When Teen Friends Grow Apart

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It can be hurtful when friends change, leaving their old friends behind. – Sandra

“At school my best friend ignores me because she is friends with the “popular kids.” I tried to tell her one time how I am feeling but she walked away, crying.”

Sometimes friends make choices that can create distance between the two of you, like your friend trying too hard to fit in with the popular kids at school. On one hand, your friend obviously likes spending time with you. On the other hand, she also dreams of being popular.

Each person must ultimately learn whether they prefer to have just a few close friends, or many acquaintances. Acquaintances are friends of convenience, who are around in the good times, but are not always around when you need them. Although you can’t help your friend to make up her mind, it sounds like you have a clear idea of what kind of friendship you want.

It is understandable that you are bothered by her ignoring you. Her crying the last time you mentioned how you feel seems to indicate she is struggling with some feelings of her own. Ideally, it would be good if you could both sit down together and talk about your enjoyment of being friends. In a perfect world, the two of you would then come to some understanding of where you want to go from here.

It would be nice if you could come up with an agreement that she would stop ignoring you, and that she could still make new friends. Juggling two sets of friends, however, requires a lot of maturity on everyone’s part. Unfortunately, this level of maturity may not yet be present with all the people involved.

Another option is for you to decide to patiently wait until after school to spend time with her. In this way, you could still be friends while she explored whether the experience of being popular is really what she thinks it is. If this is your choice, it would be important to not ruin your time together by complaining.

The last option is let her move on, knowing that sometimes people just grow in different directions. Although this is a very sad decision, you need to ultimately take care of yourself. If her ignoring you is too painful, then this could be a good choice..

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.

Is Your Teen Having “Best Friend” Problems?

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Does your teen have a best friend that she don’t get along with? Read on to learn how to address this issue. – Sandra

“My best friend Anna, I like A LOT. But another friend Hannah, who is Anna’s best friend, I don’t really trust, because she has lied to me or just plain ignored me. I am thinking about avoiding Anna because of Hannah, but I don’t want to hurt Anna. What can I do?!?”

You mentioned that you and Hannah are best friends with Anna. Often, when someone is best friends with more than one person, their other friends may get competitive for their attention. In this case, Hannah may be competing with you.

It sounds like it hasn’t been pleasant for you to spend time with Anna when Hannah is also around. Given that she has ignored you and has even lied to you, I can appreciate that you don’t feel like you can trust her.

In situations like these, you always have options. You can, as you suggested, not be Anna’s best friend anymore. But as you said, you don’t want to hurt her, and she isn’t the one you are having problems with. So, perhaps there are other options you may want to consider.

Sometimes, it is less intense when you add more people into the group. Whereas with only 3, if Hannah is talking to Anna, you may be left with no one to talk to. But with even one other person present, the equation becomes more balanced.

A second option is to invite Anna to spend time alone with you. At school, this may not be as easy to do, but after school and on weekends, she may be willing to set aside time to be with you.

Although perhaps not your first choice, another option is to find a way to get closer to Hannah. If you are both competing for Anna’s attention, you may not have even given your friendship a chance to grow. If you could figure out a way to make Hannah a friend of yours, this could solve your problem.

We will not necessarily like everyone. Not everyone will like us. People can change over time. Which is why our friendships also can change over time. If you are enjoying Anna now, and are not ready to give up your friendship, then you need to find a creative way to work with the choices she is making about other friends in her life. Perhaps you might want to add a new friend to your life…

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.

Is Your Teen Jealous Of Her Older Sister?

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It may feel so unfair when an older sister gets to do things that you are not yet allowed to do. Here are some ways to support your daughter. – Sandra

“My older sister gets to do so much more than me, which I don’t think its fair!  How can I feel happier with what I have?

I think the first thing we need to establish is that your sister is not to blame for the privileges she gets for being older.  This has nothing to do with their love for either of you. It has everything to do with their trying to make wise decisions about their children’s  safety.

So getting angry at your sister is not the best idea. Because she is older, she will be able to teach you a lot of things that will make your life easier. At the very least, you can learn by watching her. Ideally, she will be a friend of yours for the rest of your life.

