Have You Been Feeling Alienated From Your Teenage Child?
Do you look across the dinner table, if you can even get your child to come out of their room, and not recognize that beautiful boy or girl that used to think you hung the moon? Are you a parent who has been feeling disconnected from your teenager? Maybe it seemingly happened overnight, but you feel like your teen now lives in a different world that you are not invited to enter. Maybe your parental intuition has been telling you that they might be getting into trouble, experiencing depression, or falling behind in school. Do your adolescent’s mood swings suggest that they are dealing with something more serious than the struggles associated with puberty?
Perhaps you’ve noticed that your teenager talks less about their friends, leading you to wonder if they are having difficulties with their social group. Or maybe your teen’s secrecy and odd behavior is a warning sign that they’re involved with alcohol or drugs. It’s even possible that you’re struggling to remember the happy, healthy child you once had, and now you feel like you don’t know your son or daughter anymore.
Each day is filled with arguing, nagging, and repeating the same old pattern of refusing to talk to you, locking themselves in their bedroom for hours. Perhaps you’ve even received phone calls from their teacher about decreased school performance and changes in behavior. For instance, your child may be refusing to do schoolwork, disrupting class, or lashing out at their peers. You know you need to confront your teenager about this, but you don’t know where to start – and don’t want to risk alienating them from you even more.
Do you wish that your teen would just talk to you again like they used to? Are you looking for reassurance that their behavior can be improved?
The Problems Faced By Teenagers Can Be Challenging
It’s not at all uncommon for teenagers to test their boundaries and assert themselves in ways that look like they are emotionally detaching. It’s practically a right of passage for teens to believe, at some point, that their parents are “uncool” and just want to make sure they never have any fun. That behavior is normal – to an extent. Even if you’ve always had a great relationship with your teen, adolescent moodiness and puberty can cause friction at times. That alone isn’t anything to be concerned about.
But sometimes, there are issues underneath the surface of “normal” angst and other teenage problems. If your household has experienced some turbulence, such as divorce, remarriage, or the exposure to persistent conflicts or arguments in the home, these issues can affect your teenager’s mental health. If they are not encountering obstacles to their well-being at home, your child’s school environment can also be a factor. After all, as you may recall, middle school and high school friendships can be extremely fragile and cause a great deal of turmoil when destabilized. A misunderstanding or a fight can have dramatic consequences for your teenager’s social life – even their physical well-being.
Bullying or harassment is another possible explanation for sudden behavioral changes. Your teenager may not only feel victimized in the hallways at school, but also online at home through their laptop or phone. It’s natural and understandable that you may have concerns about what they’re really doing online – and who they might be chatting with.
Ultimately, you may not be able to know what’s really going on unless your teenager tells you, which feels easier said than done. But there is a way to better understand your teen’s world. With a skilled teen therapist, you can learn effective communication tools to better understand the teenage brain, and in turn, your teen can understand his or her parents better.
Online Family Therapy Is A Win-Win For Teens And Parents
Working with a skilled online therapist is an effective way to break down communication barriers and change how you and your child interact with each other. We help your child find their voice so that you, as a parent, can better understand them. We aim to provide a “window” into your teenager’s world that you might not otherwise have.
Our goal isn’t just to restore your relationship with your teen. We understand that you both are looking for different things: as the parent, you want your teen to be more responsible and open with you, and they want more freedom. We will ask each of you to explain the issues without interruption or judgment, which allows us to see where misunderstandings and different end goals are causing a wedge in your relationship. Learning new tools of communication can help you both get what you want, which will make you both happy and your home environment more stable. We can also help you understand current teen norms, and fill you in on what they are really doing on social media. Hint: they are sneaky.
We can work together in a variety of ways. We can help you, the parent, individually to learn better skills, techniques, or ways to reconnect with your teen. We can work primarily with your teen, providing them a safe and confidential space to work through any problems they may have. We can work together as a family or any combination of the three. Allison and I have worked with teens and families together successfully for the past decade.
Our family therapy sessions are solution-focused, compassionate, and always judgment-free. We look to identify behavior patterns in your relationship with your teenager with the goal of allowing both of you to explain your point of view and be heard. Throughout our sessions, we will draw upon any feedback you may have about your child’s progress in order to understand what changes and improvements you would like to see.
Your relationship with your teenager can be improved. Despite the generational gap, you can learn how to understand their world, better relate to them, and ultimately facilitate peace and stability in the house. We are here to tell you that your teen DOES want you in their life, and they still do need you. You just may need to change your approach to fit where they are developmentally.
You May Have Some Concerns About Family Therapy…
What if my teenager doesn’t want to come to therapy?
The good news is, they don’t have to “go” anywhere – our family counseling services are available online. You and your teen can talk with us right from your computer, from the comfort of your own living room (or any room you want). Depending on their situation, it may even be that online therapy is more suitable for your teen. The important thing is to help your child prepare for the future however you can, even if that means reaching out through virtual sessions.
Will the stigma associated with family counseling hurt my teenager?
Mental health issues have gotten more attention in the media over the last few years, and teenagers today are more progressive about the idea of counseling than previous generations. In our experience, teenagers are less concerned about any perceived stigma associated with counseling than their parents are. We also place high importance on confidentiality, so only you and your child will be aware of what comes up in sessions.
I’m afraid of digging up some “skeletons” that I don’t want my teen to know about.
Family counseling is about more than just harmonizing your relationship with your child. It’s also about helping partners maintain a healthy relationship outside of the scope of being parents. If there are some issues affecting your child that you don’t want to discuss in front of them yet, such as intimacy, infidelity, or finances, we also offer individual online sessions. We believe in showing unconditional positive regard and respect for all of our clients and do not express judgment or condemnation.
Call To Schedule An Appointment With A Teen Therapist
If you’re ready for help strengthening your relationship with your teenager, I encourage you to contact us today though the contact page on our site, or you can also call us at 850-290-2020. We offer a free 15 to 20 minute consultation to see if we would be a good fit to work together.