Teen Therapy Center Blog

"My daughter just told me she has anxiety—how do I respond?"

We’ve all heard the word “anxiety” before...but what does it mean in a mental health context? What does anxiety look like for today’s teenager? This week’s Tips On Teens question is from a parent wondering what to do after a conversation about anxiety with her daughter:

"My daughter told me she has anxiety and that it’s making high school really hard. She’s 15 and she’s never had a problem with this kind of stuff before. I’m honestly not sure what she means by “anxiety”—she’s always been a confident and outgoing kid. How am I supposed to respond to this?"

 

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"What can I do to make Christmas about family time, not screen time?"

In our hyper-digital age, in-person communication can become tough. For many families (regardless of age) it’s easy to engage with a screen than with each other. This week’s #TipsOnTeens question comes from a parent who is tired of holiday gatherings being spent on devices instead of on family:

“Thanksgiving at our house was dominated by the PlayStation and phones. It wasn’t just my kids, but cousins, aunts, uncles and even grandparents. The only lasting conversation was about memes and YouTube videos. This is not how I remember the holidays when I was a kid and it’s not the memory that I want to pass down to my children. Christmas will be at our house with all the same relatives and some close friends too. I don’t want it to be a repeat of Thanksgiving...What can I do to make Christmas about family time, not screen time?”

 

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"How do I talk to my kids about school shootings?"

Given the amount of gun violence occurring in this country, students today are increasingly worried about their own safety in the classroom. As parents, what can we do when our child comes to us about gun violence in schools? This week’s Tips On Teens question comes from a parent seeking advice on what to say to their kids following the recent mass shootings.

“The recent shooting at Saugus High School has left me both sad and angry. I am also worried about how to talk to my kids about this. How do I explain to my kids that these shooting will continue to keep happening and how do I reassure them that they are safe at school? I don’t know if they are safe, but I don’t know what else to do.”

 

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"My son came home from rehab. How do I make sure he doesn't relapse?"

Recovering from addiction can be an incredibly tough road to start down. The support of friends and family is invaluable during this time. This week’s Tips On Teens question comes from a parent wondering how to be the best pillar of support in their child’s recovery:

"My son came home this week from residential rehab for drugs. I want to make sure that he doesn’t relapse. How do I help my son stay off drugs and fly right now that he he’s home?"

 

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"My daughter gets super mad whenever she doesn’t get what she wants and avoids us by hiding in her room. Would taking her door off fix her attitude?"

The closed bedroom door quickly turns into a familiar image for families once their child becomes a teenager. But how do you make sure their door doesn’t turn into a wall that shuts you out when your teen feels like it? This week’s Tips On Teens question comes from a family wondering what’s the best course of action to take when their teenager is both irritable and self-isolating:

"Since my daughter started high school this year she has been really moody. She blows up on us whenever we say, 'No' and then locks herself in her room. We’ve been told to take her door off her room. Should we? What do we do about her behavior?" 

 

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"My daughter never tells me anything anymore now that she’s in high school! How can I let her know I’m still here for her?"

As our kids get older and seek more independence, it can be tough for parents to adjust to this new, slightly distant version of their child. It feels like only yesterday they were chatty and eager to share with you…but now you’re lucky if you can get more than one syllable from them! This week’s Tips on Teens question comes from a parent who misses connecting with her daughter:

“Ever since my daughter started high school she’s been more and more distant. She used to tell me everything, but now when I ask how school is or how she’s doing all I get is “Fine” or “Okay.” She stays in her room all the time and never wants to talk to me. I feel like I don’t know what’s happening in her life anymore! How can I get her to open up to me again?” 

 

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"My son just got kicked out of his 4th school…and he’s only 3 years old! What do I do?"

For many working families, preschool is the primary source of education and care for their children. But what happens if your child isn’t adjusting well to the experience? This week’s Tips On Teens question is from a working parent wondering how to help their son stay in school. Here’s the question:

“My 3 year old son has been kicked out of his 4th preschool today for how he expresses anger. He gets mad about things and goes into “Hulk” mode. He’s been assessed for autism and that’s been ruled out. Both my wife and I work full time, so taking him out of preschools isn’t an option. How do we help him?”

 

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"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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