The following are a list of some stress reducers when you find yourself feeling jealous and upset:

1. Politely ask your parents when they think you will be able to participate in the activity you are feeling jealous of. (This may reassure you that your time is coming soon, but just be careful not to nag them.)

2. Start a gratitude journal where you write down at least 5 wonderful things that happened in your day, each night before you go to sleep. (you could even share this with your parents if you wanted to)

3. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are loved very much by your family, and that when your sister was your age, she had the same limitations that you do now.

4. Try to avoid comparing yourself to anyone, and live every moment of your life enjoying what you have.

If you were to fill a glass of water halfway, someone might tell you it is half empty. Someone else might say it is half full. The half full person is focusing on the positive. I suggest that you do too. Life definitely tends to be much more fun that way!!

Also, remember that younger sisters still get cool perks that older sisters don’t have anymore! (like having your laundry done for you) Soon enough you’ll be old enough to get the privileges that your older sibling gets.

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.

Encouraging Your Teen’s Creativity

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

There is a whole population of creative children gifted with the ability to dance, sing, paint, draw, write music, play instruments, and express themselves. – Sandra

Some adolescents are academically oriented, and can thrive in the classroom. But others perceive life through colors, sound, images and movement.

All teenagers want and need to feel masterful in some way. How are we honoring a teen’s authentic self-expression if we are asking them to fit into a mold that does not value their talents?

Supporting your teen in finding ways to develop their creative expression is giving your child the gift of a lifetime. This could look like guitar classes, a standup comedy workshop, painting, dancing, singing, and writing lessons.

If your child shows interest in expressing themselves through the arts, be sure to give them the space to do so. Remember, academics are only part of the equation in building a fulfilling life.

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.

High School Means New Opportunities

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Is your teen daughter  starting at a new school this fall? Read on for tips on how to help her cope. – Sandra

“I am starting high school next month and I’m a little nervous! Can you give me any tips?”

Going to a new school can mean new beginnings. If there was anything challenging for you about your previous school, you have a chance to make some changes.

Have you ever noticed when some people come back from their summer vacation, they may look or act differently? Everyone grows through their experiences. How have you grown in the last school year? What would you like to do differently this school year?

Do you want to be a better student? Do you want to try a new sport? Would you like to meet some new people? This is an opportunity to set some new goals you would like to accomplish.

Sometimes, your friends go along with you to your new school. Sometimes, you need to make new friends. Think about what you liked about the friends you had last year and look for similar qualities in the people at your new school. But if you experienced a lot of drama with your friends last year, you may want to thing about choosing new friends.

If you find that after the first couple of weeks you are still feeling uncomfortable, ask for support! Express your feelings to your parents. Speak to a teacher you feel you can trust. Talk to a friend. You don’t have to go through this alone. Changes are not always easy. Sharing with someone about what you are going through begins the process of finding solutions to help you feel better.

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.

Helping Your Teen Daughter Feel Beautiful

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It is important for teens to understand that a person’s physical appearance is only a small part of who they are. Read on to learn how I might approach this subject with your daughter. – Sandra

Do you know anyone who looks beautiful from the outside, but are really not nice people? Have you noticed others who are not beauty queens, but you love being with them? 
It’s not uncommon for young women to compare themselves to the airbrushed images of today’s fashion models. The media is full of photos of girls who appear to look flawless. Without make-up, perfect lighting and good camera angles, the girls teens see on television and on billboards do not really look the same as they do in the advertisement. They have pimples and have bad hair days like everyone else.
Everyone is born with a unique look. The size and shape of one’s facial features as well as one’s body shape is usually a combination of genetics. Thus everyone needs to learn how to work with what they’ve got. Have you noticed that people who eat fresh fruit and vegetables, and drink plenty of water have good skin? People who exercise regularly have a nice muscle tone and fit well in their clothes.

Before you decide to change, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. Who are you changing for? Who are you comparing yourself to? What do you like about yourself? What can you realistically change?

If you decide to make some changes, make sure they come from a place of loving yourself … for your physical appearance is just a small part of who you really are. (And hopefully, the people you choose to surround yourself with are wise enough to know this)

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.

Help Your Teen Define The Word “Friendship”

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Some people prefer to have just a few very close friends, while others like to experience a variety. – Sandra

“I like to sit with different people on a day to day basis. Some friends think that I am not sitting with them because I do not like them. What should I do?”

