Sometimes it can seem like teens completely tune out (or want nothing to do with) adults, especially authority figures, even more so--their parents. This can leave parents feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. “He’s not getting his homework done, but how am I supposed to get him on the right track when he won’t listen to me?!” “She seems irritable and agitated a lot these days, but when I ask what’s wrong, she rolls her eyes or grumbles, ‘nothing.’ How do I get through to her?”Read More
This blog is written by a therapist in midtown Sacramento and focuses on the concerns and struggles of highly sensitive people (HSPs) and of kids, teens and adults struggling with depression, anxiety or just trying to figure out what they want for themselves. There's help and hope through counseling and therapy!
Filtering by Tag: parenting teens
You know that old saying, “What do we do when we fall? - We get back up!”? It seems that our youth are really struggling with mastering this important life skill. There is a trend of perfectionism and a lack of resilience among teens that has caught the attention of mental health and education professionals, as well as parents. When we have adolescents who can’t bounce back from failure (i.e. are not resilient) and aren’t given the appropriate level of independence they need for healthy development, we end up with young adults who are incredibly anxious and depressed.Read More
Our society has made suicide a taboo topic to talk about, which is unfortunate since suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. Despite the myth, talking about suicide does not lead people to commit suicide. In fact, talking honestly about suicide can be a tool for prevention. Being open to talking with your teen about their feelings and about any thoughts of self-harm can actually help educate and support them with their mental health needs.Read More
You may have heard of DBT but have no idea what it is actually used for. Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT is a form of mental health treatment originally developed for adults who struggled with extremely intense and unstable emotions, as well as self-injurious behaviors like cutting and chronic suicidal thinking. Dr. Marsha Linehan is credited with creating this model of treatment, and over the past 30 years, it’s been found very beneficial for all kinds of issues, like depression, anxiety, impulsivity, eating disorders, etc.Read More
Do you see your teen lounging around--eyes glued to their phone constantly--and worry about what kind of adult they’re going to become and what on earth they’re going to do with their lives? You might be frustrated with their lack of caring . . . about seemingly anything serious or with their ability to sleep 17 hours a day or with how you have to tell them 8 times to unload the dishwasher, and you wonder when they’ll fiiiiinally get it together.Read More
Teens are constantly comparing themselves to unrealistic expectations of beauty. They have images of flawless people that are portrayed everywhere they look in social media, TV, movies, and magazines. Teens are not thinking about the fact that the majority of these people have gone through plastic surgery to look the way that they do and that these so-called “flawless people” have their photos airbrushed and photo-shopped in order for them to appear so perfect. Instead, they're asking themselves questions like “Why do I not look perfect like them?”Read More
It’s that time of year again. Summer is coming to an end, and school supplies line the shelves at Target. This year even the weather is cooler. All of this means your teen is either back in school or on the verge of going back. Talk of homework and class schedules, grades and college applications are swirling. Then, there are dances and homecoming and drivers’ licenses and dating.
Back-to-school time brings all of this to the forefront. Summer seems over, and future plans abound. Parents and teens alike want to get started on the right foot.
In our society, romance is all around us. Ooey-gooey love stories are glamorized and set high expectations for young relationships. Teens may not yet be aware of the fact that relationships are not usually how they are portrayed in TV shows or in the movies. The intensity in these storybook relationships draw teens in, and these skewed expectations are part of what can contribute to how hard teens take their first, or first, few break-ups. In your teen’s eyes, they may have envisioned their first relationship as something that would last a lifetime. They may have fallen so hard and so fast that they couldn’t possibly imagine the relationship would ever end. Your teen taking their break-up hard is really just a part of growing and learning for them. Because, as we all know, it’s called heartbreak for a reason!Read More
We are what we eat, think, and believe.
It is a simple statement, yet like a ripe and ready-to-eat onion, it’s got layers to it. We live in a fast-paced, demanding, and overly stimulating world that requires vast amounts of energy, time, and attention. Sometimes the last thing on our minds is eating. Especially in a world saturated with ready-to-eat, fast-food, to-go options.
“My parents just don’t understand me.”
“My kid doesn’t listen to anything I say!”
“My mom’s always yelling at me.”
“I have to tell him 5,000 times, and he still doesn’t do anything!”
“I get in trouble for everything!”
“I give one simple rule, and she can’t even follow it.”
Sound familiar? These are the kinds of statements we often hear from teens and their parents in the therapy room. Teens and parents can feel like they are speaking two entirely different languages with no translator, and the end result is that everybody ends up frustrated, hurt and unheard or misunderstood.Read More
Imagine this scenario:
You notice something is off. Every time you ask your teen daughter how she is doing, she just says, “I’m fine.” It’s frustrating because you know there’s more going on than “just fine” because you are feeling it. You’ve felt the shift in her behavior and mood for a while now. Maybe you’ve even asked Dr. Google late at night, putting in her behaviors and words— searching desperately for answers to that nagging in your gut that something is wrong.
Do you notice that your teen goes through these times when it seems like their entire body has been overtaken by emotion? Almost as if they’ve been consumed by a strange creature, and you’re not sure what’s going to be left when it’s all said and done?? You see a full-on Hulk standing in your living room where your once-lovely child was.
Yep, most teens go through times of HUGE emotions, and most parents of teens have been there, seen that! Due to the physiological processes occurring in teens as their brains grow and develop and as their hormones and body chemistry changes, feeling really big feelings is something most teens experience from time to time. And, it ain’t pretty. Not for teens and not for those who love them. Often, parents can feel like, “Wait, seriously? Seriously? We’re doing this AGAIN?”
Recently, I learned about a smartphone app that left me confused and shaking my head in wonderment. By the way, anyone else here feel like there’s some NEW app or online program or device to worry about Every. Single. Day? Uh huh, me too. No wonder so many parents and families and schools are trying to sort out how to educate and protect kids in this millennium!Read More
There MUST be boundaries around technology! Yup, I said it. Boundaries are a must-have when raising a child today in a digitally dominated era. I see more and more teens come into my office with their phones dinging and buzzing in their hands—demanding their precious attention and time. And, we all know how tantalizing those notifications are—ever tried not to check your phone when you know you just received a text?
This is where boundaries come in. Boundaries are how we create safe and constructive separations around people, places, and things. As adults, we have boundaries for all kinds of things—not sharing Trump’s latest Tweet at the dinner table, saving that beer for the end of our workday or not checking our work emails on Sundays. Boundaries keep us in a healthy check with the world and its multitude of demands and distractions.Read More
So, one of the best things we can do for our teens is to help them learn to be kind to themselves. Such kindness can be referred to as self-compassion, and there’s now a chunk of research that shows that self-compassion is really effective in helping people feel better and be happier. In fact, it’s argued that self-compassion is even more helpful than self-esteem, which requires us to rate ourselves and our abilities. Self-compassion, on the other hand, is the recognition that we all deserve kindness and caring just because we’re alive. It’s not earned; it’s a basic right.
Where do we start?