Frequently Yelling At Your Teen?

A Note From the Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Do you sometimes get so frustrated with your teen’s behavior that you find yourself yelling? – Sandra

Stepping away for a moment to keep yourself from exploding may give you space to determine what actions could actually help your teen move beyond their inappropriate behavior. Taking a deep breath whenever you feel stressed and overwhelmed can help calm your nerves and bring your thoughts into a more a peaceful alignment.

Once you feel ready to discuss your teen’s behavior, try expressing curiosity about their choices instead of judgment. In this manner, you are able to learn more about their motivation and point of view. Utilize their mistakes as an opportunity to help them to grow by creating a discussion where you respectfully impart your life wisdom.

Remember, you don’t have to fix everything today. Sometimes there is value in teaming up with a teen specialist who can help you explore solutions. Remember the old saying that it takes a village to raise a child? Let me support you in becoming the best parent you can be!

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

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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.

Middle School Girls and “Dating”

A Note From the Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

If your Middle School daughter is expressing interest in “dating” boys, here is a conversation worth having with her.,-Sandra

Middle School is a great time for teens girls to become friends with guys and learn who they feel comfortable around. Does your daughter like to be with guys who are funny? What about smart? Does it matter if the guy is drop dead gorgeous, if he is not a kind to her?

Teach your teen not to be in a rush to find someone just because some of their friends may have declared they have a “boyfriend”. If the guy she likes does not show interest in her, encourage her to move on … because not everyone is going to appreciate her charm and beauty.

If she has a crush on someone, she should just act normal by smiling and saying “hi” when she sees him. Should he stop and ask a question, she can be friendly and start a conversation, like finding out about his hobbies, or what he likes to do on his weekends. She wants to get to know him as a person.

What she really wants to know is whether he is the kind of guy who enjoys her company and treats her with respect. She needs to learn how to take good care of her feelings by choosing to hang around guys who prove themselves to be true friends.

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.

Does Teen Popularity Require Being Mean?

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen  & Family Therapist

Teen girls don’t always recognize the price they pay for giving up their values to be popular. Here is a conversation worth having with your daughter. – Sandra

I imagine that you have an idea of how your life would be different, and somehow better, if you became more popular. It might be helpful to write down the things you think you would gain by becoming a popular girl at your school. Also write down a list of things that you might also need to give up in order to gain that popular status.

Would being popular mean that you always have to be concerned with how you look, or what other people are saying about you? Would you need to gossip, or be rude to others? Would you be constantly worrying whether someone else is more popular than you? How would you know who your true friends are?

Not all popular girls are mean and not all mean girls are popular. Being mean may be an indication that someone is not very happy. People who choose to be hurtful, and rejecting of others, may be struggling with some insecurities that they try to hide by appearing tough, or overly confident.

Being popular can actually be an opportunity to make a positive difference in your world. Like the celebrities who use their influence to help others, you could be a positive role model that your classmates look up to. And, if you choose to pursue popularity, please don’t forget the people who already love you for who you are.

Is your teen stressed out or anxious about school or friends?

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Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
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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.

Spending Quality Time With Your Teen

A Note From the Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It is essential that parents provide their teenager with focused, non-judgmental attention.  – Sandra

The co-regulation of emotional states once available to teens through sharing with their parents, is getting interrupted by less emotionally fulfilling forms of interaction. This situation is leaving teenagers less equipped to handle the pressures of their live as well as navigate the waters of intimate relationships.

Parents who used to take the weekend off can now be seen answering calls or emails in the middle of a family activity. Teens who used to sit down together for dinner and talk to their parents or siblings now text their friends instead of speaking to the person sitting right next to them.

As a therapist for teens, I feel it is essential for parents to set aside time to provide their teenager with focused, non-judgmental attention. This will allow them to expand their parent-child interactions, and develop a secure and joyful bond between them and their teen.

1. Set aside 20 minutes a day where there are no interruptions. Turn off cell phones and try to pick a time when you do not have other things that either of you need to be doing.

2. Let your teenager know that this time will be your special time together, and that you have no expectations on how this time will look.

3. Follow your adolescent’s lead. Talk about whatever they want to talk about. Discover what they want from you during this time. Do they want you to admire them? Respond to them but do not take over and direct them.

4. Watch, wait and wonder about what your teen is telling you. Enter their world and reflect on their experience of life.

5. Avoid giving advice or showing displeasure with what they are offering to share with you.

6. Instead, make observations and/or ask questions about what you hear. (”You sound proud of yourself. What are you planning to do next?”)

7. Have fun. Try to give yourself over completely to the enjoyment of a glimpse into your teenager’s life. You will only find it boring if your mind is stuck in the adult world. Try to be entirely present with your teen. Your adolescent will tell you a lot about themselves and their world if you allow yourself to be receptive.

8. Remember this is not a teaching time. Try to avoid praising or criticizing. You want the motivation of making good choices to ultimately come from within the teenager rather than through praise or punishment.

9. Sometimes, these conversations may elicit strong reactions or uncomfortable feelings on the part of the parent. These reactions may be helpful to reflect on in a supportive setting, like with a parent educator, therapist or another parent you feel safe with. It is important to understand what your feelings mean in regards to your relationship with your child.

10. Try to spend quality time every day, particularly during times of stress in the teen or family’s life.

Last, but not least, make sure to also leave 20 minutes a day for yourself to rest, relax, and do something just for you. (Catching up on household tasks does not count) This time allows you to restore yourself.

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.

TV Shows Affect Your Teen’s Values

A Note From the Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Parents of teens are often not be fully aware of video content being viewed by their teen.  – Sandra

Television shows continue to inform the behavior of today’s adolescents. Unfortunately, actors who are older than the teens they portray, can give the illusion that actions come without consequences. Yet this is not so in real life.

Trends in viewing are offering more images of violence, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, misogynistic behavior than ever before. Teenagers are using these shows to model their behavior after–sadly, with dire consequences. Some teens are simply unable to separate reality from fiction, and are acting out this confusion.

Ideally, I think parents should determine age appropriate shows and set limits on viewing for pre-teens. With older teens, try and sit down to watch with them every so often, that you may be able to help your teen digest  and process the information that they are being exposed to.

Teen girls are exposed to at least 180 minutes of media daily. What can parents do? You can teach you teen how to look objectively at media portrayals of contemporary life and society, and invite conversations that create awareness of the unconscious messages they are being given about “normal” teen behavior, counter-balancing it with your family’s values.

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.

Keeping Your Teenager Safe

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Instead of staying in their immediate neighborhood, teens often go to nearby cities to meet up with their friends. – Sandra

Parents may think they know where their teen is, but this is not always the case. Telling a parent that they are spending the night at one friend’s, they get another parent to drive them across town to a party, working out their ride home however they can.

It is important to know who your teen’s friends are. Also get to know who their friend’s parents are, that you might have a sense of the type of values they uphold in their homes. It is a wise parent who gets contact information for any sleep-overs or parties, including the address, phone number and the name of the adult in charge of the event. It is also responsible behavior to call and introduce yourself, verify the details, and get a feel for who that other parent is.

In your home, there may be strict curfews, as well as restrictions around alcohol and other mind-altering substances. But in other homes, parents sometimes turn a blind eye to their teen’s entertainment activities, including drinking, and unsupervised access to bedrooms. The boundaries you set for your teen shows your caring. Do not cave in under pressure when presented with the claim that “all the other parents let their kids …”

I assure you that there are plenty of parents who still expect their teens to earn their trust.

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.

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.

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.

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.