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The teenage years are years of tremendous change in the brains and bodies of our children.
These changes are essential and enable them to begin the important job of separating from parents and becoming their own person. It is, and should be, a time of creative exploration, craving for novelty and new experiences, emotional intensity, and social connection.
Even in the best of cases, teens can struggle understanding the new emotional intensity and meeting the demands we and the rest of the world place on them.
They can experience deep self-doubt and/or crippling self-consciousness, resulting in chronic anxiety and depression. These pressures are magnified by social media and other narrowly focused sources of information.
Your teen may struggle with:
- Risky behavior, including drugs, alcohol, or promiscuity
- Willful behavior, such as rudeness, disrespect, or outright defiance
Drop in grades or lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed
Isolating or other compulsive escape strategies, including video games or excessive sleeping
Underachieving or self-sabotaging behaviors
Self-harming behaviors such as cutting or over/under eating
Seemingly unexplained irritability or even violent outbursts
Thoughts of suicide or wanting to fall asleep and not wake up
As parents, it can be heart breaking and terrifying to see our child struggling and not know how to fix it.
It might feel like you’re at your wits end or fighting a losing battle. Maybe you’ve tried everything and nothing’s working? It can be exhausting. Here’s where we come in.
We can help you understand what’s underneath your teen’s behavior. We can work with your teen to help them explore who they are and harness the powerful changes going on for them in productive ways – in ways that make sense.
Helpful Teen Reference Books
Parenting Teens with Love & Logic, Foster Cline & Jim Fay
Brainstorm, Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
How to Talk to Teens Will Listen & Listen So Teens Will Talk, Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish