Michelle Obama Explains How To Talk To Teenagers

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) –  Michelle Obama’s “Better Make Room” initiative encourages teenagers to continue their education after high school, is facing a couple of challenges.

One of those challenges, the first lady explains, is communicating with Generation Z.

“The truth is, Generation Z – that’s what they’re called; these are the kids who are right now in high school and middle school – they interact with the world in fundamentally different ways than generations before them,” she said during the “Better Make Room” launch at the White House, according to PEOPLE.

She is experiencing how Generation Z operates first hand thanks to her daughters Sasha, 14, and Malia 17. The 51-year-old first lady shared some tips during the luncheon on how to get through to teens by breaking it down into different topics.

Her first was about email being dead.

“Don’t waste your time trying to connect with your kids via email. That antiquated method is as useless as Morse code. Instead, they’re into texting, and Snapchat and Vine – all that stuff,” she said.

She also explained to keep things short and sweet, such as not writing full text messages when responding back to the kids.

Another hot topic was emojis. Obama said, “If you really want to get their attention, use symbols, little symbols. There’s the smiley face, the angry face, and all the other faces that can show any emotion that you may be feeling.”

She also talked about Gen Z-ers and “doing it yourself.”

“Generation Z is a do-it-yourself kind of generation. These kids are working hard, and they are entrepreneurial, and they want content that’s authentic and raw – nothing polished, nothing packaged,” Obama said.

BetterMakeRoom.org is a place where students between 14 and 19 are encouraged to share stories about furthering education from older students. They are also given advice on taking the SAT/ACT, how to fill out financial aid forms and college applications.

Several celebrities such as LeBron James, Ciara and Tony Goldwyn have also joined to help with this initiative.

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