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Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults > Parenting a Teen, Preteen, or Young Adult
Therapists & Support Groups
Hello, Seeking recommendations for a therapist extremely skilled in parenting issues. It seems there used to be one name mentioned often on BPN, but of course I didn't pay attention b/c daughter was sweet back then. She is now a junior in HS, and I've reached the end of my rope. Seeking a skilled professional well versed in teen/parenting issues who can help me through this. Thanks for any & all recommendations. Nothing but negative/hatred from daughter
We are looking for a therapist to consult with about our teenage daughter. She is a wonderful kid, in most ways incredibly together - bright, social, athletic and mostly happy. Her peers look up to her. She is social at school but doesn't have a good number of close,one on one friendships. She has an intensity about her that can be experienced, by peers and her parents alike, as slightly controlling and just ''too much''. As parents we would like to understand what is going on with her and how we might gently and subtlely learn some things to help her help herself. We wonder if we had a few sessions with the right therapist we might be able to gain a better understanding of what compels her and how we might help her without hurting her feelings or confidence. Any recommendations for a therapist that knows teen issues well but could meet with us as parents would be helpful. A UBH provider would be even better. Thank you. Parents wanting to help
I am looking for a support group for single parents of teens. I need help from other single parents who experience our unique issues of raising teenagers by ourselves. Any ideas would be helpful. Single Mom
Does anyone know of a local support group for single parents of teenagers? I'm really feeling the need for support and building some community around me as I deal with issues in raising my teen on my own. Thanks!
Help! Is there a parent-of-teen-support group out there (East Bay)? AND do you know of a good professional to whom I can go for more ''structural'' advice on how to set parameters for my daughter on dating, discipline, privacy, etc.?
When my daugther was a baby, then a toddler, I read ''all the books'', and felt pretty intuitive about parenting during the ''easy'' years (ages 5--13); my daughter truly was very easy and we were extremeley close.
Now I have a 14 year-old and I am clueless--about dating, discipline, privacy, etc. And for the first time, she and I have fought, where my sweet girl has morphed into a vampire teen and screamed about how much she hates me. My daughter has met a boy she likes and wants to go out with him. I don't know what the parameters of behavior should be. She is in the early stages of all this and has shared with me that she and this boy have kissed twice (at a camp). Today she wants to meet him ''to walk around'' (Bay Street, 4th Street, Shattuck, she's not sure yet). They may meet at a mutal friend's. Aieee!
I am divorced, do not effectively co-parent with my ex (we never talk), which was okay when parenting was easy. Now the stakes are higher. I don't expect to have a more effective relationship with her dad. I need the support of other parents and/or professional parenting help.
Please advise! Thank you. Very clueless and a bit scared
Being the mom of a son is much different from being the mom of a girl (I can only imagine, since I have two boys), but I have similar concerns. I've found talking with other parents gives me a better idea of what to expect and how to approach my sons. There are some good books on parenting teens, but I don't have time to read!
The other thing I've done is talk quite openly about my expectations about his behavior with girlfriends. We've had lots of 'sex talks' so he knows how everything works and what my values are. He doesn't talk much, but I do! I even bought condoms to show him how they work, all the while telling him he wouldn't need them for a long time! I bet there are some on-line places we can go to get support, too. I'm so busy I don't think I could fit in another regular meeting. Thanks for bringing this up! Another concerned mom
Does anyone know of a support group in Berkeley area for parents of teens? I have a 15 year old that is a classic teenager 101, and I would love to find a group to share ideas and get support. anonymous
My two teenage girls are, on the whole, doing okay - I'm the one who's a wreck. I have lost all faith in myself as a parent and a person. I see all my failings (my kids are very quick to point them out and they are often right) and I can't seem to fix what's wrong; I have repeated all the mistakes my parents made that I swore I wouldn't repeat. I'm afraid I'll estrange my kids the way my mom and I became distant. I wish I had taken parenting classes or sought a support group when they were little, but I feel like I have to do something now or I will truly fall apart. All my friends seem to be coping with their teenagers much better than I am. I am in therapy but need something directed specifically to my life as a parent, which is eating me alive. Can anyone suggest anything? Needs help, please
Groups meet in Oakland, Lafayette/Walnut Creek and are led by adolescent specialist Michael Y. Simon, MFT, high school counselor, noted speaker/ educator and psychotherapist in private practice. Michael will outline specific, research-based parenting approaches to help you feel and be more effective in supporting your teen in their school, social and home lives. The meetings will also include ample time for parents to share their experiences with each other, to receive feedback from Michael and to get support for doing the world? hardest job. Please note: this is not a therapy group. TO REGISTER OR FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call Practical Help for Parents, (510) 433-2959; visit us on the web at www.practicalhelpforparents.com
''Survival Skills for Parents of Teens''
Alameda Family Services offers a FREE parenting class for parents of adolescents (both middle school and high school ages).
A 9-session class, spanning from Sep 18 - Nov 13, 2008. Thursday evenings, 6:15 - 7:45 pm. Held at Alameda Family Services, 2325 Clement Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501. The class is limited to 12 parents/families.
To register, or for more information, please contact: Robert P. Mejia Prevention Specialist Alameda Family Services - School Based Health Centers 210 Central Avenue Alameda, CA 94501 510-748-4085 x3135 RM
My daughter is chronologically a pre-teen (almost 12), but biologically and hormonally pubescent. I'm a single mom by choice so there's no other parent on alternate weekends, let alone at home. I am already finding dealing with the mood swings and absent-mindedness extremely stressful, and I know I am not handling it well. Nearly everything I have to say to my daughter is a correction or criticism and I'm on the verge of tears frequently. That's obviously not good for her or for our relationship. On the other hand, if I had a roommate like my daughter, I'd move. Can anyone recommend particularly helpful books to help me get through the next 6-plus years? Better still, are there any support groups? L.
