Teen Therapy Center Blog

"How can I find time to connect with my sons given my busy schedule?"

This week’s Tips on Teens question comes from a parent who wants to connect with her sons, but has little free time with which to do so. Here’s the question:

“I am a single mom with two kids. They are with me most of the time on weekdays and every other weekend. I feel like I am so focused on getting them to do things for school, sports and things around the house that we don’t have much time to spend together relaxing or bonding. I watch your videos and I know that I should make more time to connect with them, but that time isn’t there. I’m worried that as they get older, I might lose them to drugs. Their father and I are both in recovery. It's not a problem with my kids right now, but I know I can’t shelter them completely from drugs and alcohol. With a packed schedule like mine, how do I make sure I’m connecting with them and teaching them basic personal responsibility?"

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"My kid spent over $700 on his iPad games…What should we do?"

Most families today are familiar with the struggle of getting a child off the iPad or gaming console and on to their homework. This week’s Tips On Teens question comes from a parent who is unsure how best to set boundaries on game time. Here’s the question:

"We just found out that over the last few months our son has charged over $700 on our credit card for his iPad games. We didn’t catch it at first. I don’t know what to do because we promised him that he can have as much video game time that he wants as long as he is getting A’s and he is! We need him to continue doing well so he can get into a good high school. If we take away his games, we are afraid that he will stop trying at school. What should we do?"

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"Is ADD Medication the right option for my son?"

Many families today are concerned with seeing if medication is the right treatment option for their child. This week's Tips On Teens question comes from a parent torn between two choices regarding prescribed medication for ADD. Here's the question:

"My son’s pediatrician wants to prescribe medication for ADD. The therapist he works with thinks it might be anxiety and not ADD. How do I know what to do?"

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"How do I stop being so angry at my son?"

I’m willing to bet that if you’re a parent you have been angry at your child at one point or another. What if you’re angry with your child nearly all the time? What can you do to get a break from the stress of harboring that anger or resentment? This week’s Tips On Teens comes from a parent who is in this very situation. What advice would you give her? Here’s the question:

"How do I stop being so angry at my teenager? We argue all the time and I resent his disrespect. I see other families and I wish we had what they do. I’m tired of being angry all the time. Thank you."

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"How do I stop my son from smoking marijuana while he is away at college?"

A huge concern among parents is that their teen might be smoking weed. Even when they're living under the same roof, it's difficult to always know if and when they are smoking. But what about when they go away to college? What advice would you give this parent? Here's this week's Tips on Teens question:

"How do I stop my son from smoking marijuana while he is away at college?"

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"Are antidepressants dangerous for my son?"

There is a lot of debate regarding medication, especially when it comes to children and teens. This week’s Tips On Teens question comes from a parent worried about anti-depressents. What do you think? Here’s the question:

"My son’s pediatrician has been pushing the idea of anti-depressents lately. I’m skeptical because I’ve heard horror stories from other parents. Isn’t there a pretty big risk of suicide while using anti-depressents? Is there a specific one that is safer than others? I don’t want to put my son in any danger."

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"How do I get my mom to shut up?"

We received and interesting and funny question the other day. We weren't too sure whether it was a serious question wanting to be answered, but we decided to answer it anyway. I'm sure many of you have strong opinions about this question and we'd love to hear all about it! Here's this week's Tips on Teens short and sweet question:

"How do I get my mom to shut up?"

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"My wife is going to rehab. What am I supposed to tell my kids?"

Addiction is always tough no matter the circumstances. It gets even more difficult when children are involved. How would you tell your children if your significant other had trouble with drinking or addiction? What would you do? This week's Tips on Teens question comes from a father wondering how to talk to his kids about this. Here's the question:

"My wife is going to rehab next month for drinking. What am I supposed to tell my kids? They are 15 and 6 years old."

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"My daughter just started at a new school and can’t make friends. What can we do to help her fit in?"

