“My daughter thinks cheating is the only way to get into a good college. How do I help her stay motivated?”

Hello, welcome to Tips on Teens. This is Kent Toussaint, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
and Clinical Director of Teen Therapy Center in Woodland Hills. I come to you live every Wednesday
at noon to answer your parenting questions. Thank you. You can message us here on Facebook or
email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com. And let's jump right into this week's question.
My daughter is starting to give up on school. She's always been a good student, but she's falling
behind this semester. She says she'll never get to a good college because the only way to get
there is by cheating She thinks that the recent college admissions scandal is how people get
to good universities I'm trying to convince her that with hard work she can get to the schools
that she likes but she can't just give up How do I help her stay motivated? so I think this whole
college cheating scandal has been a real eye -opener for a lot of us and I know that people here
in the West Valley community have been

affected by it too I think it's the outlier though and I think it is the exception the rule I think
most teens and kids young adults who get into college get in on their merit but what I think is
really important is that you and your daughter continue this conversation keep this conversation
going I think that's really important because there's something going on there's some kind
of emotional need that's not being met and she's reacting and the reason why I say this is I don't
think the college scandal is the problem here that's just my hunch I think it's the distraction
I think there's something else going on you know and she may not know it is you may not know it is
and it may take a lot more conversation to figure out what that is is it that she's overloaded
and she's doing too much that she had five APS and soccer and piano and all these other activities
and she just doesn't have enough time to keep up another thing I work I've worked with a lot of
really smart kids in my time as a

child and team therapist and a lot of times when I see what happen is kids will go through and they're
smart and they're told they're smart and school is easy they don't have to try they just show
up and get A's boom boom boom boom it's no sweat and they hit a certain point in school where just
being smart isn't good enough and they've never built that muscle to do well in school for example
like if you're a track runner the kids who's just really naturally fast but doesn't have to try
he just shows up and just wins the track meets but the kid who's naturally a little slower but
who works on his form works on the fundamentals and practices that kid's gonna be the faster
runner eventually and you're gonna pass by that naturally fast kid who's not really trying
and so I think it's really important that we help kids who have internalized oh easy means I'm
smart and so if it's not easy that means I'm not smart which means I can't do it and it's really
important to help kids work through that

to find their motivation to say no this is uncomfortable to work hard but I got to work through
that you know just like the track runner who runs and gets tired but starts running through that
exhaustion and keeps running to realize oh wow I can keep running even when it doesn't feel like
I can so it's really important that we help this young lady work through whatever's going on
and I think it's really important that she has you in her corner she has a therapist or what talk
to your teachers figure out what is really getting in the way could be something not school -related
at all could be that she's you know feeling left out by her friends and there's an emotional thing
going on and now she just can't focus on school so it's really important again fail what's really
going on I think when you figure out what the core problem is then you can deal with it but again
be with her in her corner and her performance in school is less important than her emotional
health and one thing about the

whole college scandal thing I'm really glad came out so I saw a lot of professionals talking
about it doesn't really matter what University you go to for undergrad. What matters is how
you do college. You know, whether you go to CSUN or Harvard, you know, if you're really trying
to excel, you'll do great. And again, CSUN's a really good university. It just happens to be
in our backyard. So people are going to go, ah, CSUN. It's a really good school. People all over
the country fly out to go to CSUN because it's a well -known university in the country. So make
sure you're there in her corner. Support her. Be there for her because her Her relationship
with you is more important than her 4 .0 GPA. Her relationship with you helps her. If she feels
loved by you, she is better able to love herself. And if she loves herself, she can motivate herself
to do anything. So that's it. That's the question of the day. It's possible that I may not be here
next week. My wife's about to give birth to a baby,

so I may be off for two weeks. So if you don't see me for two weeks, that's what's going on. But I'll
be back right after that. I could be back next week. We don't know. It just depends on when the
baby's born. but we'll find out anyways if you have more questions email us or messages here
you can email us again at tips on teens at teen therapy center calm for an archive of these go through
our Facebook page or go to our website teen therapy center calm and I will see you guys next week
and keep sending those questions thanks a lot bye bye

We have a very interesting question for this week’s Tips on Teens that deals with the recent scandals surrounding college admissions. How would you deal with a teen who essentially gives up because of the unfairness in admissions that has been exposed? Kent is here to share his professional opinion. Here’s the question:

“My daughter is starting to give up on school. She’s always been a good student, but she’s falling behind this semester. She says she’ll never get to a good college because the only way to get there is by cheating. She thinks that the recent college admissions scandal is how people get to good universities. I’m trying to convince her that with hard work she can get to the schools that she likes, but she can’t just give up. How do I help her stay motivated?”

Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live.  He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com.  Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!

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.