EP17 – Elevator pitches and communication with challenging teens with guest Lidia Molina Santos

Hello. So today I’m going to be talking about elevator pitches and in a few moments, I will be talking to Lydia Molina Santos about communicating with challenging teenagers.

But first elevator pitches and why they matter. An elevator pitch is a short sentence or two that will tell someone what you or your company does.

They are often couched in terms of I help statements. I help health and wellness therapists and trainers to build a business in a way that suits them. I teach them how to use social SEO and sales funnels to attract new customers. That’s mine.

Why do you need an elevator pitch?

I can’t tell you how often I’ve asked someone what they do in their business and they can’t think what to say on the spot.

That’s the best reason to have an elevator pitch and to practice it, so that you can clearly say what you do when you’re asked. Even if that’s unexpectedly. Having something to say ready when you need it, increases your confidence about talking about your business and telling people about your business means more people get to hear about it.

And that can only be a good thing. So next, I’m going to be [00:02:00] talking to Lydia Molina Santas. She helps parents rebuild their relationship with challenging teenagers. See what I did there?

We’re going to talk about communicating as a parent with challenging teens, whether they have a specific learning difficulty or are struggling with their mental health.

It’s a serious conversation in some respects, but well worth listening to you, if you are worried in any shape or form about your teenager.

Hello. Hello hello. So welcome everybody today. I am talking to….

Lidia Molina Santos: Lidia

Annette Clubley: Lidia Molina Santos. Sorry! And our topic of discussion today is going to be parenting relationships with teenagers. And I think that’s, you know, [00:03:00] every, every parent I know is conscious of their relationship with their children and want to do the best that they can. So I think that’s a really fascinating topic. So welcome.

Lidia Molina Santos: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Annette Clubley: It’s lovely to have you today. It’s a lovely and sunshiny day and it’s lovely and sunshiny where you are, even though our listeners can actually see it. Just for once in England.

And so tell me how you got started, working at, you know, being a parenting coach, being a relationship coach. How did, where did it all start?

Lidia Molina Santos: So everything has started about four years ago and I had my life coaching diploma. I have my NLP diploma and I did a little bit bits and pieces, you know, just try to put our coaching practice together.

Bad relationships with teens

But my relationship with my son [00:04:00] was like, Non-existent we used to argue a lot. We used to get aggressive with each other. We used to yell, scream and everything. And so I always had on the back of my head, like how can I coach other people if I don’t have, I do know how to speak to my son. I don’t have a relationship with my son.

So how can I, how can I be good for other people? If I cannot be good for my kids, you know? And so I just put a lot of things together a lot of skills together because I wanted to have a relationship with my son. My son became very she he has a lot of mental health issues. He’s transgender.

So that brings a lot of problems before we knew, before he came out. That’s when all the problems arise, because he didn’t know how to speak out that he wasn’t a girl, he was a boy. And so all this [00:05:00] anger that he had inside, always clashed with me, we didn’t understand each other. And trying to rebuild a right relationship with my son. I have to put a lot of things together, learn a lot, do a lot of research and I created what I call today the no-drama parenting method, which is a method that I currently follow every single day to rebuild a relationship with my son. I created the method, the relationship started to get better. And then I started sharing the method with other parents, with having really good results.

And so then I created the program. So I, I have a program called the no drama parenting program. And, and with that I help parents to rebuild and strengthen the relationship with teenagers because it’s very painful. It’s very painful when [00:06:00] you, the person that you love, the most or the person that you’re supposed to love the most, which is your kids, don’t speak to you. They don’t want to have a relationship with you. And you sometimes even think do I really like my child? Do I, why am I feeling this? That I don’t, I don’t like my child. I do… you feel guilty.

And so with that method, I’m helping a lot of parents all around the world to reconnect with their kids and to have better relationships.

Annette Clubley: I’m really glad you said that. I, because I was thinking yesterday about another coach that I was talking to and thinking, you know, you have to have that experience. You have to, I think, particularly in this sort of coaching, You have to have some form of experience. You have to have been through it yourself and come out the other side or you have to have helped other people go through it and come out the other side before you can even start teaching anybody [00:07:00] else.

But also the fact that you touched on, you know, you can feel like you don’t actually really like this person very much at all. And then, so then you have to deal with all of this overwhelming guilt because you’re the mother, you know, and mothers are supposed to love their children and, you know, and I’m sure there must be loads of people out there that maybe don’t want to admit it. That they’re feeling it. Yeah.

Lidia Molina Santos: Like it’s it’s very, what, what I got to realize is that my ego as a parent was getting in in between the relationship with me and my son, I was thinking, I am the parent, he’s a child. He has to do what I say, it’s me, me, me, what I’m saying has to be done. You know, like me, my way and that’s it because he’s the, he’s the child.

