Surviving The Teen Years

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Here are some practical steps to help you and your adolescent have a better relationship. – Sandra

Start by creating an “open door” policy with your teen where they can come to you with any questions. Don’t be afraid to address topics with your teen such as drugs, alcohol, and sexuality. Stay informed on who your teenager’s friends are, as well as your child’s interests and hobbies. Ask your teen questions, but also understand that ultimately, sharing is their choice.

To help your teenager learn to take responsibility for their own actions, you’re going to need to grant them some privacy. In a perfect world, their phone calls and room would be off limits to snooping. However, if you suspect something serious is going on with your child, like substance abuse or other illegal activity, it is your responsibility is to keep your teen safe.

As teens mature, they begin forming opinions and strive to become independent. Parents of teens can find it frustrating when their teen suddenly begins asserting themselves. The key is to listen intently to your teen’s feelings, trying to understand their experience. It is important to allow space to develop their own opinions, even if it differs from yours.

With all the emotional changes taking place with adolescence sometimes your teen may feel depressed, lonely, or upset. Remember, you do not need to fix their feelings or tell them that they should not feel that way. Give your teen permission to feel exactly what they are feeling and work through your discomfort about their feelings with a trusted partner, friend, or therapist.

If your teen wants to color their hair pink, paint their fingernails green, or wear a unique combination of clothing choices, think twice before you say no. Teenagers need to assert themselves, and it’s far better to allow them do things temporary and harmless. Save your objections for things like substance abuse, character values, and safety.

Even though they may not show it, teens want and need the approval of their parents, despite acting frustrated with their parent’s rules. They actually understand and appreciate that their parents care enough about them to expect certain things such as good grades, acceptable behavior, and adherence to family’s values. Reward their good efforts by consistently noticing and acknowledging the things you think they are doing well.

Finally, a unified parental front is crucial during the teenage years. Decide as a team what your expectations are and then stick to them. If you tell your teen they’re grounded for the weekend, and then forget to follow through the next day, you are teaching them to not take you seriously.
Consequences and Punishment are not the same thing. Consequences are not about yelling or getting angry with your teen. Consequences are simply the act of imposing a restriction or requiring a task for a period of time.

Warning Signs to on the lookout for:

  • Sudden change in eating patterns
  • Isolation from peers and family
  • Brushes with the law
  • Sudden change in grades
  • Joking/talking about suicide
  • Regular disobedience at home and/or with teachers
  • Significant loss or sudden change of friends over a period of time
  • Suspicion of substance abuse

Keep your eyes open for these warning signs and seek consultation when you see them.

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teach Your Teen To Argue “Respectfully”

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

In your relationship with your teenager, it is important to be open to hearing their point of view. – Sandra

First, it is essential to really listen while your teen is talking, instead of formulating your response in your head. Also, try to stick to topic you are discussing and not jump around by bringing up past hurts or misunderstandings.

The foundation of any respectful argument involves avoiding: raising your voice, swearing, name calling, or pointing your finger in their face. You never want to use threats or taunts, which will only escalate the tension between you. A healthy relationship is based on honesty and trust, so you also don’t want to exaggerate to make a point.

You should never be placed in a position where you fear an argument could get physical. Laying a hand on anyone in anger is not okay. Therefore, it is wise to agree upon a safety phrase or gesture that indicates it might be helpful to take a “time out” from an argument which has gotten too heated.

You become a role model for your teen by being willing to apologize if you realize you are wrong. These recommendations will obviously work best if you and your teen can both agree to use them. Remember, you are teaching your teen that it’s easier to “hear” and “be heard” when opinions are expressed thoughtfully and respectfully.

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

A Note From the Santa Monica Family Therapist

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

If your teen or young-adult child is struggling, I can help you discover the cause, and remedy it. – Sandra

I imagine that you found this website because you, or member of your family are experiencing some challenges. I’m here to tell you that you are not alone–help is just a phone call away.

I invite you to take that critical next step to heal your child’s pain and create a better future for your family. Reach out and schedule a free parent consultation, and allow me to demonstrate the support I can offer to you and your family.

