Teenage Counseling Palmer AK
1 . The Mysterious Teenage Brain
Written by the dads @ fathers.com
Date Posted: Friday, 28 March 2008
Recent research highlighted in the Wall Street Journal sheds light on some reasons for the roller-coaster ride of adolescence--and it's all about the brain.
On one hand, neuroscientists point out that the teenage brain is uniquely tuned to chemical highs and lows, making it especially vulnerable to stress, addictions and experimenting with dangerous behaviors. Similarly, a brain-image study at UCLA revealed a region of the teenage brain that overreacts to rewards and unexpected stimuli. This may explain why teens seek experiences they find rewarding even though they might be potentially harmful.
However, adolescents also perceive risk and uncertainty differently than adults do, according to neuroscience researchers at New York University. Surprisingly, teenagers try to avoid risks more than adults, although teens are more likely to make a choice before fully investigating possible consequences.
Stress ... danger ... overreactions ... risk ... uncertainty. It’s all part of the great mystery of a teenager. Many fathers who have teenagers can actually view these research findings as good news. It's somewhat comforting to know there’s a good explanation for the way our teens are acting, and that we aren’t alone in our struggles to understand our children and get along. With teens, this is pretty close to normal. ...
2 . Fathering Teens: A Balancing Act
Written by the dads @ fathers.com
Date Posted: Friday, 27 April 2007
Research on adolescent development by Child Trends notes that teens and their behaviors frequently “cluster”: good or bad behaviors (and good or bad peers) tend to come in groups. For instance, if your teen is struggling academically, he is likely to add a group of other negative behaviors, such as smoking, taking drugs, binge drinking or risky sexual behavior; and he will likely associate with friends who struggle with those same issues. As the number of negative behaviors increases, teens will isolate themselves in groups that have similar behaviors. Clearly, this phenomenon presents enormous challenges for fathers who hope to intervene and help their adolescents.
The survey also lists some positive ways fathers can contribute to their teens’ lives and help them navigate the adolescent years without serious trauma. They can model and promote physical health through exercise and good eating habits, encourage their teens in school, attend their extracurricular activities, and help them understand the consequences of risky behaviors.
Kristin Moore, president of Child Trends , sums up the findings aptly: “These findings suggest that parents need to remain actively and positively involved in the lives of their teenagers, while also allowing adolescents to take on greater independence for their conduct, as appropriate for their ages.”
3 . Help, I Think My Teen is Using Drugs
Written by Walt Mueller
Date Posted: Saturday, 28 April 2007Page 1 of 2
All Ray wanted to do was use the phone. He picked up the receiver and got ready to dial but his 16-year-old son Jeff was on the phone with a friend. Before Ray could put the receiver down, something about Jeff’s hushed tone made him listen. "I’ve got $20. That should be enough to set us up for the weekend", he heard Jeff say. Curious, Ray listened a little longer as Jeff and his friend peppered their conversation with strange words like "blunts", "pocket rockets", and "hot sticks."
Ray didn’t have a clue what was going on until he heard Jeff’s friend mention he had invited some other kids to meet them to "smoke some weed." Stunned, Ray quietly hung up the phone. After 16 years of loving and raising his son, he wondered if the unimaginable could really be happening. He felt like somebody had punched him in the stomach.
Each and every day, hundreds of parents like Ray are shocked to discover that their child is using and abusing drugs or alcohol. For Diane, it took a phone call from the school guidance counselor. "Could you come into my office right away?" the guidance counselor asked. "We need to talk about your daughter Rachel. We found a bottle of wine in her locker and we have reason to believe that she’s been drinking in school". ...
4 . Teens and the "Terrible Toos"
Written by Randell D. Turner, Ph.D.
Date Posted: Thursday, 26 June 2008
We're all familiar with that phase in many toddlers' lives called the "Terrible Twos." It’s when their lifelong struggle for independence begins. The word "No" becomes their personal creed and the most frequent word used by parent and child alike! This once so loving, laughing and playful child seemingly overnight becomes very selfish and self-centered. Although we call it the "terrible twos," it can last into year three and four for some children.
During these years parent learn the true meaning of words like patience, perseverance and prayer! The one bright hope for parents during this time is knowing that this is only a phase and it will end ... at least that what you thought.
Actually your child will go through a similar phase again a few years later—but this time it’s the “Terrible Toos”! Let me illustrate:
Your 12-year-old daughter gets ready for school then comes down to breakfast. Upon seeing her fashion choice for the day, your first response might sound something like this; “That skirt is TOO tight to be wearing to school!” Or, “You take TOO long in the bathroom. Other people have to get ready in the morning TOO!”
As the pre-teen and teen years roll on, these statements become more frequent. Some of the most common may sound familiar at your house.