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.

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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.

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
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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.

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.

Teen Safety Begins With Communication

A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist

Teens can be impulsive, rebellious and not always conscious of the consequences of their behavior. Here are my thoughts on supporting your teen. – Sandra

First, and foremost, you want to maintain open lines of communication between you and your teen. Yes, I understand that this is sometimes easier said than done. Consider the possibility of agreeing to disagree; for there is value in being able to talk to them, as well as listening to what they are telling you.

I have found that teens can be very forthright and honest. They often want to tell you about the mischief they are conceiving, as they are quite proud of themselves. For every secretive child, there are 5 more who don’t think twice about enthusiastically sharing about some of the outrageous things they are planning — or have done.

Try not to shut them down with quick judgments. If they are open to sharing with you, you have an opportunity to use that conversation to help them explore and understand the possible consequences of their behavior. Ask questions like: “So what do you imagine could be some potential problems with building a bike ramp off of the roof into the pool?”

Teens are amazing. Teens are wonderful. They are also oblivious of the fragility of these human bodies we reside in. They think they are invincible and will live forever. Do you remember when you used to feel that way? The good news is that you survived your Teen Years. Now it’s your turn to pass on your wisdom–to this next generation.

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.

Safe Driving Contract For Teens & Parents

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen Therapist

Due to limited experience and still evolving maturity, there is a high rate of accident involvement among first year teen drivers. – Sandra

Here are some thoughts on how to help keep your “newly driving” teenager safe:

Parents, guardians, and older peers have a responsibility to model safe driving behavior. Teens may misinterpret unsafe driving behavior as acceptable if they see you doing it. Please be conscious of the example you are setting. Since teens are comparing what they are learning in driver’s education, it is important to demonstrate what you expect of them.

A “Parent/Youth Safe Driving Contract” can be used to help you discuss safe driving issues with your teen. Here is the link to one offered by the I Promise Program. http://www.ipromiseprogram.com/PYSDC.pdf 

Developed together with youth, parents, and community members it helps families to prevent & address issues related to new or young driver car crashes. This contract highlights several issues regarding driving and responsibilities. By entering into this contract, you are making a commitment to each other to drive safely. I suggest you complete the contract together with your teen, discussing each issue, and ultimately reaching agreement on the items that best fit your family’s needs.

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.

Avoiding Teen Power Struggles

A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist

During the teen years, it is vital that parents understand their teen’s behavior rather than merely react to it. – Sandra

Why Teens & Parents Often Struggle During the Teen Years:

1. Teens feel conditionally loved: “I’m OK only if I live up to your expectations.”
2. Parents don’t often allow teens to learn from failure, an excellent motivator.
3. Teens can’t learn time management skills simply through the creation of “daily routine” charts.
4. Parents gift their kids too many things and then wonder why teens are unappreciative and want more.
5. Teens don’t learn problem-solving skills when parents lecture them.
6. Parents don’t always calmly and simply say, “I love you, and the answer is no.”
7. Parents struggle with being kind and firm while holding teens accountable.
8. Parents too often tell their teen what to do rather than inviting them to brainstorm solutions.
9. Parents expect teens to “remember to do their chores” which is not a developmental guarantee.
10. Parents are often more interested in short-term results. For example: I’ll force you to do your homework now even if it means you will not do your best – because you are rebelling.
11. Parents nag, which invites resistance, instead of allowing teens to explore for themselves the relevance of what you want them to do.

Being a “drill sergeant” or a “helicopter parent”  can undermine a teen’s self-esteem, which preventing them from developing confidence in their own abilities. Successfully navigating this phase of life involves setting boundaries and enforcing consequences without becoming punitive, angry, or judgmental.

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.

Facebook: A Teen Popularity Contest?

