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Counseling for Parents of Teens

Every day is busy, whether you have one child, or three children, or more. It can be difficult to schedule in time for yourself, or dedicate the money to yourself instead of your kids. However, what happens when parents don’t make time for themselves? In fact, much of the work that we do with teenagers ends up involving their parents, whether that means family sessions or parent sessions.

This happens for a few reasons, but one of the most important is that a family is a system. One family member’s behavior, whether parents or siblings, affects everyone else in the family, visibly or not. Family members feel each other’s stresses, take on each other’s joys and worries, and celebrate one another’s successes. Therapy for a struggling or stressed teenager is helpful, but counseling for parents is just as important.

Counseling for parents is not about looking at your children’s behavior or how to change what they are doing – instead, it gives you the time and space to explore your values and how you can use those to direct your parenting and understand what kind of support your children need. When a parent can give a meaningful response that acknowledges emotions and experience, rather than saying “because I said so,” parents and children can better relate.

1

How can parent sessions help? 

We help parents of teens who are struggling with:

  • Fighting/battling with kids
  • Difficulty negotiating / setting boundaries
  • Difficulty determining necessary boundaries or child’s needs
  • Understanding and addressing child behavioral concerns
  • Managing worry & concern about children / parenting
  • Exploring identity other than “mom” or “dad” - career, partner/spouse, etc. - developing human identity rather than solely parent identity

2

How are parent sessions structured?

  • Our parent sessions are 50 minutes.
  • Most parents  come in for 4-8 sessions on average
  • The topics we address in session are based on parent input / concerns
  • Reflection activities & exercises will look at:
    • parents’ experience growing up,
    • their relationship with their parents,
    • their lived experiences that inform their values,
    • parents “personal culture” and what they want to pass on to their children,
    • where their own anxieties/worries/concerns come from and how those affect their parenting (for better or worse!)

3

What tools/skills will parents gain from attending?

  • Setting reasonable boundaries
  • Making decisions based on what the child needs
  • Identity development aside from “parent” that allows for more self-care and space from worry/concern/stress
  • Tools to address behavioral concerns and set boundaries
  • Understanding of values and priorities, and why those are important parent/family

4

How will your home life and parenting be different after attending sessions and doing the work?

  • Less “battling” / fighting with teens - more negotiating and clearer boundaries that are better communicated to the teen and followed through on
  • Closer relationship / understanding of teen’s experience and how to relate to them
  • Deeper understanding of self & personal identity as it relates to raising children
  • Deeper understanding of wisdom as a parent and how you can use their own lived experiences to inform your parenting and make the best decisions for raising children / setting boundaries / providing support
  • More calm and peace in the house - better handling of stressors