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
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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.

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.

Teach Your Daughter To Expect Respect

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Do your daughter’s male friends treat her like one of the guys? Read on to learn how to teach your daughter how to handle this situation. – Sandra

“My guy friends at school treat me like one of the guys. They’re always making fun of me and stealing my hair bow. What should I do to get them to treat me with respect?”

I know that it can be aggravating when guy friends tease you, but did you know that teasing is a very common form of play among guys? If you observe groups of guys who are friends, whether they be young or old, you will often hear them teasing each other. The fact that they are teasing you probably means that they like you.

At a certain age, being treated with respect becomes very important to a girl. Adolescence is a time when girls and guys start practicing more grown up behavior. During this time, however, girls tend to mature a faster than their male friends. Thus, they may still treat you like one of the guys, instead of the way you would prefer.

If the teasing is getting to be too much for you, you may want to consider setting boundaries. This means that you politely excuse yourself from situations where you don’t feel comfortable. Essentially, you are giving them a clear message that their behavior is not okay with you.

Only you can decide what types of behavior you are willing to tolerate. The good new is that as guys get older, you will discover that your male friends will put more effort into trying to please you. The key is to communicate your feelings in a polite and open manner.

Girls and guys often see the world differently. It is important to remember that during adolescence, you are learning about each other through your interactions. Patience, kindness, and forgiveness go a long way towards building a bridge between you. At the same time, you have a right to decide how you want to be treated, and its up to you to choose your friends wisely.

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.

Pre-Teens And Summer Camp

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Read on for ideas on how you can support your pre-teen when going away to summer camp for the first time. – Sandra

Traveling away from home for the first time and leaving behind everything that is familiar to them can be scary for pre-teens. They don’t know what to expect and aren’t sure how people are going to respond to them. What they need to focus on is that it can also be a very exciting time! Adventure awaits them … along with the possibility of new friendships.

Summer camp is an opportunity for your pre-teen to practice their social skills and grow as a person. By stepping outside of their normal routine, they get a chance to learn from others, and return to school in the fall with new experiences under their belt.

One of the ways young people can deal with being homesick is to take something with them that feels comforting. One girl I know took a pillowcase with a photo of her family on it. Another took a pre-addressed notecards to send home letters telling her friends about her trip. At the very least, your pre-teen can take a couple photos to look at whenever s/he wants, and perhaps share with the people they meet.

The first day of camp is like the first day back at school after summer break. People who already know each other gather together and visit. Your pre-teen should to see who looks interesting to them, and introduce themselves. There are probably other new people like them who are very open to getting to know them.

They also want to try and participate in all the activities, and avoid making any snap judgments about people. By giving themselves permission to really enjoy themselves, and even be silly, they are more likely to have fun.

Remind your teen that summer camp is meant to be a break from school, so they don’t need worry about doing everything right.  A big key is having a good attitude. Kindness, gratitude and a sense of humor go a long way towards making new friends. Ultimately, they should seek out people who make them laugh, and spend time with 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.

Teens: Discover Your True Self-Expression

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Does your teen pretend to be someone that they are not? Here are some ways to address this with your teen. – Sandra

Where you are born, and where you go to school does not necessarily determine who you are meant to be. You come into this world with unique gifts and talents. You have your own physical expression, as well as your own personality and style. Add to that your life experiences, and areas of interest, and you have an individual like no other.

By trying on many types of different behavior, you are discovering your authentic expression. Are you the athletic type? Are you the scholar? Are you an entertainer, or an artist? Are you the peace-maker? These are questions only you can answer for yourself.

High school is a time when you will feel pulled to fit in with the crowd. Yet, by doing this, are you being true to yourself?  You may want to start thinking where you would like to go with your life

For some, this may mean raising a family in a home filled with love. For others, this may mean becoming an educator and contributing to changing the world. Anything is possible, but first, you must get to know yourself, and then find the courage to be yourself in all your magnificence.

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.

Addressing Unspoken Family Rules

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It is important to identify your rules for dealing with your teen as well as their rules for dealing with you. – Sandra

PARENTAL RULES:

  • “I’ll give you anything you want if in return you will love and respect me.”
  • “I need to raise my kids the exact opposite of how my parents raised me.”
  • “Since I am your mom, I obviously know what is best for you.”

TEENS RULES:

  • “Whatever trouble I get into, my dad will get me out of it.”
  • “It’s my parent’s job to do everything for me.”
  • “Everything should go my way. If not, I get to throw a tantrum and disturb everyone around me.”

WHERE DO THESE RULES COME FROM?
We usually make up rules based on varying experiences we have had in life, their purpose being to help direct the exchanges we have with others. These rules are generally neither right or wrong, but they either either work–or they don’t.

You should keep using the rules governing your exchanges with your teen only if you are getting positive results. Remember, hidden rules can sabotage a relationship.

We ultimately need to try and bring hidden rules out into the open. If there are hidden agendas or rules, people usually feel they are trapped, unclear about what is expected of them. This often leads to rebellion and/ or power struggles.

By putting the rules on the table they can be talked through, and made transparent. An example of naming the rules would be “the reason I can buy you the things you want is because I worked overtime. The reason I can do this is because you help out at home with the work I normally do. By your helping me, I can help you.”

Teenagers then know that there is a cost for what they are getting. By doing this, you help teens become more aware and grateful. Adolescents know that they must take part in the exchange, if only to say “thank you.”

