Adolescents & Parents
IS PARENTING YOUR ADOLESCENT TAKING THE JOY OUT OF PARENTING?
As I sit with parents in my office listening to their stories, I hear similar concerns and fears. As we talk their faces express anger, sadness, despair, and ultimately confusion – where has my child gone? What happened? Their stories are the same whether they have daughters or sons. One day my child was there – happy, bright, confident, and successful – the next day, or so it seems, this change called adolescence happened and now I only see glimmers of my child!
“We noticed a complete attitude change in our daughter. She really doesn’t seem to even want to be with us and when she is she challenges us! We feel our authority slipping away.” “Our son is always blaming others or the situation for his own mistakes. How can we make him accept responsibility for the things he gets into? Nothing is ever ‘his fault’!” “How can we understand our son and how can we control and persuade him to do what we feel is the right thing as we see it?” “I am really afraid. My 13-year-old daughter has always been a bit shy. Now she spends all her time with her friends and they (her friends) influence her greatly. She no longer wants to confide in me or, for that matter, listen to me about anything!”
If this is a familiar situation, please read on. I know you are probably feeling stressed and confused as to how to handle things in what could be a slowly deteriorating relationship with your teen. After all what you have tried so far hasn’t brought the results you yearn for. And as the saying goes, this job doesn’t come with a set of instructions.
The good news is; you no longer need to handle this on your own without help.
Wouldn’t it feel hopeful if you could learn proven methods to turn the tide and rebuild your relationship with your adolescent? Wouldn’t this be a good time to learn more effective ways to improve your relationship while at the same time teaching your teen to be more responsible and accountable?
Adolescence is a time of change and challenges for parents as well as for teens. At times, you may feel so disconnected that you start to believe that you hardly know your child anymore. Anger and communication cut-offs have become far too frequent. Your teenager’s desire to participate in the family appears to be decreasing and your relationship with your partner may feel strained and filled with the diminishing sense that you two are working as a team. Your child is growing up way too quickly and your sphere of influence is becoming smaller and smaller.
There is help. I work with parents and teens to create a home system based on mutual respect, choice making, and accountability. I can help you decrease power struggles, improve communication, and jump-start your teen back on the road of success. One of the secrets to doing this is helping your teen to assert more self-control so that you can relax your need to always be the one who is in control.
CAN WE REALLY CHANGE THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING?
At this point you may be thinking, “Well, you can’t teach an “old” family new tricks, can you?” Many families have come my way feeling discouraged believing that they had tried everything. They found out, however, that my new ideas had a common sense feel to them and that as they became more and more acquainted with this new way of responding, it began to feel like a more natural way to parent. The result being that the stresses in the family began to decrease, and even more importantly, the attitudes and behaviors of their teens dramatically improved.
FROM MY CASE FILES:
In a family I recently worked with, the parents of a 16 year old found themselves in almost daily battles around house rules and schoolwork. As the parents used a firmer and firmer hand, their teenager became more and more defiant and appeared to be less and less connected to the family. After the parents worked with me for several sessions they were able to institute a new way to conduct their relationship with their son based on warmth, respect, reality, choice, and responsibility. At the end of our work together they reported zero power struggles, a dramatic decrease in limit testing, and a new feeling of respect and closeness which extended among all family members.
HOW DO WE KNOW WE’RE WORKING WITH THE RIGHT PERSON?
ONE of the biggest concerns that my prospective clients have is one of compatibility – with the therapist! I strongly feel one of the most powerful predictors of success in counseling is the “fit” between the counselor and client. To insure that this is the right fit and that you feel comfortable, I offer a full session introductory meeting. At he end of this meeting, if you feel “right” about what I say and offer then I will charge you my regular fee. If, for any reason, you do not feel our work together will be helpful then you owe me nothing.
WHEN IS A GOOD TIME TO START?
If your family is having way too many negative feelings, angry outbursts or simply avoiding each other, the time to take action is now! Please do not wait to repair your relationships. I am more than happy to talk with you about your specific family situation so you can decide if counseling is a good fit for you!
IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE…..!
I grew up in a family full of love AND conflict. My parents believed that tighter degrees of control yielded greater compliance from their children. That approach took a toll on my emotional health and cost the family dearly in terms of emotional safety and closeness with each other. This experience provided me with a deep understanding of the relational dynamics between parents and teens as well as compassion and empathy for both parent and teen. I, therefore, have a special affinity for adolescents and parents because I lived what I am teaching now. I believe that if my parents had access to the tools that I will give you, well, let me put it this way, things would have been very different. Guiding you is my passion and has been for all of my professional life, lasting the past 28 years (and still counting)!
Costs: HOW CAN I AFFORD THIS?
Of all the things you can purchase for your family, positive relationships, closeness in the future, and peace of mind would certainly be priorities. As one of my clients put it recently, “If we can get this straightened out, it will be worth any amount of money we have to spend now.” There is more than one way to afford counseling and I would be happy to work with you to find a way. Costs do not have to derail your plans for success.
MORE TIPS AND TOOLS:
You can never really know too much about this art we call parenting. Subscribing to my newsletter is an excellent way to stay informed and updated with my latest thoughts and also receive great ideas from other teen and parenting experts in the field. It’s FREE and offers yet another way to determine if I am a good fit for you and your adolescent.