You have to be her friend, her mother, her jailer, and her escape partner! What I mean by that is sometimes you will need to rein her in to make sure she's safe and healthy, and other times you will have to be the one she can escape her crazy teen-age life with by going on a fun adventure together. You will have to be there when she's a mess and crying and doesn't know what to do because she's had a fight with a friend, and you will have to figure out the right thing to say to help her keep going. You also have a take a lot of gruff!! (That's the not-nice part. That's when detachment can come in handy.) I swear this period has been the HARDEST part of raising a child, for me at least!
But I try to keep an open mind, and change when the situation calls for it. I apologize when I've not done something the best way I could've and next time do it again differently. I look at this as a growth period for myself too. I don't think of myself as ''finished'', life has much more to offer and for me to learn from, even my daughter! Try to eat well, and get excercise. Don't let the stress build up. Teenagers are very sensitive and can feel all of our stuff too.
Make some basic rules for the house, start slow and repeat yourself like a broken record for the next 6 years! Sometimes I have to laugh at the whole thing too!! My daughter had it hard from 12-15 and now she seems to be have a better sense of herself. We get along great for the most part. I totally admire her. She's smart, sensitive, beautiful, and funny. She's also a slob, she walks as fast as a snail, is late, and talks back to me sometimes. But hey, we're not perfect, ever! living breathing mom of a living breathing 16-y.o. daughter!
Another thing that helped was learning to bite my tongue, intensely. It got so that we would have car drives with no words spoken fairly often. It was better than some innoccuous comment from me setting her off in some mean or negative direction. Music is good -- you are listening to it together. Actually, cultivate any activities you can do together that do not require talking. When she is ready to talk, of course you drop everything to listen and talk back. But sometimes, silence is golden.
There's a book by Micheal Reira we found very helpful, Uncommon Sense for Parents of Teenagers. The info is good, and the tone is very grounding.
Good luck. These are heavy lifting years for parents, but you and she will get through them together. anon, of course
Involving Really Bad Teen Judgment by my son (a junior), and our ineffective attempts at consequences and reasonable restrictions like curfews. My husband was upset to think that we were bad parents/citizens, but reassured after he checked in and found that almost all parents he knew have had even more grief and conflict, from teens we'd least suspect of it.
Our family therapist acknowledged our outrage that our son was an obnoxious slobby roommate with misplaced feelings of entitlement, making stupid mistakes (like not studying or getting enough sleep or handling his money well), and not a dutiful child mirroring our values. He also pointed out that our son's mistakes hadn't involved the police or personal injury or pregnancy or substance abuse, and that our son's grades (while slipping) and his health and potential were still excellent.
We took a deep breath and shipped him off to be away from us for 8 weeks, to live at a dorm and take summer college classes. It has been a wonderful thing for our son to be on his own, and clearly the right thing for all of us. He loves his big new world. He can be polite and cheerful in his infrequent contacts with us; we can be more accepting of his autonomy and confident of his safety. We're hoping that this will help us all survive his senior year together. another parent holding on
I love to read and have found these books that are helping me get through this phase (oh, gosh, 6 years?!) These should be available at the public library.
Get Out of My Life, But First Would You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? When We're in Public, Could You Pretend You Don't Know Me? Ophelia's Mom: Loving and Letting Go Girl in the Mirror Why Do They Act That Way? (great book on the way teenage brain development leads to behaviors) Don't Give Me That Attitude! 24 Rude, Selfish, Insensitive Things Kids Do and How to Stop ThemI admire you for asking for support. Hang on. We'll all help each other get through this. Nancy
My daughter turns 18 this month and this has occasioned some reflection on my part about the task of being the parent of a teenager. She is my first- born; I still have a 15-year old son to fret over, so my work is not yet complete. But 18 is something special, not just another birthday.
As I have thought about the past five years (or more? she was certainly a teenager well before she was 13), the metaphor that sticks in my mind is that being the parent of a teenager is like delivering them all over again: the awe, wonder, joy, sense of accomplishment, and deep, overwhelming, all- consuming adoration of this new human being are all as fresh as they were 18 years ago. But there is also a lot of pain and a certain amount of blood on the floor.
As Ive read through the Parents of Teens entries over the years, there have been times when Ive been smug and arrogantwhats wrong with these people? We dont have problems like that, why dont they just do it the way we did? And there have been other times when I have felt guilty, hidden, and alone: surely no other child has been as you-name-the adjective (deceitful, lazy, thoughtless, messy, mean, etc.), and no other parent has been as helpless, as ineffectual, as bewildered, heartbroken, or betrayed by the actions of the child who came out of her own body.
To all of you who have shared this journey with us and especially to those who are still delivering: the fact is that most of these children survive being teenagers and most of us parents do too. The path is never what we expected or imagined, and many of our children will not be quite the people that we thought we wanted them to be. But they are also far more than we ever dared to hope and dream in so many ways. Mostly, they are a gift and they are a labor.
To my daughter (and you know who you are), I would like to say that you have always been and will always be the light of my life. I carried you in my heart long before I found the right partner to allow to be your father and I will carry you in my heart long after it stops beating, and yours stops beating, and your fathers and brothers and childrens stop beating. You are a magnificent personfull of flaws, full of feeling, still becoming, but also, already, magnificent. Fly free, my child, fly free and high and be only as afraid as you need to be in order to be safe.
But first, turn off the TV, do your homework, finish your college apps, and clean your room.
Happy Birth Day and much love, from your mother. anonymous
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