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Wake Up and Get More Savvy, Parents

Michelle Mitchell, author of Parenting Teenage Girls in the Age of a New Normal, has a wake-up call for parents on this episode. As the founder of Youth Excel, an organization specializing in life-skills training for teens, Michelle has seen all kinds of parent-teen issues first hand. She thinks it is a big problem that parents tend to be out of touch with the latest technology and culture. During our interview, she pointed to a number of specific areas where parents need to get a little more street smart…

8 Clips from this Episode:

What Teenage Girls Hide From Their Parents…

Keywords: teenage girls, lying, love, confidence

Here Michelle recaps one of the big takeaways from her first book, What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell Their Parents. She says one of the biggest things teenagers hide is, actually, that they love their parents. According to Michelle, it’s not easy for teens to talk about this and that can lead parents to lose their confidence.

Parents, it’s NOT YOUR FAULT!

Keywords: good parenting, bad parenting, success, forward progress, mindset

Parents can often carry around a burden, blaming themselves for not doing things right. This can lead to a negative mindset that doesn’t allow you to explore new ways of connecting with teens. The secret, Michelle explains in this clip, is to switch to a different way of thinking about your teenager’s progress and success.

Your Teen Stopped Listening 20 Seconds Ago

Keywords: rambling, explaining, tune out, not listening, confidence, succinct

Michelle has noticed that after delivering information, parents often ramble in an attempt to over-explain things to their teens. But this rarely works because the teen tunes out as soon as he gets the information. She has a secret formula for saying things more succinctly and confidently.

The “Accountability Buddy” Technique

Keywords: mentor, accountability buddy, guidance, other adults

One problem we have talked about a lot on the site is that parents are often unclear in their role, trying to be parents, friends, coaches, teachers, and mentors to teens. Michelle has a solution she calls an “accountability buddy” and she reveals how it works in this clip.

Parents Need to Get More Savvy

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Keywords: technology, smartphones, enforcing limits, internet, setting boundaries

You might think you are limiting your teen’s screentime, access to social media, internet freedom, and other similar things. However, Michelle has found that teens are incredibly crafty at getting around these kinds of rules. In this clip she reveals a few important things to watch out for.

You are More than Your Facebook Profile

This clip is for members only. Click here to sign up for a membership!

Keywords: internet, digital footprint, social media

Many parents talk with their kids about the dangers of the internet and the fact that we all leave digital footprints. However, teens often don’t get it. How can you make sure to get through to your teen? Michelle explains her approach in this clip.

Set Technology Up Well from the Start

This clip is for members only. Click here to sign up for a membership!

Keywords: technology, smartphones, internet, setting limits, set up technology

If you don’t get this right from the start it will be very difficult later on. Michelle says when kids first start using technology and are just posting cute butterflies or playing games, it’s easy to think it isn’t a big deal. But she encourages parents to set technology up properly right from the start.

Having the “Sex Talk” is Different Today

This clip is for members only. Click here to sign up for a membership!

Keywords: community service, helping others, volunteering, skills, talents, abilities, greater good

In previous generations it was possible to protect your kids from things. But today, with pretty much universal access to information, it is safe to say that your teen is going to see a lot of content related to sex whether you talk about it or not. Michelle has some great tips for discussing sex with your teen.

About Michelle Mitchell

Michelle is an author, award-winning speaker, and teenage expert who has presented to over 200 000 people in her career to date. After starting her career as a teacher, Michelle left teaching in 2000 to found Youth Excel, a charity that has supported thousands of young people and their families with mentoring and psychological services.

Michelle’s hands-on experience and passion for ‘all things young people’ has made her a sought-after and entertaining speaker. She has a unique ability to transfer years of knowledge to a wide range of audiences. Michelle presents to parents, primary and high schools, business and mental health professionals on topics of well-being, family and connection.

Michelle’s innovative work has been featured on the TODAY Show, Channel Ten Morning News, Today Tonight, 96fivefm, ABC radio and in countless print media including The Age, Dolly Magazine, Australian Women’s Weekly and the Courier Mail.

Michelle’s books and resources have been called an ‘encouraging and guiding light’ for parents and professionals. She has a marvelous way of speaking truth in a way that all appreciate.

She lives in Brisbane with her husband and two teenagers.

Find Michelle on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Andy

Andy Earle is a researcher at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he studies adolescent risk behavior and the role of parents in helping teens thrive. He publishes papers and speaks to groups of parents about the science of talking to teens. Reach him any time at [email protected]

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