How do you help your 13 year old daughter who's struggling with symptoms of anxiety? Well, we're
going to talk about that today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage
and family therapist, and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and families live happier lives.
I lead two organizations teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit 501 c three organization, child
and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California. Every Wednesday at noon, I jump
onto Facebook Live to answer your parenting questions. Let's answer today's. My daughter
is 13, and about two years ago, she told me was having anxiety. We found a therapist, and she was
okay with it for a while. After a few months, though, we stopped going because she said it was
boring and all they did was play games. She said she could do that at home with me. She continues
to have anxiety, so we got her a dog, but that's not really helping the way we thought it would
either. What else can we try? Thank you for your
question. I think, again, a lot of parents can relate to this. First of all, I'd want to explore
with her what that anxiety looks like and why the therapy wasn't working. Sometimes therapy,
it can be kind of up and down. It can be uncomfortable. It can bring up some uncomfortable feelings.
Also, if they were just playing games, was that all they were doing? Was the therapist working
towards building trust and rapport with your daughter and also working on exploring anxiety
that she may not have wanted and maybe she just wants to be home with you? Is this a cry for help
of, I just want to be with you all the time, which is great because I want to encourage you to nurture
that relationship with your daughter because you are her greatest asset and greatest champion.
But also, it may not be enough, and it's not because you're a bad parent just because she may need
treatment and support that goes beyond what a parent can do. So I would like to talk to that therapist
about what that therapist
saw was working or not working. And if you try therapy again, which I encourage you to consider,
collaborate with that therapist on the direction they are going in, how they're approaching
things. Now, your daughter still deserves her confidentiality in session, but on a broad overview
and a direction of therapy, that's something you can definitely talk to your therapist about
and be collaborative and be part of the treatment team. So I want to approach that. I think it's
great that you guys got a dog. Dogs are really cool, but it may not help everything. But I'm wondering
also and we talk about this a lot on Tips on Teens is what are your daughters outlets, physical
outlets, creative outlets, social outlets? How do we start emboldening those and strengthening
those that might help reduce some of the symptoms of anxiety. Again, therapy can help, too.
Again, therapy for a 13 year old can be kind of scary. They're not used to opening up and talking
about their feelings. They don't know how
to do that yet. And sometimes that takes time. And so, again, working with your therapist and
collaborating on how to do that, I think, is really key. So creative outlets, physical outlets,
social outlets are really important, but also family outlets. How much are you connecting?
She seems like she wants to be with you, play games with you. So how much are you creating space
in your family life where the two of you can play a game, you guys can make slime, you guys can walk
the dog together, whatever that is, that you guys are spending quality time where she feels
that you enjoy being with her. That's really, really key and really important. Anyways, that
is our question for today. We love your questions. Keep them coming. If you'd like me to answer
your question here on Tips on Teens every Wednesday at noon, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you can direct message it. Direct message us right here on Facebook. We love your questions.
My name is Kent Toussaint with Teen Therapy
Center and Child and Teen Counseling. And if you want these questions answered in your feed
more readily, join our Facebook group called Tips on Teens. We love to have you. Thanks again,
and I'll see you guys next week. Bye.
SUPPORT IS OUT THEREHopefully you are your child’s biggest champion. Even if you are the advocate for your kid with the most at stake, sometimes it’s not enough. There are times when you’ll need to seek support from therapists or other mental health professionals. It’s common for kids to reject the therapy. Therapy for kids is unique, and some kids and teens might not see the point of it. Additionally, not every therapist will be a good match for your kid either. Try as they might, the rapport doesn’t always come naturally.
BE PART OF THE TREATMENT TEAMWhen this happens, it’s important for parents to ask some questions. Although your therapist is ethically bound to protect your kid’s confidentiality, there are ways you can work with your therapist. You know your child better than anyone. Your collaboration with the therapist (within the bounds of confidentiality) can make you a valuable member of the treatment team. There’s more to say about it, and we diagnose the problem in this Tips on Teens video: “My daughter is 13 and about two years ago she told me was having anxiety. We found a therapist, and she was okay with it for a while. After a few months though we stopped going because she said it was boring and all they did was play games. She said she could do that at home with me. She continues to have anxiety, so we got her a dog, but that’s not really helping the way we thought it would either. What else can we try?”
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.