I look forward to speaking with you!

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Understanding the Teenage Brain

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Have you noticed that Adolescence is now starting at younger ages than in previous generations? Read on to learn how these changes may be affecting your teen. – Sandra

Teenagers are going through a transitional time where their brain is rewiring itself for emotional attachment, reproduction, and ultimately the creation of a stable family structure, thus ensuring future generations. There can be a noticeable gap between your child’s intelligence and behavior during the teen years. We used to attribute this to the assault of a “hormonal hurricane.” However, there is actually a lot more going on in the different structures of your teen’s brain, that end up having long-term consequences.

Did you know that the myelin sheathing, which insulates nerves, increases by 100% in teenagers? Myelin sheathing is responsible for the conduction of nerve impulses to the brain. Thus, as the nerves become twice as efficient, this feeds the intensity and speed of your teen’s reaction. The teen years are also time of the lowest levels of Serotonin in the human brain during human life. Serotonin is the primary transmitter in the limbic system, having to do with morale and moods. Low serotonin levels create a state in which your teen becomes more susceptible to stress and overwhelm.

The brain does not grow in an orderly fashion. It first over-produces a bunch of connections that go to new parts of the brain. Then around age 16, through the mid-20’s, it starts eliminating connections based on how frequently they are used. The remaining connections determine who a person feels they are for the rest of their life. Have you ever heard that the teenage brain does not complete development until close to age 25? It’s true. Something called the pre-frontal cortex, responsible for impulse control–operating much like the CEO of a company, is not fully developed until your child’s mid-twenties.

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Free E-book for Teen Girls

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“This 82-page paperback that should be every parent’s and teen girl’s guide through adolescence.”

“What Would Your Teen Life Coach Say?” presents fictional teens with real-life situations like learning how to deal with physical changes, mood swings, and mean girls, how to talk to parents, siblings, boyfriends and girlfriends, how to set goals and define boundaries, and above all, how to be true to one’s self.

**Suggestion: Try sitting down with your daughter and reading a few pages together. Then discuss the challenges identified and how those issues might be affecting your daughter.

sandra dupont ebook for teen girls

If your teen is struggling, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it. I invite you take that critical next step, and allow me to demonstrate the support I can offer to you and your family.

Adolescent counselor, family therapist and respectful parenting coach for over 10 years based in Santa Monica, California.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Maximize Your Teen’s Cooperation

A Note From the Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Despite some bumps in the road, teens really do want to feel connected to, as well as gain their parent’s approval. – Sandra

Worst Mistakes Parents Make When Talking to Teens:

*Talking Too Much

*Nagging and Giving Multiple Warnings

*Using Guilt and Shame to Get Compliance

*Not Listening

*Yelling on issues which could’ve been handled with a straightforward tone.

(acknowledging Melanie Greenberg)

The foundation of effective parenting is leading by example. When children observe how we treat them – and others – they learn how to behave. Here are some practical questions to consider in your relationship with your teen:

Putting Love into Action:

1. How and when do you interact with your teen?

2. When and why do you smile at your teen?

3. How do you talk to your teen?

4. When do you choose to hug and kiss your teen?

5. Do you tolerate your teen’s upset or do you try to understand why?

6. How do you set limits with your teen?

7. Do you allow your teen to experience some frustration?

8. In what ways do you allow your teen to explore and to make their own choices?

9. Do you ever tell your teen how you are really feeling?

(acknowledging Magda Gerber)

The key to maximizing your teen’s cooperation lies in your connection with them. Your teen needs you to be their anchor, and not lose your balance when they lose theirs. And when you do lose it (being human), they need for the connection between you to be repaired. By making a conscious effort to repair your relationship following emotional upheavals, you model the self-regulation skills that they need to support them during life’s challenges.

Adolescent counselor, family therapist and respectful parenting coach for over 10 years based in Santa Monica, California.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Making Friends At A New School

A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist

It’s often difficult getting started at a new school. It may seen like everyone already has their friends, and some people just aren’t open to meeting new people. Here are ideas on how to talk to your teen about this. – Sandra 

“I just moved to a new school and nobody wants to be my friend. I’ve tried everything! What can I do to get at least one friend?”