It sounds like you get along with, and are well liked by many people. That is a very positive thing. It can be challenging, however, when friends have different definitions of what they think friendship means.

To some people, being a friend means that you spend all your time with them. Others may be accepting of the fact that you may have more than one friend, or group of friends. I think it could be helpful to talk to the people who are complaining, and find about their definition of friendship.

If your friends are merely feeling a little insecure, re-assuring them that they are still very important to you may help them to let go of the fear that you no longer like them. If they are the possessive type, and don’t want to share you with anyone else, you may want to let them know that your definition of friendship is a bit different than theirs.

After talking with them, if they are still being critical of your choices, you will need to look at whether you think it is worth your giving up all of your other friends to be with them. This is entirely up to you.

The bottom line is that as hard as you may try, you won’t please everyone all of the time. You can, however, do your best to be honest and clear about who you are and your definition of “friendship.” In this way, the people who choose to be your friend will know what to expect, and can simply enjoy their time with you.

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.

Help Teens Create A Fulfilling Life

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

The following are some common themes that are often a cause of suffering in adolescents. Do you recognize any of these in your teen? – Sandra

•    the struggle to be perfect
•    wanting to please everyone and losing oneself in the process
•    feeling isolated and invisible to parents and peers
•    feeling angry, but not having the skills to express oneself productively
•    feeling socially awkward
•    comparing oneself to air-brushed images of celebrities and feeling inadequate

Being a child means being dependent upon parents and needing to follow their rules. This can also be true for being a student, as well as a member of society. Yet, teens must also learn how to balance their own needs. This requires that they become aware of their “needs,” which are different from their “wants.”

What does your teen like to do in their spare time? Are they comfortable being alone? Do they need music on while they study, or do they prefer silence? Do they enjoy hanging out with many friends, or just a few close ones? Does exercise relieve their stress? Do they need a full night’s sleep to avoid feeling irritable?

High school can be an intense time, filled with competition and the pressure to perform. For many teens, this translates into thinking that they are their grades, their looks, or who they hang out with. Yet teens are not just measures of external measures of success. They are individuals with feelings and dreams.

An essential part of parenting is to provide opportunities for you teen to experience new things and become self-sufficient. It is also not uncommon for parents to have expectations that they would like their child to fulfill. However, if your teen feels called to be a journalist and you want them to be a doctor, it is important to have a heartfelt discussion where they can feel seen and heard.

It takes an act of courage to be yourself without apology. It takes self-love to look in the mirror and see the precious person that you are. It takes self-awareness to speak your truth. These qualities are earned through encouraging your teen to reflect on who they are and where they want to go with their life.

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.

Parenting Techniques To Address Bullying

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It is helpful for teachers and parents to understand what causes a teen to become a bully. The reality is that these kids are often struggling to find appropriate ways to get their needs met.- Sandra

When a child has been frequently put down, and/or ignored at home, they may attempt to gain self-esteem putting others down. They may also mimic the behavior of the adults who have behaved aggressively towards them.

The key message for parents is that it is important to understand what emotional support your teen needs from you. When these needs aren’t met, teens may resort to negative ways of seeking attention or gaining power.

If your teen has been accused of bullying, help them explore what they were gaining from intimidating, mocking, or ganging up against another. Then consider how your parent-child relationship could be improved to better meet those 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.

How Is Your Family Handling Change?

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Whether you are a parent or a teenager, change is seldom easy. It can challenge the relationships between a parent and teen when either or both of them are under stress. – Sandra

With the changes in today’s economic climate, parents and teens are being challenged to negotiate for what they want and need in ways that they perhaps haven’t had to before. How can parents and teens use this opportunity to cooperate and better understand each other?

Teens are not the only one experiencing changes in their bodies. Parents are getting older, and may be going through hormonal changes as well. How can parents and teens have empathy for the changes they each may be going through?

Unfortunately, not everyone chooses to stay married. Sometimes best friends move away. Boyfriends and girlfriends can break up. During these times, it is helpful that teens and parents make space for each other to mourn their loss, and perhaps even find ways to find compassion and support for each other in their process of letting go.

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.