Parenting My Teen

The Parenting My Teen Podcast is a show all about you and your teens.
Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Parenting A Teen’

How to Support Your LGBT Teen

By: Aurelia Category: Family, Parenting A Teen

The sexual orientation of a teenager is important as they are just discovering themselves. Parents should support their LGBT teens. This is aided by the participation of both parents and teens in LGBT counseling programs as well as support groups.

Parents and guardians are usually surprised when they learn that their teenage sons and daughters may be attracted to members of the same sex. Many teenagers at the ages of 13 or 14 are usually trying to identify their sexual orientation. However, at this point they may adapt to the nontraditional LGBT sexual orientation.

It is often difficult for a gay person to interact with others in the society. This leads to many teens skillfully hiding their sexual orientation from other people including their parents thereby leading to an emotional toll due the strain of hiding a major aspect of their identity. LBGT counseling is important to ensure that a teenager is able to deal with the different perceptions and treatment that they will receive from those in their society. This is aided by the parents unequivocal support to the feelings of a teenager. Sometimes parents are uneasy and concerned about the future outlook when they find out that their teenager’s sexual dispensations are unusual. It is important for parents to understand that their child’s feelings may not be changed.

Pittsburgh therapists have been providing LGBT counseling to many teenagers thereby enabling them to achieve their ambitions even in terms of raising families in the future. This is aided by the continued acceptance of the non-conventional sexual orientation in the modern society.

Pittsburgh therapists understand that gay teens are often struggling from isolation and feelings of depression as they are usually the minority in a community and their partners are most of the times fearful of revealing their feelings of sexual and emotional attraction to them. Parents should also participate in the LGBT counseling so as to emotionally support their teenagers while at the same time bring them closer as they show that they understand the path their children have chosen. The acceptance of a parent with regards to the sexual and emotional preferences invigorates the self esteem of their teenagers thereby enabling them to interact with their peers with ease both socially and functionally.

LGBT counseling enlightens a teenager on how to avoid diseases that may be contracted as a result of their association with other partners with a similar orientation. There are often reports in the media indicating that gay teens are more prone to suicide and depression. This is also complicated at times by the intolerant members of the society or intolerant messages that may be posted at institutions like schools and other public places that LGBT teens often visit. This leads the LGBT teens to feel that they are regarded as unnatural and misfits in society.

Pittsburgh therapists ensure that all the facets of the daily life of a teenager with a nontraditional orientation are considered to ensure that they lead a normal life. This includes the enhancement of their self esteem so that they are able to feel that their choice of sex partners is normal whether or not other in their society are particularly supportive of them.

About the Author

Ryan FitzGerald is the Co-Founder of TherapyTribe.com

Signs of Teenage Depression

By: Aurelia Category: Family, Parenting A Teen, Teen Emotional Health

Signs of teenage depression: can you spot them? It is not easy; yet with heightened senses and an open mind, you can see right through your teenager’s heart.

Your teenager is an individual in his own right

Your baby is now grownup; yet not quite. Most of the times your teenage son or daughter disagrees with you. He or she is not anymore allowed to play and act like a child but he or she isn’t allowed yet to do many of the things that are said to be for adults only. Add this fact to peer pressure and hormones and you’ve got a perfect recipe for teenage depression.

Being a teen is not easy, you’ve been there and done the “deeds” that now make you shake your head at the thought. Since you’ve passed the teenage stage uneventfully, you may think that your son or daughter would also do so and react to adversities in the same way as you do. Not quite.

Your teenage son or daughter is a different individual with a temperament that although it may resemble yours, does not make him or her just like you altogether. This means that he or she may react and decide differently with the same stressors that you have faced.

Spotting signs of teenage depression

Below are some actions or behaviors of a teenager that you may think of as just sulkiness normal to any teen, but may be telltale signs of teenage depression:

1. Sudden disregard for appearance or personal hygiene.

When a teenager suddenly looks shabby, doesn’t want to take a shower even if his hair is already sticking to his head, and wears used and soiled clothes for school, it is one of the signs of teenage depression.

It is not that your teenage son or daughter prefers to look shabby; he is not anymore aware of his looks because his thoughts are preoccupied with depressing thoughts and personal hygiene and appearance become the least of his worries.

When this happens too suddenly, it is one of the signs of teenage depression. However, if this happens just once in a while and your teenage son or daughter still dresses up for school, he is just a normal teenager who gets lazy at times.

2. Sudden drop in grades.

Lackluster performance at school is one of the signs of a teenage depression especially if the trend was from up to down in a matter of weeks or a few months. This means that your teenage son or daughter is facing a difficult time, whether at home or at school, and this matter should be discussed with him or her. During a dialogue, don’t go on the offensive since this will push your child away from you. Talk to your teenage son or daughter as though he is an adult and let him do more of the talking.

3. Change in appetite.

A teenager who goes into eating spree or suddenly went anorexic has some deep problems that aren’t surfacing yet. If you notice change in appetite, observe first your teenage son or daughter’s behavior and take the time to talk to him or her about the things that bother him or her.

If he declines, give him the space he needs and leave him alone for a few days. If nothing has changed after a few days, talk to him again and never accept a “no” answer for a dialogue. Ask in a kind way what’s bothering his mind and tell him that no matter what, you are always there to assist him.

4. Deviant or destructive behavior.

If a teenager becomes too destructive to himself and to people around him, it doesn’t mean that he is just a rebellious teenager. This is one of the signs of teenage depression and you should extend a hand for guidance and comfort. Don’t be on the offensive when he sulks. Nor should you be on the defensive when he spites you.

5. Restless or agitated or sluggish.

A depressed teenager may be restless, can not keep himself in one place or is sluggish and prefers to stay home, sleep all day, eat a lot and do nothing. These are signs of teenage depression; and when you see these signs, better talk things out with your teenage son or daughter to understand his wants and needs.

Visit Facts-About-Depression.com for useful information and resources about signs of teenage depression and anti depression medicine.

Real Life Guidance Guide to Understanding Your Teen This toolkit offers parenting help and help solve the mysteries in understanding your teen.

Visit Out of Control Teen to learn more about how you can help a teen that shows signs of trouble.

Quick Tips to Boost Your Teens Confidence

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Emotional Health

Many teens suffer through the pain of never feeling good enough. They face pressure to fit into a crowd among their peers. Feelings of inadequacy are the norm for teens, as they are many times unsure of themselves.

 Use these tips to help build your teen’s confidence:

1. Encourage mental and social growth. Involve your teen in academic clubs and after school activities in which she’s interested. Look at every extracurricular activity as a way for your teen to learn and grow. Nurture your teen’s strengths and help her develop expertise in the areas where she is most knowledgeable.

2. Be aware. Teens rarely like to ask for help, even when they need it most. Pay attention to how your teen reacts or ways they respond. If you think your teen needs help but is too afraid or embarrassed to ask for it, offer it to them without question. Be a concerned parent and trust your intuition.

3. Build trust. One of the worst things a parent can do is to interfere and overreact to any given situation with a teenager. Create an open-door policy. Let your teen know that you are always there for them to talk to about anything. Build a path of trust from you to your teen and from your teen to you.

4. Listen with a closed mouth and open heart. If your teen trusts you enough to talk to you about personal matters, feel honored. Be available to listen to your teen; be cautious not to jump to conclusions. Instead, allow your teen the opportunity to speak from their heart. This not only facilitates open communication, but builds trust between you and your teen as well.

Above all, be understanding and forgiving. Everyone makes mistakes. Keep in mind that teen years are difficult at best. Be slow to pass judgment and blame. Give your teen the chance to talk to you, to explain his position. When your teenager is low in spirits or feeling bad about himself, give him an extra boost of confidence.

Go now and check out Real Life Guidance Guide to Understanding Your Teen to grab some additional parenting help and help solve the mysteries in understanding your teen so that you can stay close as a family.

 

Discipling Teenagers: Consequences and Responsibility

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen

Discipline is a touchy subject. Any time that a child “goes off the rails” parents believe that they are the cause. In the early years of their lives, your child learned the basics from you. Teenage years are the time when they test their boundaries, rely heavily on their peers and also learn to face problems in a way that will prepare them for adulthood.

