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Take This Idea, Pls: Teach Teens/Parents Conflict Skills Online

Blogs are an important tool. For mediators, a blog is an essential communication tool that’s ideally suited for being rapport and trust with potential clients and referrals sources. Think of it as conversation over coffee gone digital.

While most of our efforts are focused on adults. I can’t help wonder about the value of helping teens and young adults deal with conflict more productively. I learned how valuable that can be early in my practice when I did conflict workshops for colleges. What if you used technology to reach an under served ADR market- teens and young adults?

Everyone blogs

Need more convincing. OK, about these facts from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the leading think tank on how Americans use the Internet:

  1. 64% of teenagers ages 12-17 create online content like blogs
  2. 35% of teen girls blog and 54% of those post photos online
  3. 55% of all online teens belong to a social networking site
  4. 32% of online teens say they have experienced ‘cyberbullying’
  5. 87% of parents of teens are online, 17% more than the average adult
  6. 45% of adults (60 million people) said the Internet played a major role
    as they made decisions or faced major life transitions
  7. Women tend to view the Internet as a way to gather and filter information from a support group with a deeper focus
  8. Men tend to search more broadly for information on a variety of topics and use search engines more

What do those numbers mean?

Of course, more research is necessary, but from these initial figures I can see a few market opportunities.

Host an interactive blogging experience that enables teens/young adults to share ideas on how to handle their most common disputes. Offer information and techniques in a way that appeals to them.

Get a programmer to build a software application, sometimes called a widget, that allows teens to enter in what they’d like to say to resolve a problem and get back either a neutrally-phrased sentence or a variety of options to move forward.

Create an interactive blogging experience for parents of teens so they can share their hard-earned wisdom and support with each other. Offer resources, ebooks, talking scripts, etc.

Develop a website that drills down deep into the conflicts moms experience in parenting teens, i.e. letting go of control or talking without hurting.

A quick search over at Blogflux suggests that while there are many parenting blogs, most are personal chronicles and few deal directly with teenagers. There is an knowledge gap you can fill.

And, if building and maintaining a blog seems daunting, work up to it by creating an information product first. Jan Marie Dore will talk about the easy steps to creating passive income on Jan. 10th. It promises to be a very popular call.

As always, I’d be thrilled to hear what you think so please comment below.

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!


Dina Beach Lynch

Dina Beach Lynch is a Workplace Mediator and Conflict Coach who supports professional practice groups. MORE >

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