“How can I find time to connect with my sons given my busy schedule?”

Hi, welcome to Tips on Teens, where I answer your parenting questions every Wednesday at noon.
My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist and the founder and
clinical director of Teen Therapy Center here in Woodland Hills. Also the executive director
and founder of the non -profit organization, Child and Teen Counseling in the same location.
Anyways, let's jump to today's question. I am a single mom with two kids. They're with me most
of the time on weekdays and every other weekend. I feel like I'm so focused on getting them to
do things for school, sports, and things around the house that we don't have much time to spend
together relaxing or bonding. I watch your videos and I know that I should make more time to connect
with them but that time isn't there. I'm worried that as they get older I might lose them to drugs.
Their father and I are both in recovery and it's not a problem with my kids right now but I know
I can't shelter them completely from drugs and

alcohol with a packed schedule like mine? How do I make sure I'm connecting with them and teach
them basic personal responsibility? I think a lot of families can relate to this, whether the
parents are in recovery or not in recovery. What I would say is this, and there's a lot with this
question. First, there's a lot of priorities to take care of. School, homework, sports, doing
the dishes, putting the laundry away, brushing teeth, getting Getting to bed on time. Those
are all real priorities and they're very important to most of us as parents. Another priority
is also the connection and that's an easy priority to toss aside and I would encourage you to
make sure we are not tossing that aside. That is more important than brushing teeth. That is
more important than homework. That is more important than almost everything that we just listed
because that relationship, that positive relation between parent and child will help define
that child's self -esteem and sense of self throughout their

entire life. What they got on their spelling test or their essay is not going to have that big
of an impact. Now, I'm not saying that school isn't important. It is. I'm not saying that making
their bed and cleaning the room isn't important. It is. However, we don't want to throw away
the relationship between parent and child for those things. Now it's easier to focus on making
the bed because you think it's five minutes just do it. Well as we all know getting a child to make
a bed in under five minutes is not always an easy thing to do. So what I would say is this you have
a very limited amount of time because of your work schedule and management of the kids. You're
a single parent so it's challenging. I'm also going to assume there's not a lot of support from
you know cousins or other your siblings or grandparents so let's assume that's not really the
case. So So, let's focus on where your priorities are. If the priority is to increase your relationship
with your kids, and we don't have

a crystal ball, but we do know that statistically, if you don't have that connection, your kids
are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol, because that's just in our society. And
if both parents are in recovery, that means statistically, your kids are more likely to fall
into addiction as well. I'm not saying they will, I don't know, but they have a higher chance.
so we want to make sure we're addressing that. So if there's only so much money that the family
has, you know, being in recovery is expensive. Going into therapy can be expensive. Putting
that money in now into, let's say, a housekeeper or having a driver, you know, drive kids around
for you, that's expensive. But is that an investment now that saves you more money and heartache
down the line? Obviously, we don't have crystal ball. We can't. We don't know for sure. You kind
of trust your intuition on this. But I've known people who've, you know, financed or they've
found ways to have, you know, a housekeeper help them

twice a week so they're not worried about putting the dishes away and doing the laundry so much.
They can have that time. And is that, you know, 100, 200, 400 dollars a week or whatever that money
is, is that money well spent to connect and bond with your kids? I'd also make sure you connect
with your kids and ask them, hey, this is what we're thinking of doing. What do you guys think?
Have them be a part of the solution. We have them be part of the, you know, creating the family.
So you're not always doing it alone. So that's our question for today. There's a lot we can go
into again with, you know, addiction. Also, one other thing I forgot. If you and your husband
are both in recovery, I think it's really important that you share your experiences at an age
-appropriate level of what addiction is like and how you came into addiction. Because no one
starts out to be an addict. No one chooses, I'm gonna be an addict. They start out by saying, hey
I'm gonna try these drugs or drink this drink

or whatever that is and it's gonna make me feel good and I can handle it Every addict start out
saying I can handle this. Of course. What happens is they lose control. They can't handle it
So it's really important that the kids understand. This is a risk. This is a red flag This is a
danger and just because other kids are doing it and they seem like they're doing Okay, doesn't
mean that it's gonna happen everyone and just because they seem okay doesn't mean that they
are So again, these are big topics. Make sure your kids can always open up and talk to you about
their experiences. When the first time they try weed or drink a beer or something like that or
whatever drug they try, make sure that you are a safe place for them to go to because if you're
safe and there's that connection, then they're more likely to get through it in a much more easy
and much more healthy way. So that is our question for this week. Please keep emailing your questions.
If you have a question you'd like me to answer,

please email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com or direct messages right here on
Facebook. We love your questions, and I can't wait to talk to you guys again next Wednesday at
12 o 'clock. Bye -bye.

This week’s Tips on Teens question comes from a parent who wants to connect with her sons, but has little free time with which to do so. Here’s the question:

“I am a single mom with two kids. They are with me most of the time on weekdays and every other weekend. I feel like I am so focused on getting them to do things for school, sports and things around the house that we don’t have much time to spend together relaxing or bonding. I watch your videos and I know that I should make more time to connect with them, but that time isn’t there. I’m worried that as they get older, I might lose them to drugs. Their father and I are both in recovery. It’s not a problem with my kids right now, but I know I can’t shelter them completely from drugs and alcohol. With a packed schedule like mine, how do I make sure I’m connecting with them and teaching them basic personal responsibility?”

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.