As the parent of a teenager, you may often find yourself thinking about how it used to be so much easier to enforce rules, boundaries, and limits on your young child. Now, your child has grown into a teenager (new territory for everyone!) and your child has learned how to push, and even reject, limits set on them. This can be confusing and frustrating.
Welcome to Our Blog!
This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
In the past few decades, and particularly in the last few years, there has been more open conversation about young people and adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. As children in our families, schools, and communities come out into the open, parents, uncles and aunts, and neighbors and friends consider how they can be supportive. Here are some guidelines that may be of use to adults who are considering how they might support their own children, or children in their families and communities.
Ever since Bill Milliken, a Christian minister working with at-risk youth in New York’s lower East Side, wrote a book in 1968 by the title, Tough Love, the phrase he coined has caught on like hot cakes. It is used by people in the field of education, by addiction programs, by parenting counselors, by sports coaches, even by legislators making policy about food stamps and social welfare. Yet as Milliken recently acknowledges, the concept has been used to justify disciplinary programs that are harsh, even abusive. Yet much truth resides in his concept, and one that parents can learn and grow from in ways that will positively affect their children.
As teenagers become more independent, they often spend more time away from home, and when they are home they are often behind closed doors or focused on other things. It might also feel like your child is less interested in talking to you, but there are plenty of things you can do to maintain a strong positive relationship and stay connected with your teenager. Hint: It’s the little moments, not the big occasions, which can really count.
Spring is here and high school juniors are just now finding letters in their mailboxes that tell them whether a college has accepted them for their incoming freshman class. For many students, an acceptance letter allows them to breathe a huge sigh of relief, not only because they now know where they will wind up, but also because it signifies that the year of applying to college, froth with anxiety, trepidation, self-doubt and possibly tension between them and parents or teachers, is now over. For some students the application process is particularly difficult and stressful – for those who have learning disabilities, or executive functioning deficits, or social anxiety, or performance anxiety, or fear of separation from their parents – the list goes on. And what child doesn’t have some kind of challenge? After all, growing up means that they aren’t there yet.