And, and just getting to the realization of shit. I’m doing things in the wrong way. [00:08:00] I am the parent, but I don’t know everything and then ruining the relationship with my kid. That was the biggest slap without hands that I ever received in my life.

Annette Clubley: Totally. Totally. And I think that is the difficulty with the teenage years is they are no longer a small child that you can tell them to do everything and they will do it.

They are at that point in their life where they are starting to discover who they are as a person and who, and they’re testing those boundaries of, you know, I now I think of myself as an adult, even though I may not have the emotional capability of an adult yet.

And so they’re tasting that boundaries of, you know, I want to be my own person. I want to do my own thing. I want to be in charge of myself. And so you have that tension immediately because you’re still the parent and you, you know, it takes an adjustment period for you to get used to the fact that, you know, they are not small anymore. You can’t tell [00:09:00] them what to do anymore. They only their own person now, you know? And so there’s a lot of tension during their teenage years. Isn’t there? As they get used to the fact that they are an individual person and in their own rights.

How teens develop emotionally

Lidia Molina Santos: It is so much about teenagers. The parents are no, it’s unbelievable. Like when I have to do this research and for me learning how the brain develop and why they act in certain ways and why they, they can think in other ways, you know, like knowing that the brain and the emotional brain develops faster than the logical brain, that’s why they do all the silly things and the risky things they do because I can’t control it.

Then, then the hormone side of the growing, and this is all happening in a very short period of time. It’s just like, four years or something like that. They, they growing really quickly. And they don’t even understand what’s going on for them. [00:10:00] Let alone, if they have ADHD, they have autism. If they have PTSD, any other problems. They are more prone to have depression and anxiety because of the way that the brain is developing. You know, and, and parents don’t understand this. Parents see this kid’s growing. They look like adults. They want them to look like, sorry. They want them to look like act like adults, but they still treat them like children’s because I say grow, our mindset have to change too, and has to grow too. We have to stop seeing them like little kids, even though they still need our guidance. They have to be treated a bit more like adults and not like children.

That is why I say we don’t know [00:11:00] our children when they’re growing into teenagers. Parents think they know their kids. We don’t know their kids. It’s very, how can I say, it’s very important we stop thinking that we know our kids, that we know who this little person is, because they are teenagers. They are completely different.

Annette Clubley: Yes, yes, yes. And another difficulty for parents is that often they haven’t identified that challenging behavior as an issue yet .They just assume that the challenging behavior is rebelliousness. Yeah. Yeah.

Lidia Molina Santos: No, it’s not, it’s not, I always say that the behavior is a symptom of, of an underlaying problem. Yeah. And so in my case both my kids were autistic, so they have difficulties speaking out how they feel. And, and a lot of that translated [00:12:00] into anger. And so every time that I have to try to have a conversation with them or something, because they couldn’t say how they feel. They get frustrated and they get angry.

And that’s what I was getting. That anger all the time. For me to understand that that anger was something else. It took a little while. But as I said before, I had to put my ego aside. I have to have an open mind and, and try to get to know my child again, because he’s a new person. Teenagers are new people. They are not that, those little kids anymore.

Annette Clubley: Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Great. Great. So if you’ve got one thing that you would want to say to any parent that’s listening right now, that thinks that they might, thinks they’ve got a difficult relationship with their child. What would that one thing that you would say be?

Negotiate with your teen

Lidia Molina Santos: [00:13:00] I said that forget about who you are in relation with the child. Yes. You are the parent. Yes. You still have to create the boundaries, but you need to get to know who this person that lives with you is. So. .. Like, oh my God, how am I going to? I could, I could give so much, so much advice, but you know, have an open mind, try to get to know your child or your teen. Forget about you being the parent.

If you want to get to know your kid. And I think what works the best with teenagers is negotiation. Instead of telling them what to do, what not to do, and then punish them. You sit down with your kid, you negotiate the boundaries, the rules, and you also negotiate the consequences [00:14:00] and that will help your kid to grow into responsible, kinder, and a more resilient kids that telling them what to do or what not to do.

Because when you negotiate with them, you allow them to grow and you take their, their emotions and thoughts into consideration more than, okay, this is what it is, to do this, to do that. This is a punishment. It creates, it creates a bubble of communication there when you sit with your child and you negotiate.

Annette Clubley: Hmm. Hmm. That makes total sense to me. Yeah. Yeah. Total sense to me because it teaches them how to start making those decisions for themselves and they can watch you modeling. And they can learn what the consequences are of decisions that they make, which they often don’t think about in the teenage years, I don’t think. They have that joy of youth [00:15:00] that everything’s going to be fine don’t they?