Start by noticing who in your class looks interesting to you. Pay attention to what you like about them. Try to notice who has friendly eyes, a kind smile, and is generous to others. Pick out at least 5 people who you think might make a good friend. Try saying hello to them every day for a week and see how they respond. What you are doing is showing them that you are interested in getting to know them. How they respond back to you will let you know who might be interested in getting to know you.

Once you have gotten a pleasant response from someone to your saying hello, you can approach that person and find out more about them. Begin by introducing yourself and saying where you moved from, and asking them a question. The question can be about anything, but ideally, you want to find out what they do in their spare time. The secret to success is to find someone who you can have a fun conversation with. You do not have to settle for someone who just doesn’t seem that interested in you.

Good friendships are often based on shared interests, meaning that you like to do similar things that they like to do. It’s okay if not everyone is a match for you. Don’t worry about it. Just move on..

Adolescent counselor, family therapist and respectful parenting coach for over 10 years based in Santa Monica, California.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Helping Your Teen Thrive In School

A Note From the Santa Monica Family Counselor

Not every student learns at the same pace or in the same style. The following are suggestions on how to help your teen succeed in school. – Sandra

At the start of the school year, check in with your child by asking what they think of their teachers and how enthused they are feeling about each of the subjects they are studying. Once school is underway check in daily or weekly, depending upon the self-motivation of your particular child, by asking about their assignments and what their are learning.

If  your teen starts expressing feelings of helplessness or hopelessness about a particular class or classes this could mean a couple of things:

  • They need some assistance beyond the time spent in class to actually digest the new information, and thus a tutor may prove helpful.
  • They may have a learning style or learning disability that needs to be better understood, like ADD, dyslexia, or a sensory processing disorder. There are tests as well as treatment designed to help overcome these challenges.
  • They may be struggling emotionally with depression, bullying, low self-esteem or even substance abuse. These are all situations that would benefit from a consultation and/or treatment with a trained mental health professional.

The educational process offers students the opportunity to learn social skills, personal responsibility, respect for authority, how to manage their time, what areas interest them, as well as how to gather and absorb information. Instead of focusing only on an outcome, it is essential that parents support their child in having a positive and successful learning experience.

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teen Safety Behind Closed Doors

A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist

Do you know what actually goes on behind your teen’s closed door? Read on to learn more. – Sandra

Girls and guys alike may preen in front of the mirror, checking out their hair and skin, trying on outfits that they hope make them look good. They may also engage in phone conversations that consist of gossip, flirtations, or simply getting emotional support about teen “phase of life” issues. However, sometimes what goes on behind closed doors may not be so innocent. With the potential danger of sexting and cyber-bullying, it is helpful for parents to have a clear idea of what is going on in their teen’s room when no one is watching.

I personally like the concept of not putting a lock on a teen’s bedroom door. This does not mean that a parent can enter without knocking first. But it does serve as a reminder to teens that parents have access to their room.

Another interesting choice I see parents make is allowing their teens to entertain their boyfriends and girlfriends in their bedrooms. If the intention is simply to have some privacy for their conversation, perhaps a space can be designated for them to chat without interruption. If, however, space is limited, then you may want to consider the possibility of requiring that their bedroom door be left open …

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

6-Week Effective Parenting Class


A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist

With the right approach, you can build a healthier relationship with your teen and guide them on the path to becoming valued contributors to the community. – Sandra

By the end of this private and personalized 6-week course, you will be able to support your teenager in becoming more responsible, communicative and independent.

TOPICS INCLUDE:

  • Understanding Yourself and Your Teenager
  • Improving Your Response to Your Teen
  • How to Communicate Respect and Understanding
  • Encouraging Cooperation and Problem-Solving
  • Using Consequences to Build Responsibility

I propose a style of interaction with your teen that honors the authority of the parent while accommodating the teen’s need for personal autonomy. Families facing serious problems will be empowered by proven parenting strategies that can truly make a difference in their lives!

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.