Teen Therapy Center Blog

Self-Reliance Through Peanut Butter and Jelly

Clues on Kids #010

A new school year is already just around the corner.  Your child is in the midst of…

Wait just a minute, Sir! You’re already thinking about the new school year? Summer JUST started! Let me sleep in for a few more weeks… at least! Parents get time off from school too, ya know!

I hear you! Summer is a great time to get a little break from the hustle and chaos of school. If you were like most other parents, you couldn’t wait to say good-bye to those late night homework sessions and bumbling argumentative mornings trying to get out of the house on time. Maybe, like many parents, you promised yourself to find a plan to make things go a little smoother.  Well, if you haven’t thought of a plan yet, let me introduce you to an idea that might make life just a little smoother… or crunchy depending upon your tastes.  

Mission: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich!

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Graduation Can Be Stressful For Teens

Tips on Teens #008

So your kid is graduating and moving on to the next level of education.  As a parent you are overflowing with pride and hope, excited that your child is moving on to new heights.  You are overjoyed with excitement and ready for the next step.  So why isn’t your kid?  

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When Do You Need Marriage Counseling?

Clues on Kids #011

At one time in your life, the person you share a bed with each night was the source of happiness and hope.  Remember when you both finished each other’s sentences and giggled about all those cute and sappy private jokes?  Do you recall when you both really enjoyed spending time together… and it was easy?  No fights, no misunderstandings, nor pressure!  It’s been years since you first got together and fell in love and some of that luster may have worn off by now.  Perhaps it feels like you have less in common.  

It’s possible you are struggling to find those feelings from years ago because most of your emotions are tied up in tense debates about paying bills or about why your spouse showed up to the swim meet late AND with the wrong kind of sandwiches.  As you slowly drift apart from one another, you feel the negative impact on your emotional health.  You can feel it in your bones and you can sense the gap is getting wider.  What you may not realize is that this marital stagnation or discord is also taking an emotional toll on your kids, too!

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Allowance for Teens… Respecting the Almighty Dollar (Part 2)

Tips on Teens #025b

In last month’s Tips on Teens article, Allowance for Teens… Respecting the Almighty Dollar (Part 1) we discussed the intricacies of why it is important to have your teenager EARN an allowance and what it can teach him.  Here is Part 2 where we explore how to effectively set up a system where your kid earns his allowance, learns to demonstrate greater responsibility and hopefully help you reduce the nagging and unnecessary arguments that get in the way of being a happy family.

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Allowance for Teens… Respecting the Almighty Dollar (Part 1)

Tips on Teens #025a

Odds are that your teenager has no appreciation for the value of a dollar.  According to the 2014 Teens and Personal Finance Survey from Junior Achievement and Allstate Insurance, 77% of teen boys and 63% of teen girls aged 16 to 18 do not keep track of how their money is spent.  A 2012 poll from ING Direct and Capital One discovered that 87% of teens report that they know little to nothing about managing money.

Let’s take a look at how the end of 2014 might have summed that all up for you.  The gift giving holidays just passed.  Did your kid take for granted all those expensive gifts that you worked so hard to pay for?  Are the brand new designer clothes that you bought for your teen balled up in the corner of her room?  Is that new smartphone that he begged for  already scratched up after being dropped three times… on the same day he got it?

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Why You Need To Play Catch With Your Kids

Clues on Kids #013

You should play catch with your kid.  It sounds simple enough.  Yet many parents overlook the importance of this profound activity.

Profound?  My kid and I have more important things to do.  Isn’t homework a higher priority?

Not always.  Homework and studying for tests are certainly aspects of learning and developing an education.  However, childhood is not a purely academic pursuit.  There should be so much more to a child’s life than just learning fractions and having impeccable grammar.

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When Your Good Kid Has Bad Friends

Tips on Teens #013

Remember when your child was sweet and innocent?  She wore pretty dresses, enjoyed Radio-Disney and had such nice and polite friends… and that was last semester!  Now her friends seem like a surly group of teens that might frighten the guards at Juvenile Hall.  They always seem dirty, they’re disrespectful and you’re pretty sure from the looks of them that they do drugs!

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How Parents Cope with the Inevitable Schoolyard Bully

Clues on Kids #007

Your little guy has been a bit gloomy lately.  It’s gotten worse as the week has gone on.  Now he doesn’t even want to go to school.  You sit him down on the couch, and before you finish saying his name, the tears roll down his face.  He finally blurts out, “I’m getting picked on and I’m afraid that they’re going to beat me up.”  Here are some common responses that parents have in this situation.

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Are Vape Pens Dangerous?

Tips on Teens #032

So your teens says this to you…

But Mom, the vape pen is safer than smoking cigarettes.  There’s no nicotine!  I’m not smoking weed.  It’s just water vapor.  There have been no studies showing that vaping is bad for you.  Can I please have a vape pen?  They are so cool!

How would you respond to your kid if she presented you with this quandary?

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Missing the Sweet Child that Your Teen Used to Be

Tips on Teens #001

Remember that sweet and affectionate child who used to run to meet you at the door, jump into your arms and give you a big kiss?  Now when you get home, your teen doesn't even get out of his room to roll his eyes at you.  You miss the close emotional bond that you and your child once had as you realize that you are now living with… a real bona fide teenager.

MMMMWAA-HA-HA-HA-HA! (insert evil laugh here).

It hurts my feelings that she is so distant now and barely wants to even be seen with me.  Sometimes I feel that my teenager doesn't even love me!  I used to be so “COOL!”  What happened?

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“But, It’s Not Fair!”

Clues on Kids #005

Do you remember how unfair your parents were when you were a kid?  Do you remember that day as a child with tears steaming down your face when you first took that solemn vow to NEVER BE AS MEAN AND AS UNFAIR AS YOUR MOM AND DAD?  

Oh, yes.  I remember.  I swore to all that was good in the world with my fist raised to the heavens that I would know how to be a GOOD PARENT!  I’d be fair and merciful with my future children… WHAT HAPPENED?

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Co-Parenting with Your Hated Ex-Spouse

Tips on Teens #012

Finally, it was the last straw.  Both you and your spouse decided to call it quits.  Just get through the divorce and there will be no more fights, no more arguments and no more misunderstandings… except about your kids!  

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Puberty... It's Closer Than You Think

Clues on Kids #006

That’s right, Mom and Dad.  Your darling little angel is inevitably going to go through puberty and never be the same again.  It is time to start talking to and educating your child now before it gets any more difficult.

But puberty is a teenage issue.  My seven-year-old isn’t ready to know about such things.

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Impulsive Teen Behavior

Tips on Teens #031

Our last article, Adolescent Brain Development talked about how a teen’s thought process is impaired due to the prefrontal cortex being underdeveloped during the teen years.  The above illustration is an example of how a teenager struggles with making wise decisions. 

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Adolescent Brain Development

Tips on Teens #030

While it is true that much of brain development happens in the first five years of life, a crucial part of the brain remains under-developed for a lot longer than people realize. The prefrontal cortex is an area of the brain just behind your forehead. Around age eleven, this area of the brain is just starting its maturation process, and doesn’t finish maturing until roughly twenty-five years of age.

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