how much you love them, no matter what the circumstances.
For more information: www.coachtowin.com

ABOUT DIDI ZAHARIADES
Didi Zahariades, MA is currently a psychotherapist, speaker, executive coach, writer, and life coach. Specializing in the development and management of people allowed her to open her own private practice, Coach to Win.

Over the last six years, Didi has received her Masters in Counseling Psychology at Lewis & Clark College; became a Counselor at Kaiser Permanente; and served as a Motivational Speaker to high school audiences of 500 -1200 students as part of the Monster Making it Count Corporation. Her prosperous practice focuses on individual's age 14 to 68 as well as actively coaching executives nationwide.

Didi has gained national attention as a regularly featured expert on Better TV, a syndicated television program from the family of Better Homes & Gardens, airing in over 50 cities throughout the U.S. Didi has provided televised coaching on various subjects such as: Mistakes Women make in the Workplace, How to Feel Sexy this Summer, Tips to Successfully Decrease Stress During the Holidays, What You Need to Know before You Get Married, How to Lose Weight from the Inside Out, and How to Stand-out in a Competitive Job Market.

Didi is a regularly featured guest on AM Northwest, a popular northwest television show, which has been on air since 1976. In the last few years, her topics have covered Relationship Lessons from 'The Bachelor', How to be Your Own Best Friend, How to Talk to Your Teen, and Are You a Perfectionist? In addition to a variety of other timely topics focused on the positive growth of women and the difficulties in raising a teen today.

As a graduate from The University of Iowa, a diverse background allowed Didi to advance in management and after an extensive business career, she eventually settled in Portland, Oregon. By age 30, Didi had followed a rapid career path and was Vice President for a publicly held technical staffing firm.

Throughout her advancement, she continued to find her best opportunities tied to her love of motivating others which has supported Didi in developing a prosperous coaching practice over the last six years, Coach To Win (www.coachtowin.com).

Initially, Coach To Win was identified as a business coaching firm catering to executives, groups, and organizations. It has since evolved into a practice of psychotherapy, business coaching, speaking, and life coaching accessed by clients across the U.S.

The current clients of Coach To Win include men, women, and teens dealing with a variety of issues such as: leadership development, relationship issues, depression, conflict at work, school, and home; low self esteem, weight loss, life changes such as divorce, career, and grief; as well as goal development and attainment. By combining her communication skills as an experienced coach, and her therapeutic skills derived by counseling, Didi has the ability to offer a unique service.

Through her practice, Coach To Win, Didi has written and presented several successful programs. Her course entitled, The Mind Body Connection, is a 5-hour program for individuals age 25 to 60 to increase the awareness of their body, mind, and spirit through exercises in deep breathing, examples of healthy living, and instruction on the practice of mindfulness.

Another popular offering includes The Better You program, which offers an inventive approach to weight loss. This 6-week teleconference class is focused on the improvement of each person's physical body by altering the judgments she carries about herself on the inside. Participants have had proven successful weight-loss.

Didi's newsletter, "Win at Work. Win at Life." is an online resource for learning time management ideas, motivational tips, and an overall reminder of the mind body connection. In addition Didi is also a contributing expert on Best Life Design; her blog is available at: http://www.drmolliemarti.com.

Didi is listed as an expert with The LifeBalance Program (www.lifebalanceprogram.com) in association with Providence Health Plan, which currently has a membership base of 350,000 individuals. Additionally, Didi has been featured as a writer for The Coaching Letter, a newsletter for the coaching community.

Didi serves as an expert on one of the most well known online counseling sites, LivePerson (www.liveperson.com). LivePerson (NASDAQ: LPSN) offer a turnkey solution for professionals, providing expert advice online in real time via chat.

Didi is currently completely work on her first book, My Plate is Full, but My Life is Empty; A Perfectionist Guide to Win at Work and Win at Life. Didi lives in Portland, Oregon, and travels on a monthly basis to see clients throughout the United States.


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