To that end, in adulthood there are consequences for actions, both good and bad. Actually, there are always consequences, but when our children are still under our wing, we shoulder much of that responsibility ourselves.

During the teen years, it is time for our children to learn a bit about that responsibility. Consider punishments. As a teenager, when breaking curfew results in being grounded, your child sits in the house instead of being allowed to see their friends or play their favorite video game. This may work the first time or even the second but your teen will build up a resistance to it eventually.

Before you even pass sentence on their misdeeds they will bound up the stairs towards their room. Next, you’ll hear the loud music and the locked door. What have they learned besides how to tune you out? Their cell phone, iPod and use of the car were privileges in the first place. Denying them these things as punishment changes them from privileges into something they begin to expect as your parental duty to provide.

Try a different tact here that will help both of you to learn. Instead of letting your teen have all that time to stew when they have done something wrong, teach them how to make restitution. It is discipline but a more constructive form that teenagers will understand.

Acknowledge that your teen has made a mistake – All kids make mistakes. You did when you were their age. Telling them not to do it again won’t last for very long. Ever wonder why a teen gets in trouble for the same thing twice? As parents we are ashamed of some mistakes our kids make and take it personally. We accept the consequences in order to keep it secret from our friends. The time for that is over.

Hear their side of the story – This encourages honesty. If you have agreed to a contract or have discussed some of the results for breaking the rules they already know something is coming. But, be calm and let them know that honesty is still the best policy in your home even if it will be hard for you to hear. Judge each situation on a case by case basis. Yes they were late for curfew but if a friend was in trouble, suggest that they call next time to let you know what’s going on. You are still their parent and they must know that you will be there for them in any situation first and foremost.

Allow your teen to accept the responsibility – It is not about pointing fingers but laying blame at the right door. All you have to do is simply ask, “What do you propose to do about this situation?” At first, it will catch them off guard. Usually it is parent’s who dole out punishment to kids for their offenses and they just sit and listen. Now, they have to think about what they have done and how they will repair the situation.

Give them time to think about it – It may take a few hours for them to adjust to what they have been told. Let them be participants in their own disciplinary action. Here is an example that you can suggest to get them thinking in the right direction. Let’s say that you stayed up for an hour waiting for them to come home because they missed curfew. In exchange, they owe you an hour of their precious time. They can suggest to you what they can do to make up the time (do extra chores after school that you usually do, make dinner, help their siblings with their homework and etc.).

This reflects a positive form of discipline. Hopefully the result of this new updated form of discipline is that your teen will learn from their mistakes. By participating in the consequence, they are accepting responsibility. Also, they learn that a slap on the wrist is not how life works when it comes to righting a wrong. To a teen, time out or being grounded on Saturday is a slap on the wrist. They don’t have to think about what they did or whom else it affected.

 

Keeping Discipline in Perspective

A teen who is constantly hearing about what they have done wrong will begin to see themselves in a negative light all the time. Yes, it is the job of a loving parent to teach but also to provide the support that any young man or woman needs to grow and thrive. Life is not all about rules and discipline and you can help your teen learn that too.

Acknowledge positive actions. Just because they are paying back their time as a form of discipline doesn’t mean that they can’t be afforded some positive feedback for it. Your teen has helped their younger sister finish her math homework. Congratulate them on a job well done. Praise them for being good at math and being willing to put that talent to good use.

Often, teens grudgingly serve their punishment time. With positive experiences as a form of discipline, they can learn something in the process that they can carry with them for a lifetime. Discipline has gotten a bad rap over the years but you can change that in general for your child.

Avoid using “family time” as a punishment.  How many times have you said that since they didn’t meet your expectations that they have to spend the day with family instead of friends? It puts a negative spin on spending time with the family unit. Time spent together keeps the family together. It allows you to see each other in a different light and build trust.

Reward responsibility with greater responsibility. We don’t mean that if they do the dishes then they also get to wash the clothes. Your teen has consistently met their curfew of 10:00 on school nights and they are getting good grades in school. Extend their curfew on weekends as both a reward and a chance to stretch their responsibility. If they chauffeur their siblings to school during the week, allow them time to drive the car and meet their friends as a reward.

