Counselling and Therapy for Teen Issues
Early Detection of Problems by Parents is CRITICAL
Cancer scares all of us. And most of us ‘get it’ that early detection is critical for long-term survival. In like manner, when we consider the teenage years, early detection of problems is critical to save a boatload of problems.
Most parents after telling the story of years of turmoil with their teen can look back and say there were definite signs they did not recognize, or they rationalized them as just being a teen. Adolescence is a time of transition involving dramatic physical, emotional, intellectual and social changes. Most teenagers navigate this time of their lives without undue stress, but some engage in at-risk behaviors that have huge negative psychological, social and health consequences.
In a word, it is better to be safe than sorry! These years are building blocks. As my dad used to say, do the job right the first time. You only get one run at the teenage years. Let’s help them get it right.
At Bayridge Family Center we understand that parents can’t be everything to their teens all the time. We understand that parents cannot possibly know all there is to know about teen depression, teen eating disorders, teen self-esteem issues, teen cutting, teen sexting, teen addictions, teen abuse, divorce recovery, blended families and the rapid changing teen culture. That’s where we come in to assist you, the parents, with specially trained youth and young adult counselors.
We understand the investment you have made in these children.
We are parents too! We get it.
Let’s keep that investment safe. We can help!
Adolescent Decision Making
What was he thinking? How could she?
If you find yourself wondering what your teen was thinking, the answer may be “not much.” Kids often make snap judgments based on impulse, especially when situations come up quickly, leaving teens with little time to sort through the pros and cons.
Some of those hasty decisions may involve cheating in school; skipping class; using alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs; going somewhere or being with someone that you do not approve of; or driving too fast. And the consequences can include losing your trust; letting down friends; getting into trouble; hurting education and job prospects; causing illness or injury; or leading to other reckless behavior. The truth be known, the teen brain is not fully developed until years later. They need to be able to learn skills for decision making in ways they can process. At Bayridge Family Center we help teens learn the skills to navigate peer pressure in order to make healthy decisions even when they are struggling with raging emotions and scattered thoughts.
When teens struggle with harmful behaviours, anger, relationships, depression, anxiety or poor academics… they are in need of help.
Don’t miss the signs.
If you aren’t quite sure, we can help!
Students at Risk
Students at risk are those with special challenges. The typical challenges that increase academic failure, from the Bayridge Family Center experience, can be categorized in the following areas:
- learning disabilities
- emotional and behavioral problems that interfere with their learning
- cultural backgrounds that don’t mesh easily with the dominant culture
- difficult home environment
- home environment not encouraging education
- children with conflicting divorced parents
- single-parent families
- boys more than girls drop out
- First Nation and first generation Canadian teens
Our therapists work with not just students but with the parent(s) to analyze strategies and implement success plans for most of the issues teens experience.
Students at risk of dropping out usually have some or all of the following characteristics:
- A history of academic failure. Students who drop out may have a history of poor academic achievement going back as far as third grade (K. L. Alexander, Entwisle, & Dauber, 1995; Garnier, Stein, & Jacobs, 1997).
- Older age in comparison with classmates. Because low achievers are more likely to have repeated a grade level, they are often older than their classmates (Raber, 1990; Wilkinson & Frazer, 1990).
- Emotional and behavioral problems. Potential dropouts tend to have lower self-esteem than their more successful classmates have. They also are more apt to create discipline problems in class, use drugs, and engage in criminal activities (Finn, 1991)
- Frequent interaction with low-achieving peers. Students who drop out tend to associate with low-achieving, and in some cases, antisocial peers (Battin-Pearson et al., 2000; Hymel, Comfort, Schonert-Reichl, & McDougall, 1996).
- Lack of psychological attachment to school. Students at risk for academic failure are less likely to identify with their school or to perceive themselves as a vital part of the school community. (Christenson & Thurlow, 2004; Hymel et al., 1996; Rumberger, 1995).
- Increasing disinvolvement with school. Future dropouts are absent from school more frequently than their peers, even in the early elementary grades (Christenson & Thurlow, 2004; Finn, 1989). In addition, they are more likely to have been suspended from school and to show a long-term pattern of dropping out, returning to school, and dropping out again (Raber, 1990).
These characteristics are by no means are the only indicators why students will drop out of school.