A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist

In order to be eligible to sign up for Facebook, kids must be 13 years of age or older. – Sandra

In a presentation I gave recently at a local middle school, I learned that many of the kids who have Facebook pages were under 13, and did not really understand the purpose of Facebook. Many teens and preteens seem to think that Facebook was designed as a popularity contest. Therefore, their intention in posting is to get people to “like” their posts and “friend” them. This can lead some teens to obsess over whether they are getting enough “likes’ and who has more friends.

Glued to their computers after school (or sometimes during, if they have the phone app) they stalk their peer’s Facebook pages to check for updates. Instead of using this website as a way to merely share special moments with people they care about, and who care about them, they set out to prove something – that they are worthy of attention.

Some teens go to such extremes as to post inappropriate photos of themselves and others, not recognizing the long-term consequences of those images floating around on the Internet – forever. Other teens engage in cyber-bullying, using the Facebook medium as a way to bash others and knock them down.

There is a maturity level that allows a young person to recognize who are actually their friends and to feel secure in, as well as nurture those relationships. I fear that 13 may be too young for many kids to have this level of emotional maturity. Until a child is able to step away from the computer on their own volition to attend to their homework and other responsibilities, Facebook may be an unnecessary distraction.

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.

Parents: Become A Cure To Bullying

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Read on to learn how you can help your teen deal with bullying. – Sandra

Has anyone ever intimidated you, or made you feel less than them? Perhaps it was a parent, a teacher, a neighbor, an employer, or a spouse. The feeling was probably one of helplessness and despair, along with perhaps some anger and the desire for revenge.

People often define things by right and wrong, good and bad, different and similar. When countries go to war over over religion and people are judged for the color of their skin or romantic preference, what lessons are we teaching our teens?

When little Johnnie hits a friend for taking his toy, there is an opportunity to teach him how to share. When bigger Johnnie mocks his classmate for his handicap or learning disability, there is an opportunity to teach him about diversity.

If your teen frequently hears you talk down about others, or experiences  you using intimidation to get them to do what you want, you may be teaching them how to be bullies, or victims. I invite you to consider the possibility of using your behavior to teach lessons of  respect, compassion and acceptance.

As for parents of the victims being bullied, there will always be people who don’t treat your teen in the way you would like. But if you help your teen to have a strong sense of self love, they can respond in ways that avoid giving bullies satisfaction.

There are ways to handle insults that remove their sting. For example, if someone makes a mocking comment about one’s clothes, hair, accent, or physical features, a response you could suggest to your teen might be to simply say: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Thank you for sharing yours.”

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.

Setting Social Media Limits For Teens

A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist

Are you aware of how much time your teen spends on the computer each day? – Sandra

Call me old fashioned, but to me, the purpose of Facebook is to let the folks who care about you, but can’t see or speak with you every day (like grandparents, best friends, or kids away at college) get a glimpse into how you are doing and perhaps spending your days. It is not about obsessively creating posts for each and every thing you think or do.

Questions For Parents To Ponder:

1. How much time does your teen spend on the computer each day?

2. Do you ever limit their time on the computer?

3. Does your teen spend more time on the computer than actually seeing their friends?

4. Does looking at Facebook every make your teen feel lonely or sad?

5. Does your teen ever complain of online fights or cyber-bullying?

6. Has your teen ever lost their Facebook privileges for neglecting their schoolwork by being online too much?

7. Does your teen have hobbies outside of using the computer?

8. Do you ever feel like you can’t get your teen to step away from their computer?

9. Does your teen ever use instant messaging on Facebook because they are too shy to speak directly to someone?

10. If your teen did not have a computer (or cell phone), how might they stay in contact with their friends?

If you teen is spending too much time on the computer, then you may want to consider helping them to cut back, replacing screen time with time spent on homework, with family and friends, or getting some fresh air and exercise. Here is one solution that I have recommended to parents: Net Nanny Parental Control Software

Net Nanny® provides:

  • Ease of use
  • Remote management
  • Alerts and reporting
  • Time controls
  • Profanity masking
  • Monitoring of IM chats

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.