Lidia Molina Santos: Oh. They know more than anybody. So that’s the thing, because they think they know more than anybody, that’s what you have to speak with them. Okay. Show me. Yeah, explain to me what is that knowledge that you have the I don’t have. Yeah. And then based on that, you create that those rules and those boundaries. They also will give you okay, if I break these rules on these boundaries, this can be the consequences. This can be my punishment, you know. Like I came up with, when I had this with my kids I had a really great insight. My oldest child, she says, oh, mommy, what happens if I, for example, I steal in the shop. And I say, okay, so what do you think should be the punishment?

And she goes well, if my child is stealing in the shop, then I will make my child to work in that shop. And I’m now, that is [00:16:00] very interesting because I wouldn’t come up with that idea, you know? So that, that is the beauty of yes, he thinks that he knows everything, but let them explain to you what they know.

Annette Clubley: Mm. Mm, mm. I love that idea. Yeah. I love that idea because you know, it opens that gate for them to talk to you and you’re not, you’re not driving the conversation, they’re driving the conversation. So that’s going to appeal to them because yeah, they are so …

Lidia Molina Santos: Most of the time they see us like Sergeant Pepper, you know it is like, they, they don’t see that we are accessible because we always telling them what to do and what not to do. We are not interested on them. What did you do in school today?

Yeah. We just like always imposing rules and stuff, knowing them what’s happening in the world. What’s happening with their [00:17:00] friends, what, the things that they want to do in life. Most of them have no clue, but we expect them to know.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was 16. I changed my career like, three times I went to different colleges to know what I wanted to do. Only when I was 40 something. I knew that I wanted to be what I am today. So we tend to expect from our kids to know what they want to know for the rest of their lives, when they have no clue of who they are. And we’ve put in so much pressure into them. I think that’s wrong.

Annette Clubley: Yes. Yes. They are under so much pressure anyway, just the way that the whole academics situation here in the UK is set up. I think it’s extraordinary extraordinary pressure, right from day one. It’s just incredible. I think. And yeah, so you’re exactly right. So because by not telling them what [00:18:00] to do, by not forcing your opinion onto them, you stop them from clamming up.

Because their immediate reaction to the shouting or to the you’ve not done something right, or the criticism or whatever is to clam up. And so therefore you talk to them, less and less and less. So if you could open that communication by saying, okay, well you tell me how you’re feeling and you tell me what you think about this, and you tell me what the consequences should be, that opens the gate to them to start talking to you again. And that’s gotta be the key, hasn’t it? Because if you’re not talking, you can’t sort it out and you know, let’s face it, you wouldn’t go to a friend and tell them what to do.

Lidia Molina Santos: No.

Annette Clubley: I mean..

Lidia Molina Santos: Being in a job and you have a manager or boss that is unapproachable, you know, if you have a problem or something, would you go to your boss and talk to your boss? You wouldn’t, you know, it’s the same for them. We are the role models. If we are unapproachable to them, they can find [00:19:00] another role model, usually in the wrong places, which is, kids their age..

Annette Clubley: Peers

Lidia Molina Santos: ..Who are also learning how to be themselves. That is why it’s so important to let them speak, to show interest in them, to know them, be curious about them instead of just like all the time, nagging them with rules, which is mostly what we do.

Annette Clubley: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. So now I’m a parent and I know I need some help. How do you work with, how do you work with people? And you’ve already mentioned you’ve got a group coaching program. And I’m assuming you do one-to-one coaching as well for some people?

Lidia Molina Santos: For some people yes I do. So I didn’t run the program with.. I run the program with groups of parents, but I also do one to one and I kind of follow the same structure.

Three steps to better communication with your teen

So the program is based on three pillars. [00:20:00] So it teaches us parents; who we are, find out parental identity, where our parental methods come from. How are we projecting this into our children? How is affecting us? How is it affecting the way that we react to the behavior, how is affecting this into their relationship?

So basically it’s like find your identity as a parent. Your legacy for the children. The parent’s part, and then the pillar number two is how to learn who your kid is inside and outside. What’s going on for them. If there is any underlaying problems that we haven’t identified, you know? The third pillar is how to communicate with them because communication is in many different ways.

It’s not only the words that we speak. So I teach the parents all the ways of communication that they, so there is not excuse on, I can’t communicate with my [00:21:00] kids. You know, there’s so many ways that you can cross that wall. And then I added something this year because I deal with a lot of parents with suicidal kids.

Suicidal teenagers

I was a suicidal kid. My kid is suicidal too. So I added a new model to help parents to bring awareness about suicide, because a lot of parents don’t want to talk about this with their kids. They don’t have a clue that the kids are suicidal. And so this model is going to help them to identify the clues, to teach them how to speak about it and teach them how to keep their kids safe for now.

