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
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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.

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.

Why Teens Experiment With Drugs

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Did you know that self-medication through drugs or alcohol is often an attempt to regulate or avoid painful feelings? – Sandra

Feelings aren’t always comfortable. Some teens so strongly dislike feeling sad, anxious, angry or insecure so much that they will do anything to avoid these feelings, such as experimenting with mood altering chemicals.

Teens at high risk of actually becoming addicted to these substances are often lacking deep connections with others. Meaning, they feel emotionally cut off from most people in their life.

Adolescence, with all the changes that accompany it, can be an intense time where teens are overwhelmed by new feelings. Substance abuse in teenagers can appear as attention seeking, and/or isolating behavior.

Reaching out in times of challenge is always a wise decision. If you have noticed changes in your teen’s behavior that leads you to suspect that drugs are involved, I have numerous resources available to help 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.

Frequently Yelling At Your Teen?

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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.

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

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A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist

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

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

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

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

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

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

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

6-Week Effective Parenting Class


A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist

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

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

TOPICS INCLUDE:

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

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

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

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

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

Volunteer Opportunities for Families

If your teen is feeling bored or unhappy, volunteering can give them an entirely new perspective. – Sandra

20 Volunteer Opportunities for Families

1. HOMELESS SHELTERS
If you live in a city of any size, then there is at least one homeless shelter that helps homeless people with meals, beds and other services. Most homeless shelters welcome volunteers and have a variety of programs through which you can get involved. You might help prepare or distribute meals, work behind the scenes in the business office, help organize a food drive to stock the pantry, etc. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “homeless shelters” and the name of your city.

2. FOOD BANKS
Food banks often work with homeless shelters, but they also serve poor people living in the community (especially around the holidays). Food banks collect food, manage their inventory and distribute food to those in need. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “food banks” and the name of your city.

3. GUIDEPOST SWEATER PROJECT
If you would like something to do in your spare time at home, one innovative way to volunteer is to get involved in The Guideposts Sweater Project, sponsored by Guideposts magazine. People around the country knit sweaters that are then sent to needy children around the world. This article gives you a description of the project and a pattern for the sweaters. Don’t know how to knit? Not a problem, because the article also links to sites that teach you how!

4. RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
There are Ronald McDonald Houses around the country – almost every major city has one. The idea behind all Ronald McDonald Houses is very important. When a child is seriously ill, the child is frequently treated for long periods of time at a hospital or university medical center. Many families have to travel long distances to get to the hospital, and “where to stay” becomes a problem. Staying at a hotel becomes extremely expensive, and a hotel can be a lonely and sterile place. Ronald McDonald Houses provide a low-cost “home-away-from-home” for parents and children to stay during treatment. Volunteers help prepare meals, talk to families, take care of the house and so on. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Ronald McDonald House” and the name of your city.

5. SPECIAL OLYMPICS
As described on the web site for Special Olympics International, “Special Olympics is an international program of year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with mental retardation.” The site also describes a wide variety of volunteer activities, including sports training, fund raising, administrative help, competition planning and staffing, etc. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Special Olympics” and the name of your city.

6. HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Habitat for Humanities builds and gives houses to poor people in local communities. Volunteers not only help others, but can learn a great deal about building houses by getting involved. See the Habitat for Humanities web site for more information. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Habitat for Humanities” and the name of your city.

7. STATE PARKS
Many state parks offer volunteer programs, and in these programs you can try anything from educational programs to trail construction and maintenance. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “State Parks” and the name of your city.

8. CITY PROGRAMS
Most large cities offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “City Programs” and the name of your city. Do not be discouraged if your first few calls seem to hit a brick wall. Many city governments are large and fairly disorganized.

9. HELPING OTHERS LEARN TO READ
When you think about it, reading is one of the most important skills an adult can have. Many adults, however, have never learned how to read. Literacy volunteers act as tutors who help illiterate children and adults learn this important skill. There is probably a literacy program in your area. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)” and the name of your city.

10. HOSPITALS
Many hospitals have volunteer programs to help patients both inside and outside the hospital. The volunteers programs allow participants to explore medical careers and gain work experience. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “hospital volunteer” and the name of your city.

11. LIBRARIES
Many libraries need help re-shelving books, running children’s programs, making books available to the community, and so on. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “library” and the name of your city.

12. SENIOR CITIZEN CENTERS
Many senior citizen centers offer volunteer programs to provide friendship and community activities to senior citizens. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Senior Citizens Center” and the name of your city.

13. ANIMAL SHELTERS
Many animal shelters are non-profit or government organizations, and therefore they welcome volunteers to help take care of animals, keep facilities clean and work with the public. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Animal Shelters” and the name of your city.

14. UNITED WAY
The United Way is a nationwide umbrella organization for thousands of charitable organizations. The United Way raises billions of dollars and distributes it to these charities. There are local United way affiliates across the country and they need volunteers. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “United Way” and the name of your city.

15. RED CROSS
The American Red Cross helps people in emergencies – whether it’s half a million disaster victims or one sick child who needs blood. Volunteer opportunities exist across the country. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Red Cross” and the name of your city.

16. SALVATION ARMY
The Salvation Army provides social services, rehabilitation centers, disaster services, worship opportunities, character building activities for all ages and character building groups and activities for all ages. Volunteer opportunities exist across the country. You can learn more about the ways you can help by Googling “Salvation Army” and the name of your city.

17. ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
The Sierra Club (and numerous other environmental groups) encourages volunteer support to help with environmental activities. You can help in many ways: by helping lobby on conservation issues, by leading hikes and other activities, or by lending a hand at the Chapter Office. Contact the local office of an environmental organization near you. See also the Earth Day site.

18. POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS
If it’s an election year, there are thousands of opportunities to volunteer in political campaigns around the country. You can learn more than you imagine by helping a candidate win election. This article talks about some of the options. Pick a candidate whose ideas you believe in (either on the local, state or national level) and volunteer to be a part of his or her campaign.

19. 800 NUMBER VOLUNTEER
Many 800 help-lines rely on volunteers to staff the phones and handle other tasks. If there is an 800 phone bank in your area, you may be able to volunteer to help out.

20. WEB SITE CREATION
Many small charities and organizations do not yet have web sites. You can help by learning how to create a web site and volunteering your services. You could also raise money to pay for the web site, or seek help from a local company in the form of a donation. When creating a web site for a charity, you will want to take care to listen very carefully to the people who work for the charity to understand exactly what they want their web site to look and feel like. This will be extremely important to them, and you should be willing to change and improve the site to match their mental image. See this page for information on creating web sites.

Click here to see Santa Monica Volunteer Opportunities

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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.

Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist: Links

Active Links for the Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Sandra Dupont MA, MS, MFT

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.