Moving to a new school can be extremely difficult for any child or teen. This week's Tips on Teens question comes from a concerned parent whose daughter has changed schools and is really struggling. Here's the question:

"My daughter just started 9th grade at a new school. She was just in a small private school before and now in a big public high school. She is crying all the time and says that she can’t make friends. She had lots of friends at her old school. We can’t send her to private school anymore because it is too expensive. What can we do to help her fit in?"

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"Should I stop my sons from playing violent video games?"

This week's Tips On Teens question centers around the controversial idea that violent video games may be influencing school shooters. What do you think about this possible connection?

"Hi Kent, I am so upset about the recent mass shootings. All three of my sons love violent first person shooter video games and the media is saying that it is a big part of the violence we see in America today. Since you are a therapist and talk to boys and young men all the time, do you think that these video games where it’s all about killing people are causing them to be violent? Should I stop my sons from playing these games?"

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"My ten year old still talks like a baby. How can I make her talk normal all the time?"

Is your teen still making baby noises or engaging in baby-talk? Is it driving you crazy?! This week's Tips On Teens comes from a parent who is getting tired of hearing those noises! What would you recommend?

"I have a ten year old that still talks like a baby and makes weird noises. She only does it at home and it’s driving me crazy! I know she can stop if she wanted to because she doesn’t do this at school. She really needs to stop. It’s so annoying. How can I make her talk normal all the time?"

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"Am I wrong to completely disallow social media for my 9 year old?"

What age do you think is appropriate for social media use? Should younger children be allowed to have social media accounts? It's very common these days and the Tips on Teens question this week comes from a parent wondering if disallowing social media might create some alienation from friends. Here's the question:

"I’m curious about how limiting or prohibiting social media use effects kids. I have a 9 year old and I don’t let her have any social media accounts. I’m a little worried that this might be alienating her from her peers who seem to use all sorts of different social media platforms, however, I personally believe social media is quite detrimental for kids. Am I wrong to completely disallow social media?"

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"We discovered that our grandson has been vaping. We are concerned about it but are at a loss."

This week's Tips On Teens question is from some very caring grandparents asking about their grandson's vape usage. Here's the question:

"At our grandson’s school vaping is a huge thing that kids are now into. We discovered that he has been vaping too, unfortunately. He knows we are concerned about his vaping, about his health, and that it is illegal. We found a vape charger in the entertainment room and asked him not to charge it there. He refuses. We have asked him also not to vape (him or his friends) in the house. Not sure if he is complying since it is harder to detect. If we find anyone vaping, smoking, or drinking in our home we will ask them to leave.
Consequences don’t work well as they set up a challenging battle and power struggle.
We are at a loss. Our grandson was caring, sensitive, kind, very good with his friends and family since he was little. Now he is removed, distant, at times rude (but still apologizes). It is extremely painful and feels like a huge loss. It seems like this was not the case with teenagers when we grew up (but maybe it was!)"

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"How do I help my son enjoy summer when he refuses everything?"

What do your kids do during the summer to keep busy? Are they trying to play video games all day long? How do you regulate it? This week's Tips on Teens addresses this question as a parent is concerned about her 12 year old son's refusal to go to summer camp while complaining about being bored. Here's the question:

"My 12 year old son refused to go to summer camp this year and now he complains that he is bored all the time. We put restrictions on video games, but that’s all he wants to do. How do I help him enjoy his summer when he says that he wants something to do, but refuses everything?"

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"What are the psychological effects of separating children from their families?"

For Tips On Teens this week, we're switching it up a little bit. KentToussaint was recently asked to speak at the Lights for Liberty Event on Friday, July 12th at 7:00pm at the Sherman Oaks Galleria.

In light of this invitation, we'd like to use this week's Tips On Teens to touch on the things that are happening in the border detention centers. Typically, we like to stay somewhat neutral when it comes to politics because we respect that everyone has different lives and different beliefs. However, we wanted to solely focus on the harmful effects these detention centers are having on the children of immigrant families.

Regardless of political beliefs, this is something we believe needs to be talked about.

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