Annette Clubley: Okay. Yeah, that must be critically important. I can’t think of anything more devastating for a parent than for a child to try and attempt their life or succeed for that matter.

Lidia Molina Santos: Because you always have that question in your mind. Why? And it can happen to kids [00:22:00] that look really happy and they do really well in their school and it can happen to kids are really depressed. So no, no teenager is safe from it.

Annette Clubley: No.

Lidia Molina Santos: And I think the question will be always like, why, why did they do that? And this is what the final part of their normal parental parenting program is bringing, to bring awareness of the parents that even though your kid looks happy, it can happen to them too, you know, it’s not a question of oh, this is never going to happen to me. Yes. It can happen to you. If you don’t have a good relationship with your kids, where your kid can tell you our feelings, it can happen to you.

Annette Clubley: It absolutely can. It absolutely can. And it’s the most shocking when you have no idea that it’s going to happen. And you’re left with, as you say that question of why. So [00:23:00] ideally the situation would be that they would work their way through the program and improve the communication. And that would then pre-empt any sort of suicidal tendency? Because I’m assuming that learning to communicate better and learning to voice their feelings would help them to move away from that tendency and out of depression.

Lidia Molina Santos: I had the case of well, my son has been into A&E a number of times. Sometimes it’s worse. That all this, but in a lot of cases, he has let me know before he’s done anything. Mom, I’m feeling like this. Can you please help me? Sometimes he had an overdose and he came to me, mom with packets of the pills or whatever he has taken. Mom, please help me. I need to go to hospital, you know, and that is the, that is the key point that [00:24:00] your child feel safe and comfortable to come to you, and express this what’s happening in the, in the head.

Annette Clubley: Yes. Yes. Yes. And I think it’s always super important, even if it happens a number of times that you take it seriously.

Lidia Molina Santos: Yeah, of course, this is what a lot of people have it wrong. They think there is a cry for attention. It’s not, it is not, no one does that for a cry for attention. When, when you decide to take your life is because for a long time, something has been happening. You’ve been thinking about something. You know, and that that’s what’s happening.

It’s not a cry for attention. It’s because you’ve been hanging on something for a very long time and you don’t see the way out. So that’s another [00:25:00] thing that parents have to understand when the kids self harm, when the kids try to commit suicide, it’s not a cry for attention. There is something deeper there. They need immediate help.

Annette Clubley: Absolutely. Absolutely. They do. Absolutely. They do. And so yes, yes. I think that’s got to be the most important message is don’t, don’t ignore that. It’s always serious. It’s ,always take it seriously. Even if you think that it might not be, that it might not be serious that even if you think that they might not carry it through, you should always take it seriously.

Lidia Molina Santos: I mean, the statistics said that two kids between the age 15 and 24 are taking the life every day in UK, only.

Annette Clubley: Really?

Lidia Molina Santos: Huge. Yeah. And that doesn’t count. Oh my neighbors are doing something in the garden and sorry for the noise. And [00:26:00] that’s not counting younger kids. My kid was 11. The first time that he suicide, you know, 11, and those are not into the statistics. So imagine how many more kids are there trying to take their lives every day.

Annette Clubley: Yes, that’s frightening. Yes. That’s something. That’s frightening. Okay. So what’s the best way for a parent to get hold of you? Is it your website? Is it social media?

Lidia Molina Santos: I’m all over the place so they can find me everywhere. Facebook will be the best way. So just going, just going to my Facebook profile Lidia Molina Santos and find me there. Then I … . I have a free guide that parents can download here . My website.. sorry about my dog… My website is parenteen.co.uk. So that will be parenting, but with parent teen. [00:27:00] I can give you all the links.

Annette Clubley: Yes, please. Yes, please. And then I can add them to the, add them to the post. So parent teen with two Ts?.

Lidia Molina Santos: It will be P A R E N T E E N .

Annette Clubley: Okay, great. And also I was about to say Lidia with an i, not a Y.

Lidia Molina Santos: Yeah.

Annette Clubley: Okay, great. All right. Well, yeah, I always add links to the bottom of the blog posts so that people can come and find you that way. Anyway. So yeah, I will do that in this case. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me.

Lidia Molina Santos: Thank you for having me today.

Annette Clubley: It’s been super interesting, super interesting. I’m past that stage, but yeah, it’s really, really interesting. I can see it in the children around me, you know, in the teenagers around me. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Thank you very much.

Lidia Molina Santos: Thank you.

Find Lidia on Facebook or her website www.parenteen.co.uk
The free download she mentioned is here: https://www.helpingparentsandteens.co.uk/free-hvg-download