It can be very helpful to first approach a teen asking “What do you want?” and clarify what that means to them. You can then ask the big question…”What are you willing to give to get that?”

Remember, you are in the power position. Power, used wisely, can eliminate power struggles allowing you to focus attention on creating exchanges that work.

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.

Would Parenting Support Help?

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Conscious parenting requires pausing to evaluate whether your words or actions are truly necessary, or helpful. – Sandra

Encouraging your teen should never include a demeaning or threatening word, nor cause them to lose their dignity or self-respect. Your encouragement should inspire and uplift them, and guide them towards a path of hope and possibility.

When teens act out, disobey, behave rudely or display disturbing emotions, it’s easy to dismiss their behavior as “bad” or “wrong.” It’s helpful to see these behaviors as your teen’s best attempt to meet their needs. It is an invitation for you look at your relationship with your teen, and try to discover the source of their unmet need.

Although it can be exhausting to cope with the challenges and demands typical of this period, parents need to deal with their teen’s mis-behavior in a straightforward way that affirms the dignity and power of both parent and the adolescent. The parent who cannot tolerate their teen expressing their autonomy (wanting to do things independently) will make their child feel as though the price of their budding independence is the loss of their parent’s love.

Respectful parenting means being able to see the frustrations your teen encounters when pushing against your boundaries as opportunities for them to learn self-control and respect for others.

If your teen 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.

What Is A Recipe For Happiness?

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Is it possible to remain happy while figuring out solutions to the obstacles that come up in life? Here are some thoughts you might want to share with your teen. – Sandra

The definition of happiness differs for everyone. Happiness can be anything from a blissful state of euphoria to a gentle feeling of contentment.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you on a daily basis? Does your happiness rating change from day to day, dependent upon the circumstances?

Have you ever noticed how feelings can change in a second? Like the weather, the sky can be filled with scattered clouds, and then suddenly it can get bright as a cloud moves away to reveal the sun.

Happiness is not some end point to be achieved, but rather something that occurs in moments. A more effective goal than trying to be happy all the time is to seek a sense of peace and contentment through the ups and downs, learning how to see and accept life as is, responding appropriately to each situation.

Our experience of life is often based on our perception of the events that are happening within it. As you face your challenges, try to stay aware of the love and abundance already present in 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.

Effective Parenting: Leading By Example

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A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist

The foundation of effective parenting is leading by example. When children observe how we treat them and others, they learn how to behave. – Sandra

A parent’s interaction with their child literally impacts their child’s brain development, and parenting styles can be passed down through generations.

In our society, shaming is an accepted parenting tool for controlling kids. Our body language, facial expressions, the tone and volume of our voice, threatening violence, withholding affection, rejecting behavior, using demeaning words or physical punishment definitely impact a child’s self-esteem and can teach them aggressive behavior.

As parents, we are responsible for modeling self-respect and respect for others. When we treat children with respect, they learn to treat themselves and others respectfully.  The foundation of any respectful argument involves avoiding the following: raising your voice, swearing, name-calling and pointing your finger in the other person’s face.

Conscious parenting involves pausing before speaking or acting to evaluate whether our words or actions are necessary. (Will your words or actions truly help the situation?) Encouraging your child should never include a demeaning or threatening word, act, or deed, nor should it cause them to lose their dignity or self-respect.

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 Teens After A Divorce

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It’s often difficult for teens whose parents have split apart. Wherever possible, try to communicate directly and privately with the other parent about matters relevant to your children. Read on for more suggestions. – Sandra

A teen doesn’t like the feeling that he or she must act as a messenger between hostile parents. Adolescents want parents to talk with each other so that the messages are communicated the right way, and don’t feel like they are going to mess up. It is unfair to make your teen carry messages to your “ex” because you find it too awkward or aggravating to do so yourself.

Avoid arguing and discussing child support issues in front of your teen. Most teens upon hearing these things feel that their existence is a burden on their parents. Do not put your teen in the middle of your child support disputes.

It hurts your teen very much to hear one loved parent criticize the other loved parent. When teens hear bad things about one parent, they hear bad things about half of themselves. Even if you are sure you’re right, try to avoid criticizing the other parent around your kids.

DESTRUCTIVE REMARKS THAT YOU SHOULD NOT MAKE:

  • You’re lazy/stubborn/bad tempered, just like your mother/father.
  • Your mother/father put you up to saying that.
  • Your dad/mom doesn’t love any of us or he/she wouldn’t have left us.
  • You can’t trust her/him.
  • He/she was just no good.
  • If she/he loved you, she/he would send your support checks on time.
  • Someday you’ll leave me too, just like your father/mother.

All of these remarks raise fear and anxiety in your teen.

It is very difficult for the teen of divorced parents to cope with feeling “caught in the middle.” If they want to tell you about time spent with their other parent (and they usually don’t), listen closely and politely, and then stop. Encourage your teen to love both parents. Asking your teen to take your side in any situation regarding your ex-spouse can create a tremendous amount of stress for your teen. Your teen wants to love both of his or her parents. Avoid putting teens in the position of having to take sides.

Complaining to your teen about how lonely you feel makes them feel guilty and sad. It’s not healthy for a teen to be consumed with worry for their parents’ ability to survive. Let your teen be a teenager. Your teen will have the best chance of growing up to be a functional human male or female with both parents as role models and nurturers. This means that there should be some way of them having access to the good each parent has to offer.” (Acknowledging Ruben Francia)

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.