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How do I communicate with my TEENAGER!?!!??

Why does my teen feel the need to argue with me?

Your teen DOES NOT feel the need to argue with you.  Your teen DOES feel the need to be heard, understood, and accepted.  When your teen feels they are not being heard they will argue, yell, and act out because they are frustrated and feeling alone.

How do I make my teen feel understood?

By listening to them!!  When an argument begins parents are so frustrated with being disrespected they close their ears to their teen; much like their teen does when they’re frustrated with not being understood.  By repeating what your teen wants in a clear, calm manner you show them you are taking in what they are saying to you.

How is telling them what they want to hear helping them?

Letting your teen know you hear them is not the same as letting them have their way.  Once you’ve calmly showed them you are listening to them, it is your turn to explain your opinion.  You can still tell your teen no and let them know you understand where they are coming from.

What’s the best way to talk to my teen?

Stay calm!!  You set the tone of the conversation with your child, if they try to escalate the conversation to an argument it is up to you to stay calm and keep the discussion from turning into a screaming match.

What are other important things to remember when talking to my teen?

Don’t judge.  Don’t tell your teen “You don’t understand”.  Do create a safe, open space for expression.  Do show your child how to keep calm by doing so yourself.  Always remember that you are a parent, not a friend; it’s ok for your teen to be angry with you for not giving them their way, just continue to show them you are listening to them and taking in everything they are saying.   If you would like to involve a counselor in your conversations to better help you communicate with your teenager, please call our office for an appointment.

We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942 -Dr. Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

 

-Contributed by Michelle Haeur, M.Ed., NCC, Counselor Intern

How can I help my 10 year old son control his behavior at school?

“Drs, I am at a loss with my son. How can I help my 10 year old control his behavior at school? “

The first thing to look at is his health. Is he getting enough rest, eating properly, enough exercise? It is also important to look at any recent or ongoing stressors that need to be processed. We also need to examine parenting styles, and the parent/child relationship to ascertain how that is working, and how can it be improved upon.

The child and his goals, desires, level of development, and abilities to cope and problem solve are gathered. From there a plan is made to assist with all  or specific areas that can help. Typically, after general health care review, and maybe some parenting tips, the child is helped to learn specific impulse control skills, stress reducing techniques, and problem solving strategies. Depending on the child’s age and ability to comprehend, an attempt to correct some faulty thinking may also be incorporated.

 

I hope this gives you some insight on the factors that affect your son. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942 if you would like to contact us for specific therapy for your child

Response from Counselor Jan Doty

Child Behavioral Problems: How Family Counseling Can Help

Too often parents send children with behavioral problems to individual counseling without recognizing the crucial role they play in remedying the problem.  When looking at counseling from a systemic approach, you recognize that children are largely a product of their environments.  As individuals in a family, we all play a role based on the roles and behaviors of the other family members.  It is impossible to fully understand a person in isolation because we are all a part of an emotional unit, a family. You must look at the unit as a whole in order to properly remedy the source of the problem.

It is often said, “Children don’t come with an instruction manual,” which is why family counseling can be such a wonderful tool to help you figure out the best ways to parent your child, based on the overall structure of your family.  Children function best when living in a structured and stable environment.  This helps to create a sense of safety and security for the child, thus allowing them to thrive.

Child behavioral problems often emerge during times of major life changes, such as parental divorce, a death in the family, birth of a new sibling, or moving to a new location. These life changes can lead to a change in the family’s current balance, and thus lead to role changes.  Because these changes can cause instability, it is important during these times to check in with your child; communicate with your child about their thoughts and feeling, and look out for any changes in their mood and/or behavior.  During these times it is also important to maintain a routine, and stay consistent with any rules, consequences, and rewards system in place.

In family counseling, parents and their children are able to work together with the help of their therapist to learn the tools needed to create a happy, healthy family unit.  You will explore possible sources of your child’s symptoms by looking at the structure and roles of the family unit, create a personalized treatment plan, learn new communication skills, learn new parenting techniques, and implement them while under the guidance of your therapist.

 

Priscilla Hurd

M.Ed., NCC, LPC-I