Teen Therapy Center Blog

"How do I protect my son from the new crowd that he has glommed onto?"

Many parents worry about the friends their child has and whether or not they are a good or bad influence. This week on Tips on Teens, Kent answers a parent wondering how to protect her son from new friends that she doesn’t seem to like very much. Here’s the question:

"How do I protect my son from the new crowd that he has glommed onto? He started at a new high school and I don’t like his new friends. I’m worried that he is going to get caught up in smoking dope and flunking school."

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"What can we do as parents to help manage our daughter’s school stress and help her not burn out?"

This week’s Tips on Teens addresses a question from a mother who wants a bit more insight into our topic from last segment. She wonders how to help her daughter with the intense amount pressure from school. Kent is here to offer some advice! Here’s the question:

"Thank you for your video the other day about getting kids to understand the importance of school. It struck a cord in me and while my daughter is only eleven, I can see the stress she is already under in middle school to achieve. I don’t want to put a ton of pressure on her, but our school makes it seem like it’s crucial for her to study hard. They put huge emphasis on choosing the right high school and they’ve even started some college prep… in middle school!! What can we do as parents to help her manage the stress and help her not burn out?"

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"How do I get my son to understand the importance of school?"

School and homework are known by many parents to be the source of inevitable arguments and feuds. This week’s Tips on Teens features a parenting question from a mother who has become very frustrated with her son’s performance in school. Here’s the question:

"No matter what we do, our teenage son is not doing well in school. At this point, I’m exhausted because we’ve literally tried everything. We took away his electronics, took away TV, regulated his time with friends, tried to offer allowances for getting better grades… NOTHING WORKS. It’s driving us crazy. It’s almost like he’s getting Cs and Ds just to spite us at this point. How do we get him to understand the importance of school?"

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"Any discussion about politics gets ugly and I feel it’s tearing our family apart. What can we do to get back to sanity?"

Political discussions have a tendency to stir up all sorts of emotions and can get out of hand quickly. It can be even more heated when discussing these topics with family. For this week’s Tips On Teens, Kent will be answering the following parenting question from a mother who is getting tired of the political arguments in her household:

"My husband and two sons used to have great conversations at dinner about politics and current events. With the recent shift in the political climate, any discussion about what’s happening in the news gets ugly and I feel it’s tearing us apart. My husband and I have never agreed politically, but it was never a problem until now. We can barely talk with one another before it gets into why one of us is wrong. My boys are also ideologically opposite and it's causing them to say such awful things to each other. What can we do to get back to sanity?"

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"My daughter wants to go to a hip-hop concert with music we don’t like. Should we let her go?"

This week's Tips On Teens question comes from a mother who is concerned about her daughter’s taste in music. Many parents struggle with this same problem and have no idea how to handle it! Kent is here to give some insight into this topic. Here’s the question:

"My 17 year old daughter wants to go to a concert with friends. The performer is a hip-hop artist, and we don’t like this type of music, both for the lyrics and the content of some of the songs. My daughter argues that just because she and her friends enjoy this music, it doesn’t mean that they will do the things the songs are sometimes about, or use the language that is so prevalent. She has not given us reason to distrust her. I’m honestly torn. It may not be my preference of music I’d like her to listen to, but I know she has to start making decisions for herself and discovering who she wants to be. Any Insight would be appreciated."

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"I’m scared of my son… What can I do about this?"

It's not uncommon for parents to be afraid of their kids. Some are worried about being too strict, while others are simply scared of their kid having a tantrum and breaking things. Kent answers this question from a parent who is afraid of her son and feels like she's lost all sense of control in today's Tips on Teens:

"I'm scared of my son and I feel like a failure. It's just him and me, his father has been out of the picture since he was little. If I say anything about homework, helping out around the house or asking where he is going or who he's with, he goes on a crazy rampage... he'll break stuff, yell, scream, cry. I'm scared to be a parent to him but I'm also scared of what he is turning into. I know that he feels bad about how he is treating me, he cries on my shoulder sometimes and says he hates himself, but the next day it starts all over again. What can I do about this? I've lost all sense of control."

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"How do I stop my daughter from smoking weed?"

Nearly all teenagers these days have tried smoking weed or have friends who smoke weed. Some parents are okay with it while others are not. Kent will be answering the following question from a concerned parent about her daughter’s smoking habits:

"My daughter is smoking weed. She says that since she’s almost 18 that I shouldn’t care. But she has three younger siblings who are being exposed to seeing her high several times a week. How do I stop her from smoking? Should I stop her from smoking?"

