Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.
- Virginia Satir -

My Family Talks workshop strengthens family bonds by exploring ways to stay connected. The one-day or weekend workshop for families emphasizes communication with empathy, including the art of active listening. Families will learn to express love, understanding and respect towards one another. Parents will get to understand differences between equal treatment and fair treatment and learn how to deal with negative situations and feelings.

Through a series of engaging, entertaining and interactive activities, My Family Talks workshops help families to open up compassionate communication channels within the home, where a safe environment to share is fostered.

My Family Talks workshops are currently available to groups of 5 to 20 families. For further information, please contact us.

Talk with Your Teen

You are having a respectful conversation with your teen when you are able to:

  • Have a conversation with your teen even about a tough issue
  • Actively listen and your teen is responding
  • Use a tone that says "I care about saying this to you and you are an important person to me." in any situation
  • Back off if your teen wants to keep something private
  • Allow your teen to have a different point of view than your own and do not continue to try and 'win' the conversation as if it were a debate


    • Stop what you are doing
    • Look at your teen
    • Give your full attention
    • Listen to what is said
    • Comment on what you think you heard


      • Stop and do nothing but breath
      • Identify the thoughts that are making you angry ("I am angry because I need ___.")
      • Connect to your needs behind those thoughts
      • Express your feelings and unmet needs appropriately


        • Sense your own feelings and needs and come from the "I" place: "I realize I feel ... when you ..."
        • Sense the other's feelings and needs: "Are you feeling ... because you would like ...?"
        • Use O-F-N-R statements: Observations, Feelings, Needs, Requests


          When I see __


          I feel __


          because I need __


          Would you be willing __?

          • Cook a meal/bake cookies, having meals
          • Watch a movie
          • Go for a walk/hike or a bicycle ride
          • Go bowling/fishing/swimming
          • Take a class
          • Volunteer
          • Solve a problem/puzzle, play a game
          • Plan a birthday party/family vacation/future
          • Plant a garden
          • Have a picnic or a campfire
          • Go to a museum, zoo, sport event/concert or to the beach/lake
          • Make t-shirts/sweatshirts or a pillow/quilt out of old t-shirts/blankets
          • Make a scrapbook, journal, video or time capsule
          • Stargaze or find shapes in the clouds
          • Develop a new healthy habit
          • Build or add to a family website
          • Have a garage sale
          • Read/write a book/letter
            • Say "good morning" and "good night" everyday
            • Say "I love you" often
            • Hug and kiss your teen
            • Have conversations even just for a minute
            • Plan/do activities/chores together
            • Schedule in family time
            • Ask for your teen's opinions
            • Know what's important to your teen
            • Involve in your teen's interest
            • Give your teen your full attention
            • Spend more time listening than talking
            • Practise effective compassionate communication
            • Share your morals/values, thoughts & fears
            • Be approachable
            • Admit when you are wrong
            • Admit that you don't have all the answers
            • Admit that you don't know everything
            • Allow your teen to make decisions/mistakes
            • Help your teen learn to make good decisions
            • Guide your teen
            • Support your teen
            • Encourage and praise your teen
            • Accept your teen's different opinion
            • Practise fair and firm discipline
            • Delegate appropriately
            • Celebrate successes and commiserate failures
            • Promote positive habits and attitudes
            • Focus on what you can control
            • Set goals that can be accomplished
            • Decide what's important/what's not
            • Convey your expectations clearly
            • Keep your emotions in check
            • Respect your teen's privacy
            • Take time out for yourself
              Download Brochure (pdf)