The tough stuff (“sex, drugs and rock and roll” as well as media, porn and peers) can be hard for parents to talk about and for teens to open up about with their parents and/or the responsible adults in their lives. Too often topics about parenting teens centers on discipline and consequences. However, one of the most effective ways to help teens prevent or overcome problems is to know how to relate with them in a meaningful way that opens them to be able to talk naturally to adults. More often than not, though, well-meaning parents and other adults engage with teens in a way that unintentionally alienates them further. Teens then end up sharing less and unfortunately rely only on their own counsel or that of their peers. This limits them from the great store of wisdom and experience of those who’ve been on the planet a few more turns around the sun than they have. Rather than focus on each of these “tough stuff” subjects which you can learn about ad infinitum online, this presentation teaches you how to approach and talk to teens in a way that allows you to address any subject.
This training covers:
- Being Encouragers, Believers and Hopemongers: Critics and Naysayers Be Gone!
- Practice: specific phrasing (“You’ll get it” sentence series)
- Avoiding “Parental Freak-Out Mode”;
- The Biology of Shutting Down and Opening Up: Why yelling, anger and lectures don’t work;
- Creating space;
- Geting comfortable with discomfort;
- Creating space like a therapist does;
- How to use drawing out language;
- How to use open body language;
- Join-Up: Meet them where they are;
- Example: Monty Roberts
- Practices: (Music, “boring”, etc)
- Discipline = Relationship Building + Consequences
- Normalizing and validating vs. pathologizing and projecting;
- Practice: The simple validating and normalizing sentence you can’t say too often.
- Acceptance and Change: The crucial dialectic;
- Individuation and separation is normal. Rebellion is not;
- The 5:1 Ratio
- Respect: Don’t try to change gray matter.
- Respect: Given or earned?
- The Pursue/Withdraw DynamicEncouraging Failure
- Topics covered subject to change based on time and audience needs.
Included in the presentation:
- Pre-questionnaire to participants to get their questions and concerns regarding the topic so the presenation is customized vs. “canned.”
- Handout Packet including the above information
- Article: FAQs for Creating a GREAT Relationship with Your Teen
- Article: Say “Nay” to Naysayers: Learning from Famous “Failures”
- Online Related Resources and Media Clips
I don’t filter or edit my evaluation results. I give them here as straight as I get them. I figure if you’re making the important decision to select the right speaker for your group is it better to get filtered, positive only testimonials about a potential speaker or to know how people really responded to the speaker, including both those who loved it and those who didn’t?
So if someone thought I stunk you’ll hear it hear first. If someone thought I was brilliant, well I’ll happily share that unabashedly, too. Obviously, I don’t try to make everyone happy. If the majority love what I’m teaching I’ll continue those items that resonate with most. If one or two people don’t like what the majority love, then I don’t give much heed to those critiques, of course. However, I appreciate all feedback, which is one of the reasons my evaluation results are consistently high: My audiences teach me what they like and what works best for them and I listen.
My evaluation contains the following items:
- 1-10 Rating: “Please rate your overall experience of this presentation”
|Horrid/Very Poor||Poor||Fair||Good||Very Good/Excellent|
- The Good: “What was brilliant, superb, exhilarating, life-altering, or opened the heavens for you? In short, what did you like about the presentation?
- One Thing: “What’s one thing that you plan on using and/or implementing into your life from this presentation?” This tells me out of everything what was the one thing that had the most meaningful impact.
- The Bad: “What stunk, turned your stomach, gave you a headache, made you dizzy, or gave you gas? In short, what didn’t you like that could be improved and/or what would you like to see covered that wasn’t? (Go ahead, I can take it!)”
- Requested eZine: This is an indicator that they found the information and/or the presenter interesting/valuable enough to desire receiving more information/contact beyond this one presentation. You’d think that someone who would give a lower rating didn’t like the presentation, however, often they too request the eZine as they got enough out of it that they would like to receive emails containing articles, tips, strategies and events on these topics from me.
Event: In-service Training for Utah County Health Department
Attendance: Approx. 30
Number of Evals Returned: 17
Average Rating for this Event: 9.6/10
From the event coordinator:
“I just wanted to say thank you and let you know how much I appreciate your willingness to come and share your expertise with us. This is such a great topic and I know those in attendance benefited greatly.”
—Stephanie Jones, , CHES
Utah County Healthy Lifestyles
Utah County Health Department
|10||Everythign was very informative. I do not have children myself, however I have worked with troubled teens for several years and I can validate this presentation. :-)||5:1||–||Y|
|10||Great information. I really enjoyed and agreed with what you said.||Spend more time on building relationships with teens.||Nothing.||Y|
|10||The 5:1 ratio of building relationships.||5 positives. Joining up better. Encourager, Hopemonger, Believer.||Nothing.||–|
|10||Everything was very interesting and relevant.||5 postives to 1 negative. Talk about situation/problem w/o judging.||–||Y|
|10||Very clear, practical.||All of it!||–||Y|
|10||Everything was very well done! Wish it could have been longer.||Not to “freak out.” My teen is now 22, but I hope to have grandchildren and hopefully I can help her mother with these tools.||Nothing… really! It was great!||Y|
|10||Normalizing and validating. The 5:1 ratio.||More of the above.||Not a thing!||Y|
|10||Positive approach—with follow-up of a custom handout to boot! The ratio of positive:negative consequences!||The join-up concept. Look forward to more info.||Not enough time.||Y|
|10||Loved the approach you taught us! It will be very useful.||5:1||None||Y|
|10||Putting emphasis on the need to treat children respectfully.||Using the “join-up” principle with teens int he tobacco cessation class I teach.||–||–|
|10||Emphasis on respect and relationship.||–||–||Y|
|10||I enjoyed the entire presentation and I LOVED how this can be relative to most relationships. I do not have kids and this gives me hope! :-)||Avoiding the “freak out” mode.||N/A||–|
|10||Really was practical! Can use this info.||–||–||Y|
|9||Great examples of talking to, not down to, teens.||–||–||–|
|9||Very good points.||“Join-up”||Concentrated on the “bad” kid. I have a great kid—just doesn’t want to talk to his mom.
Jonathan’s Reply: “First of all, I want to clarify as I did in the presentation that while I’ve worked with many teens who’ve had serious problems that I’ve never worked with a ‘bad’ kid. They have all been fantastic kids who’ve had hard times or made dumb choices. The good news, though, is that if this stuff works great with the so-called ‘bad’ kid, imagine how well these strategies work with the good ones? Yay!”
|9||Process of talking to teens and the join-up concept. Great job!||Talk to my wife about the join-up and hopemonger concepts.||Wanted to know different techniques of disciplining when one technique doesn’t work. I realize time didn’t permit.
Jonathan’s Reply: “As I mentioned at the beginning this presentation focuses on the “talking” side of the relationship not specific discipline strategies (though, please remember, this form of talking to teens IS one of the more crucial aspects of a full discipline model, whereas most people only focus on the consequence side of discilpline. I would be happy though, as I offered, to return and provide specific solutions you mentioned. There are so many great solutions there! I do a “Parenting Teens with Love and Logic” seminar that goes into those strategies in depth.”
|7||Not reacting negatively to answers you don’t want to hear, reacting calmly, letting them open up at their own pace.||When someone is not responding, don’t keep pursuing and pushing them away.||Flow of presentation sped up, slowed down. Felt like we didn’t get it all in.||–|
©2011 Jonathan D. Sherman. All rights reserved.