Teen Therapy Center Blog

My husband is immunocompromised—how do I talk to my kids and ex about this without starting a fight?

For families with loved ones at higher risk for COVID-19, social distancing is of the utmost importance. But what can you do if the whole family isn’t on board with staying in? This week’s Tips On Teens question tackles how to effectively communicate one’s needs in a blended family dynamic:

“My husband is immunocompromised, so we’ve been very careful about interacting with others during this time. Here’s the issue: my ex-husband has taken our kids out to social events at friends’ houses pretty much each week since the quarantine has started. It’s his time with them, and I want to respect that, but I’m worried that the kids might bring something home from these outings. We really can’t risk my husband getting Coronavirus but I also don’t want to start a fight with my ex about this. How do I bring up my concerns to my kids and ex?”

 

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How do we set boundaries on screen time when school has switched to online learning?

Now that most schools have closed and moved classes online, parents and kids alike are experiencing new challenges as they adjust to learning digitally. This week’s Tips On Teens question is from a family wondering how to uphold their limited screen time rule for their daughters, while still giving them enough space to complete their homework:

“We have a limit on phone/laptop time in our household. Our kids (2 high schoolers) both have phones and laptops, but we ask them to primarily use their electronics for school work. We fought about it A LOT in the past but finally seemed to hit a middle ground. Their school switched to online learning, so now both girls are at home and on their phones/laptops ALL day. We know their school is giving homework digitally so they will need their devices more than usual, but we’re worried the girls are using this as a way to ignore the household limit on screen time. How do we bring this up without it turning into a screaming match??”

 

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Thoughts and Advice about the COVID-19 Pandemic from Your Friendly Neighborhood Therapists

Dear Families of Teen Therapy Center and Child & Teen Counseling

Information about COVID-19 is changing daily, and I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how this is affecting our society, both long term and in the immediate future. Many parents are wondering what they can do to help their kids not go crazy while they're home from school. Now that it has been a week since the dreaded closures, plus the new "Safer at Home" order, many parents are wondering, "How long is this going to last?  And how am *I* going to last?!"

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"How do we talk to our kids about the Coronavirus?"

Coronavirus is impacting the lives of families across the country. It’s hard to not feel stressed or nervous right now, especially with the 24/7 news coverage. This week’s Tips On Teens question is from a parent seeking advice on how to help their family get through this public health crisis:

“How do we talk to our kids about the Coronavirus? Their school has halted classes, we can’t go to work, and we might have to cancel our summer vacation plans. We’re stuck in a house that feels smaller by the day. Everyone in the stores seems panicked, and the constant media updates have us all on edge. What can I do to calm my family’s anxiety?”

 

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"What do I do about my child's night terrors?"

Night Terrors are different than Nightmares. This week’s Tips On Teens question is from a parent looking for a better way to handle their kid’s frequent night terrors:

"My daughter has been having night terrors lately. She never remembers them, but they freak me out. How do I help her stop having these episodes? Are there any risks that are associated with these experiences?"

 

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"How do I get my son to do his homework?"

Parents know: getting teenagers to do their homework can be harder than pulling teeth! This week’s Tips On Teens question is from a parent looking for a better way to encourage their child to be proactive about academics:

“Most of the time it is a battle to get my 15 year-old to do his homework. And when he does do it, he then often forgets to turn it in. He says that he wants good grades, but his actions don’t reflect that. (His older sister was the exact opposite. We had to get her to stop studying and get sleep and see friends). Homework has become the bane of all our existences in the family. But he is a great kid, and when we aren’t dealing with homework we all get along beautifully. I don’t want to punish him all the time, and I am against medicating him to fix the problem. How do I help my son?”

 

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“When do I have ‘the sex talk’ with my kids?”

Kids today are able to access information about sex earlier and with more ease as a product of our digital age. Parents understandably may want to step in and make sure their kids are learning information that is appropriate and accurate. This week’s Tips On Teens question is from a family wondering when to have the discussion about sexual health with their kids:

“What is the proper age to talk to kids and teenagers about sex, sexual identity, safe sex, etc.? And do I cover everything all at once, or are those different subjects talked about at different ages?”

 

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"My son is getting sexts from girls...will he get in trouble?"

