A Note From The L.A. Teen Therapist
Parenting teens is an entirely different job than parenting small children. – Sandra
Parents must make the transition from being a parent who provides for all their child’s needs to one who coaches their teen to handle their frustrations and needs for themselves. The challenge is how to deal with the willfulness, clinging, or the demands typical of this period.
Parents need to be able to respond to their teen in ways that affirm the dignity and power of both parent and child. The parent who cannot tolerate their teen choosing to defy them, by wanting to do things independently of their parents, will make that child feel as though the price of their autonomy is the loss of love.
Successful navigation of this phase of life involves setting boundaries and enforcing consequences without becoming punitive, angry, or judgmental. Respectful parenting involves seeing the frustrations teens encounter when pushing against imposed boundaries as opportunities for them to exercise the muscles of self-control, self-respect, and respect for others.
The parenting role must shift during the teen years to supporting their growing independence and preparing them to meet the challenges & frustrations of daily life. Your responsibility as a parent is to teach your child the skills they will need to succeed in the world prior to leaving your home. Respectful, conscious and positive parenting is fair, flexible, and has learning, rather than submission as its goal. Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self-worth.
Hearing and respecting feelings, allowing choice, yet setting fair and clear limits on unacceptable behavior is the healthy balance that we should all strive for. Some parents use authoritarian parenting strategies that do not allow the child an independent voice or sense of efficacy. Other parents overcompensate with overly permissive parenting that doesn’t teach kids about limits and self-control. Research shows both extremes can interfere with kids’ ability to regulate their emotions and form healthy relationships as adults. Learning to cope with uncomfortable feelings is a crucial part of developing into a mature adult.
… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.
“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”
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Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor
Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.