Please find below answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions. If you would like to discuss further details or make an appointment, contact us.
What are potential sources of tween/teen angst?
…A Glimpse of Elementary, Middle, and High School Years…
At the age of ten, children become increasingly self-aware. This may fuel comparisons to their classmates and a heightened sensitivity to how they are perceived by others. For some children, differences in their skills (i.e. academic, athletic, artistic, social) are internalized and this impacts their confidence and motivation. For instance, a child who perceives that he/she is not as smart as his/her peers may begin to shy away from offering input during lessons. Another, may resist playing sports because he/she is consistently one of the last to be chosen when teams are formed at recess. Children may feel isolated if their companionship is rarely sought, and/or few invitations for playdates are extended or accepted. In these cases, some children are discouraged to initiate conversation or engage in activity with peers. When scenarios such as these persist, going to school is less joyful, and a child’s attitude, motivation, confidence, or performance in class may be impacted.
Middle school years escalate the desire to be accepted, independent, and form an identity. Hormones brought on by puberty have likely resulted in physical changes. These transformations are unsettling for some as they feel unprepared and foreign in their own body. On the other hand, some tweens and teens are thrilled to look and feel more “grown up.” Accessibility to modern technology offers a “playground” in which exposure to a whole new world invites experimentation and often influences a child’s perception. Apps are used to communicate endlessly with friends which makes it easier for some to do so. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat provide an outlet to express oneself. Some tweens and teens use these Apps to portray an image of themselves that they hope will appeal to their peers. An increased awareness of who others are communicating with and what they are doing in their spare time is revealed. This creates a potential source of friction among friends as jealousy and competition ensue. Hurt feelings and insecurities are outcomes for some who come across photos of friends on outings that they were not included to join. It is easy for hurtful perceptions to become reality in the mind of a middle schooler. Perpetual “Selfies” may become a distraction, or obsession because receiving tons of “likes” qualifies as acceptance, and the comments that accompany them may boost one’s self-esteem. The flipside of this is that a child who receives minimal “likes” interprets this as rejection as they begin to question of they are disliked and less attractive than their friends. For a thirteen year-old girl who already feels self-conscious about her changing body and is unsure who her “besties” are, this is a really big deal. Understanding the way young people think and how their thoughts affect them is essential to be able to support them. Hormones play a role in their daily thoughts and emotions and this can lead to a shift in their attitude and energy level.
By high school pressure to excel academically, including balancing homework and responsibilities builds. For some teens, the distraction of budding love interests and making decisions whether or not to engage in various activities can make it difficult to concentrate. Reoccurring themes such as: peer pressure, “mean girl drama,” wanting to fit in with the “right crowd,” perceptions formed while using social media, dating, sex, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, earning top grades, making the team, getting into the right college, feeling insecure about one’s physical appearance, and negotiating desired privileges and rules with parents are sources of stress in the lives of high schoolers.
Why do I believe my services have the potential to improve your child’s performance in school?
Talking to a Parent Verses a Neutral Party…
I encourage communication among parents and children at home. When children share something that is weighing on them with their loved ones, they are seeking guidance. A loving parent or caretaker, in my opinion, is undoubtedly the most instrumental source of comfort and strength in a child’s life. The additional support and education of a professional who devotes his/her career to understanding children, particularly the social and emotional needs of youth is also beneficial. I have helped many students navigate hard choices, circumstances, and unhealthy perceptions.
Adolescents may find it embarrassing to share certain aspects of their life with parents. Keep in mind, pleasing Mom and Dad and keeping them from worrying takes precedence. Developmentally, tweens and teens want to gain independence and privileges. Some perceive if they share their angst with parents they are showing weakness that will keep them from achieving this.