Teen Therapy Center Blog

"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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"Could you explain to me when I should be taking my son’s threats seriously?"

Most kids at one point or another have lashed out at their parents and said some really hurtful or worrisome things... usually it's when they don't get what they want! When should you take these comments a little more seriously and when is it just a kid being a kid? This week, we have a parent whose son is threatening self-harm whenever he doesn't get his way. What advice would you give her? Here's the #TipsOnTeens question for the week:

"Could you explain to me when I should be taking my son’s threats seriously? He’s 11 and any time he doesn’t get what he wants he’ll say some pretty awful things like “I hate you, I wish I was never born, I’m going to kill myself if you don’t listen to me, or you’ll be sorry when I’m gone.” It’s always when he doesn’t get his way. To tell you the truth he’s desensitizing me to this language and I no longer take it seriously because I think it’s all manipulation. He’s doing it in public now which has caused a few of my girlfriends to voice their concerns with me. It’s quite embarrassing and I’d like it to stop."

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"My husband gets so angry at our sons’ basketball games. What should I do to help?"

We've all heard about fights breaking out at professional sporting events due to over-zealous fans, but what about when parents take it too far at their kids' games? This week's Tips on Teens question comes from a mother concerned about how heated her husband gets at their sons' basketball games. How would you handle this situation? Here's the question:

"I read this article about the fight at a little league baseball game from the parents when a 13 year old umpire called a play wrong. It reminds me of my husband and how he acts at my sons’ basketball games. He gets so angry at the players, the refs and our kids during the game. My sons and I are so embarrassed that they don’t want to continue but they are afraid of quitting because it will anger their father. My husband is a good man and he’d never hit or harm our kids and he loves them dearly. I think my kids would continue and have fun at basketball if my husband was not there or just wasn’t so angry. How do I help him do this?"

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"How do I reconnect with my son without him feeling like I am forcing him or punishing him?"

We hope you all had a good Father's Day weekend. Fathers need some love too every now and then! This week's Tips on Teens question comes from a Father looking for advice on how to reconnect with his 15 year old son who seems to be drifting away from him. Here's the question:

"I am a father of three but only one son. He is now 15 and we are growing apart. My father and I didn’t have a good relationship and it is killing me that what used to be a great relationship between my boy and me is slipping through my fingers. His Play Station and his phone have dominated his attention. How do I reconnect with my son without him feeling like I am forcing him or punishing him?"

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"My wife and I are not happy in our marriage. Should we raise our kids first before separating?"

Relationships aren't easy! There's a reason divorce rates are still fairly high and one of the biggest concerns parents have is how divorce or separation will effect their children. This week's Tips On Teens question touches on this topic. Here it is:

"My wife and I are not happy in our marriage. We argue all the time and I can’t take it much longer. The only reason we haven’t separated yet is because of our kids. We both agreed a few years back that we should raise our kids first before separating but I don’t think either of us will make it. Our youngest is only 9. I’m worried a separation or divorce will scar our kids. What is your professional opinion?"

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"I think my son is gay. How do I let him know that I have no problem with him being gay?"

Happy LGBTQ Pride Month!! This week's Tips On Teens question is about parenting LGBTQ+ youth. We have a parent who seems to be convinced that her son is gay. Kent is here as always to answer your question!

"My son is 14 and I’d bet everything I have that he’s gay. He is always telling me and my husband that he likes girls, but I just don’t buy it. I’ve had a lot of gay friends in the past and I always knew way before they would come out to me. How do I let him know that I have no problem with him being gay? I just want him to be comfortable being himself around me."

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"Is it better for my husband and I to go to therapy or should we send our son instead?"

This week’s Tips on Teens question comes from a parent wondering how to best help her son; whether that be working on being better parents or having their son see a therapist. Kent is here to give us his take on it, but please feel free to let us know what you think! Here’s the question:

"Our 10 year old son is having a lot of behavior problems. Is it better for my husband and I to go to therapy to learn more parenting skills or should we send our son to see a therapist instead?"

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"How do I get my parents to see things differently for once?"

We have a very special Tips on Teens question this week. The question comes from a teenager rather than a parent and she's wondering how to deal with her parents. We are excited to answer this question because we believe that raising teens is not a one way street. We strive for open communication and understanding FROM BOTH SIDES! Parents also need to listen to their kids' concerns and frustrations without simply brushing them off in the same way they would want their kids to listen to them. Here's the question:

"Is it okay if I ask a question? I just turned 18 and need some help with my parents. I’m from a hardcore traditional Persian family and it's really hard getting my parents to let me do anything. I’m graduating soon and I just want to have fun with my friends this last summer before going to college. Because I’m a girl my parents almost didn’t let me go to a college out of state but they finally did after a lot of arguing before they said okay. They don’t seem to get things are different here and I just want them to understand my side for once. They put so much pressure on me. How do I get them to see things differently for once?"

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"My kids are ungrateful. Is there anything I should be doing differently to get a little appreciation?"

Most parents have very specific rules when it comes to letting their children date. What are your rules? When do you think it's appropriate for your child or teen to start dating? This week's Tips On Teens question is short and sweet and gets right to the point! Here's the question:

"Hello. I am a mother of three kids ages 6, 9, and 13. One of the things that has been bothering me lately is that my kids, more so my 13 year old, are extremely ungrateful. They take everything I do for them for granted and don't thank me for anything. It was just Mother’s Day and they didn’t even wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. I’m OK with not receiving recognition for every little thing, but every now and then it would be nice to get some appreciation. I’m also worried it’s turning them into super entitled children. Is there anything I should be doing differently to get a little respect and appreciation?"

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"At what age should I let my teenager date?"

Most parents have very specific rules when it comes to letting their children date. What are your rules? When do you think it's appropriate for your child or teen to start dating? This week's Tips On Teens question is short and sweet and gets right to the point! Here's the question:

"At what age should I let my teenager date?"

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