Teenagers are not wild animals. They are not stupid or incapable of understanding things. They are not useless without WiFi, and they are definitely not interested in anything adults have to say (or in having a clean bedroom). What they are is undefinable. Go ahead and ask them: they will tell you they don't know, and they don't want anyone to slap a label on them.

Parenting is hard, yes. So is being a on the other end. Adolescents have one job: to figure out who they are and learn how to function as that person in the world. When things are messy at home or at school, it gets even more complicated. Throw in confusion about peer pressure, sexual orientation, relationships, the huge number of decisions they are expected to make about their future, on top of everyone's expectations of them, and it is easy to understand how adolescents can experience shame, fear, anger, confusion and frustration--all of which distract from what their parents care the most about: doing well in school and staying out of trouble.

Like most parents, I have indeed said, "I was a teenager once, and I remember what it was like". The reality though, is that was then and this is now. Things have changed. A lot. Technology has made gratification and access to information (as well as bullying, validation, and harsh judgment) instantaneous. School has more pressure, parents have less time, things happen faster/sooner, families break apart and reconstitute themselves faster than than the L.A. Dodgers, and the traps into which teens and young adults can fall and lose their way are easier than ever to stumble into.

How helpful would be to have someone supportive in your corner--someone whose only goal is to help you succeed as an individual, without bias, pressure, or judgment? Someone who will truly listen to you (and your music and YouTube stuff). Someone who is not a teacher, your parents, or someone who will judge you in any way--just someone to help you figure stuff out. Providing this sort of support is a big part of why I chose this career. Developmentally, adolescence is defined as having three distinct phases: early adolescence (ages 10-14), middle adolescence (15-17), and late adolescence/young adulthood (18-24) (basic information about these stages can be found here, on the AMCHP website). I typically work with stable, older adolescents (18+).

Do you need someone to listen?

If you are ready to talk, give me a call.