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Communication Confidence

You spent hours trying to learn this new way of doing math to help your daughter with her homework. After finally figuring it out… EUREKA! You help her! Unfortunately, she came back from school with a big 60% written in red ink in the corner of her algebra test. Where did it all go wrong? You spent way too many hours to only come up with a 60%! So, you tell your daughter to march back into school tomorrow and ask the teacher why.

When you pick her up from school the next day, your immediate question is “What did your teacher say?” All you get is a defeated shrug. “Didn’t you ask him?” Her long pause is amplified by her hood pulled tightly about her face. The only thing you get from her is a dejected, “I don’t know.”

What happened? Well, you asked a lot from your teen and she wasn’t able to deliver.

What do you mean I asked a lot? I worked my butt off only to get a 60% and deserve to know why. Besides, it’s not that hard to ask her teacher a question. That’s what teachers are there for.

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"I hate my son’s girlfriend... Please help!"

It’s not uncommon for parents to dislike their teen’s significant other. This week, Kent answers a question from a mother who is fed up with her son’s manipulative girlfriend. Here’s the question:

"I hate my son’s girlfriend! He has turned into a totally different person since they started dating. He has always been such a nice, sweet boy and now he is a jerk to the rest of the family. She manipulates him 24/7. If he doesn’t spend all his attention on her, she guilts him by threatening to hurt herself, so now he won’t spend any time with us. I feel like I’m losing my son. Please help!"

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"Should I let my kids decide on the custody schedule during a divorce?"

Divorce can be hard for everyone involved. For this week’s “Tips on Teens” video blog, Kent will answer the following question from a mother who is in the process of getting divorced and is wondering whether her kids should be involved in the decisions regarding custody schedules:

"My husband and I are going through a divorce but we can’t seem to come to terms on a custody schedule. We have three teenage girls and I want to make sure I’m doing what’s best for them. Some of my friends tell me I should let my kids decide on the custody schedule, but I’m not sure that’s a good idea. How do we figure out custody without upsetting our girls anymore than they already are?"

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"Should I force my son to do something extracurricular?"

This week’s "Tips on Teens" comes from a mother who is tired of her son spending all day on his phone and is wondering if she should force her son to do something extracurricular. Here's the question:

"My son is about to start high school and I really want him to do something extracurricular. I don’t care what it is as long as he does something! I can’t stand that he spends so much time staring at his phone. I want him to have fun and meet new people. He says he doesn’t want to do ANYTHING… just go to school and come home to relax. Am I crazy if I force him to do something?"

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"My daughter recently graduated college and now seems paralyzed living at home with no job. What am I supposed to do?"

This week’s "Tips on Teens" features a question from a mother who is unsure how to handle her daughter returning to live at home after graduating college. Here’s the question:

"My daughter recently graduated from a UC with a major in Communications and has returned home. She did very well in school, but now seems paralyzed. She’s not applying for jobs and doesn’t know what to do. She says that she has no idea what she wants to do with her life. I thought that she would be on her way in life by now. What am I supposed to do?"

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"My son told me he is gay and is afraid to tell his mom. What should I do to help?"

Today’s question comes from a father of a teenage son who just came out as gay. Here’s the question:

"I don’t like keeping secrets from my wife, but my 15 year old son has recently come out to me as gay. I am totally fine with it and I want to support him 100%. However, he’s afraid to tell his Mom because she won’t accept it and will probably get very angry. We are a Christian family and love each other very much, but my wife and I differ on the acceptance of homosexuality. What should I do?"

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"How do I get my stepchildren to respect me?"

Kent answers the following question from a stepfather who is struggling to better connect with his stepchildren:

"How do I get my stepchildren to respect me? I’ve been living with them for over two years and they still fight me when I try to get them to do their chores, homework, etc. My step-sons and I all love baseball, and they both want to be good at it. I know baseball well and can coach them but they won’t let me. How do I get them to understand that I’m just trying to help? How do I get them to trust me and follow my lead?"

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"How do we help our kids prioritize school work over video games and social media?"

For this week’s "Tips on Teens” video Kent answers the following question from a parent who is struggling to manage her kids’ screen time:

"How do we help our kids prioritize school work over video games and social media without causing a war? Sometimes we just give in because we are tired of the constant fights, nasty responses, verbal combat, and defiance. It affects the whole family. It’s frustrating and debilitating and it feels like we are hamsters on a wheel repeating the same cycle again and again.”

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