Discipline is never easy. It will take some getting used to and practice before both of you appreciate what it can do for your relationship and your teen’s future.

Real Life Guidance Guide to Understanding Your Teen This toolkit offers parenting help and help solve the mysteries in understanding your teen.

Tips on Communicating With Teens

By: Aurelia Category: Family, Parenting A Teen

All at once you may discover that you are at a loss for words when it comes to talking to your teen. Just a few years prior, they wanted a bedtime story or a comforting hug to feel that everything was alright. Well, they may decline the former, but the latter is still appreciated even if they say it is not. You just have to time it better during the teenage years.

But, that won’t get you out of the doghouse with your teen all the time. You will have to learn their language too. We’ll get into that in a second. First, here are some tips on how to simply talk to them. A word to parents: You will see a lot of tips in this eBook. They are meant to guide you in the right direction and help relieve anxiety for you.

Listen Actively

This is the number one way to communicate with them. Think about husbands and wives for a second. Wives can always tell when their husbands are not paying attention. It could be the glazing over of the eyes or even the fact that you are not looking at the person directly.

The same applies to you and a conversation with your teen. Conversations are going to get few and far between as they grow more independent of you. Treat each one as precious. Here’s how.

• Make eye contact – Look your child in the face as they talk to you. What they have to say may not be earth-shattering but it is important to them.

• Stop what you are doing – Conversations don’t always happen at convenient times. But, if you are reading the paper or watching a television show, put it down or turn off the set for a few moments and give them your undivided attention.

• Resist the urge to form a response in your head – We’ve all done it before. As soon as the person who is talking to us begins speaking we feel we have the gist of what they are saying. So, we stop listening and concentrate on what we will say when they are finished. A telltale sign is that you begin to nod your head as if in agreement even if they are saying something that to them doesn’t deserve a nod.

• Communicate what you heard – Sometimes what we hear is not exactly what is being said. When your teen finishes speaking, simply repeat back to them what you heard them say so that there is no miscommunication from the start.

Non-Verbal Communication

We touched on this one. What you don’t say is just as important as what you do say. Kids and teenagers are quite astute. They can pick up on your emotional state from how you act. Use your non-verbal skills to put a positive spin on your talks with them.

• Use open non-verbal gestures – When you sit and talk with your teen, keep your arms at your sides or on the arm of the chair. Avoid crossing your legs. Open gestures convey a willingness to listen. Also, try to avoid placing your hands on your hips if you are frustrated or pointing fingers at your teen.

• Be mindful of your facial expression – It is easy to screw up your face when your teen says something that you don’t like. That sends the message to them that you have stopped listening to what they are saying or that they are not getting through to you. For example, if you were telling a friend that you were having plastic surgery and they frowned at you or furrowed their eyebrows, wouldn’t you stop talking? A disapproving look is just like saying “I don’t approve” with your mouth. Instead, try to smile when appropriate or keep your expression neutral. Resist the urge to roll your eyes also.

• Make body contact – Teens are not averse to having their parents hug or touch them (except when friends are around). Sitting away from them can signify that you are standoffish about what they are saying. Sit next to them so that they know they have your attention and that you care. It provides security even though they may act like they don’t need it.

• Keep a positive tone – When your voice drops an octave or two, kids get worried. Either it means that you are mad or not in the mood to talk. Use it sparingly though. Too much happiness in your voice can sound phony to them.

• Mind the noises – This is a funny but serious one. Have you ever sucked your teeth or sighed heavily when your teen says that they want to talk. Before they even open their mouth they may turn and leave after a long sigh. Unconsciously, you could be pushing them away from you and towards the advice of their friends.

Start using these tips today with your teen and see how well it works for you.    Be sure to comment here and let us know how it goes.

Additional Resources For Parents of Teens

Real Life Guidance Guide to Understanding Your Teen This toolkit offers parenting help and help solve the mysteries in understanding your teen.

Real Life Guidance Report to Helping Your Teen With High School offers parenting help and shows you how to help your teen deal with the pressures of high school and also help them to be more independent!