According to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, 1 in 7 teenagers reported having sent sexts. We want our kids to be safe and smart about what they share on their phones. But what do you do when someone else sends your teen an inappropriate text? This week’s Tips On Teens question tackles teen sexting:

“Our son has received several inappropriate pictures from girls at school. We don’t know if he has shared them with friends and frankly, we don’t know what to do about this. After we spoke with him, he is struggling with a lot of guilt. We don’t want him to get into trouble, but we also want to help protect these girls from doing this again. What happens if we tell the school?  If he told his therapist, is this something that would have to be reported to the police?”

 

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How do I get my kids to listen to me the FIRST time?"

“I don’t want to have to ask again!”
You’ve told your kid to do something 3 times already to no avail. You’re frustrated, feeling disrespected, and your patience is wearing thin. If this sounds familiar, you’ll probably relate to this parent’s Tips On Teens question:

“How do I get my kids to listen to me the FIRST time? I feel like I always have to repeat myself a million times before they do what they’re asked. The other parents at school don’t seem to struggle with getting their kids to listen—I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!”

 

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"My son will not stop vaping...Help!"

If you’re raising a teenager in 2020, you’ve likely heard about vaping. Maybe you’ve smelled the fruity-scented smoke clouds, seen discarded Juul pods littering the street, or read news report about the health risks. As a parent, you want to make sure your child is safe and healthy...So what do you do if it turns out your teen is vaping—and won’t stop? Here’s this week’s Tips On Teens question:

“My son will not stop vaping. He says it’s not a big deal/everyone at school does it and refuses to listen to me and my husband. We’ve tried taking it away and talking to him about the health risks, but nothing works. Help!”

 

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"How do I help my teen cope with stress?"

I’m stressed. I’m overwhelmed. I have too much to handle. 
If you’re the parent of a teenager, you might have heard them say something along those lines before. In a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, 70% of teens 13-17 said Anxiety and Depression were a major problem for them. In’s no secret that today’s teens are going through a lot! So what can families do to support their teens? Here’s this week’s Tips On Teens question:

“How do I help my teenager cope wiith stress?”

 

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"My daughter got rejected from her dream college...what do I do?"

Waiting to hear back from schools is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of today’s already high-stress college applications process. And after all that work and waiting, getting a rejection letter can feel like the end of the world! So what’s a parent to do if their senior doesn’t get the admissions result they wanted? This week’s Tips On Teens question tackles exactly that:

“My daughter applied early decision to her dream college…and got rejected. She’s devastated. I’ve never seen her this unhappy. I’m a little disappointed too, because we really wanted her to go to a top-tier school. What’s the right thing to say in this situation?”

 

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"We might lose the baby…How do we tell our daughter?"

Sometimes, pregnancies do not go the way families planned. How can families handle the steps and conversations that arise when this is the case? This week’s Tips On Teens question is from a parent looking for advice on how to navigate their family through a complex, emotional situation:

"I’m 16 weeks pregnant and there are some dangerous signs that the baby is unhealthy and may not make it to term. My husband and I are so scared and confused. My question is about my nine year old daughter who has wanted a baby brother since she could talk. We finally got pregnant after years of trying AND it’s a boy and now it looks like we are going to lose him. I don’t know how to explain this to a nine year old. This is so emotional for my husband and I, but I don’t want this to scar our daughter. How do we tell her and minimize her pain?"

 

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"How do I get my kid to like reading?"

Reading is integral to stimulating a child’s development and imagination…But not every kid likes to read! This week’s Tips On Teens question comes from a family wondering how to make reading something their child actively wants to do:

“How do I get my kid to enjoy reading? I love reading and I loved it when I was growing up, but he hates it. He’s in middle school and all he wants to do is play video games. I want him to have more balance.”

 

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"Why can’t our therapist tell me what my kid says in therapy?"

This week’s Tips On Teens question may be familiar for many parents with children in therapy. After all, you’re the parent and you’re the one paying for sessions—why aren’t you allowed to know what your child is saying?

“Why can’t I know what my kid says in therapy? How am I supposed to help if her therapist keeps me in the dark? It feels like they are making me out to be the bad guy but how am I supposed to make things better if I don’t know what’s going on? Her therapist won’t tell me a thing. How is this helping?”

 

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