Educational Consulting Blog

Don't believe the Skype? Ask a troubled teen!

Posted by Joshua C. Doyle, M.Ed. on Wed, Dec 19, 2012

One of the compromises I have learned to make is that sometimes face to face meeting are not as effective as, or as valued by, younger generations.  One of many examples I could give is that while most people would probably still agree that it is rude to stop by someone’s home without calling first,  today I find that many younger people consider it rude to call someone without texting them first.  I am not trying to be critical of anyone, quite the opposite.  I have started to realize that in order for me to work with many of today’s students I need to, within reason, adjust myself to understanding their methods of communication.  Over time I have really learned to value their perspective.

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The simple truth is that very few students initially come to my office excited about meeting me.  Often I represent one of the many professionals that they have been dragged to by their parents over the years.  I can’t say that I blame them.  More often than not my initial meeting with families has a lot of eggshells and takes a lot of ice breaking.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the parents and the child have argued during the car ride to my office.   This familiar scene is not all that dissimilar from the decade I spent interviewing families when I worked in admissions.  So...
 ...is there a solution to the problem?  Not really... but lately I have found that using technology such as Skype, FaceTime, etc. has proven to be more effective in connecting with students and their families than I ever thought possible.  I will often Skype with students while they are in the comfort of their own home.  The fact that we are in different locations gives them a better sense of security and the feeling that we are on equal turf.  In addition it is much easier to schedule a Skype meeting than a face-to-face meeting as we work with families from literally all over the world.  It has taken time for me to adjust to this but it has proven to be very effective because the dialogue tends to be more productive and fluid.

 

Tags: education trends, educational consultants, schools for troubled teens, communication, emotional issues, troubled teen