Help Your Teen Find Their Tribe

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

There is a group of people out there who will accept and appreciate your teen for exactly who you are, and with whom they can fully be themselves.  –  Sandra

From television viewing, to Internet surfing, to text messaging – teens are spending more time with their phones and computers than with their friends and families. I sit with teenagers every day in my Teen Therapy practice who express how their life feels empty. Apparently, the accumulation of names on a Facebook page do not erase feelings of loneliness.

While technology allows us to stay in touch with many people, time spent commenting through email, text and social networking pages literally translates into less time sitting across from a friend. Is the Internet providing more of an illusion of connection than there actually is?

Teens who are at high risk of becoming addicted to drugs often show a lack of deep connection to the people in their current lives. Self-medication, through substance abuse, is often an attempt by teens to regulate or avoid feelings of loneliness.

The solution to loneliness lies in helping your teen to find their tribe. To create heartfelt relationships, your teen must first learn to know and accept themselves, including all of their quirks, flaws and idiosyncrasies. For only in accepting themselves can they truly make the space to authentically connect with another person.

… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.

“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Get Teen Boys To Treat You With Respect

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Teen girls need to decide what types of behavior they are willing to tolerate from teen boys.  – Sandra

I know that it can be aggravating when guy friends tease you, but did you know that teasing is a very common form of play among guys? If you observe groups of guys who are friends, whether they be young or old, you will often hear them teasing each other. The fact that they are teasing you probably means that they like you.

At a certain age, being treated with respect becomes very important to a girl. Adolescence is a time when girls and guys start practicing more grown up behavior. During this time, however, girls tend to mature a faster than their male friends. Thus, they may still treat you like one of the guys, instead of the way you would prefer.

If the teasing is getting to be too much for you, you may want to consider setting boundaries. This means that you politely excuse yourself from situations where you don’t feel comfortable. Essentially, you are giving them a clear message that their behavior is not okay with you.

Only you can decide what types of behavior you are willing to tolerate. The good new is that as guys get older, you will discover that your male friends will put more effort into trying to please you. The key is to communicate your feelings in a polite and open manner.

Girls and guys often see the world differently. It is important to remember that during adolescence, you are learning about each other through your interactions. Patience, kindness, and forgiveness go a long way towards building a bridge between you. At the same time, you have a right to decide how you want to be treated, and its up to you to choose your friends wisely.

… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.

“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens Making A Difference in the World

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What changes would your teen like to see in the world? What are their plans to to contribute to those changes? – Sandra

In the movie “Avatar” the natives of a garden planet greeted each other with the words “I see you.” It was the deepest form of respect that one person could show another. What they were saying is that I see you for who you really are. How often does your teen feel seen in this way?

It seems to me that each teen has something unique to share with the world. For those who are artists, are you helping them find ways to honor their gift of creative expression? Perhaps their music or writing will help someone along their journey.

Not everyone is meant to be a performer or artist. Sometimes, being a good listener, or lending a helping hand can make all the difference in someone’s life. Volunteering to assist others less fortunate is one of the most generous things teens can do with their spare time.

We are all interdependent upon each other. Someone else grows our food, makes our clothes, and builds our homes and schools. The teen years are a time when adolescents are old enough to start reflecting on how they would like to contribute in the world.

… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.

“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Improving Teen’s Self-Esteem

Having healthy levels of self-esteem means teens do not need to determine their self-worth by looking to others for validation.

Ideally, a teen’s self-worth should be determined by how well they live up to their desired self-image, which hopefully aligns with their beliefs and vision for their life.

    • Does your teen dress to impress?
    • Does he or she pretend to be someone that they are not?
    • Does your teen say things that don’t represent how they really feel?

Where we are born, and where we go to school does not necessarily determine who we are meant to be. We come into this world with unique gifts and talents. We have our own physical expression, as well as our own personality and style. Add to that your life experiences, and areas of interest, and we become an individual like no other.

High school is a phase of life when teens will feel pulled to fit in with the crowd. Yet, by doing this, are they being true to themselves?  The teen years are a time to start thinking where your son or daughter would like to go with their life. By trying on many types of different behavior, they are discovering their authentic expression.

Are they the athletic type? Are they the scholar? Are they an entertainer, or an artist? Are they the peace-maker? These are questions only they can answer for themselves. For some, this may mean raising a family–in a home filled with love. For others, this may mean becoming an educator with a focus on changing the world.

Anything is possible, but first, your teen must get to know themselves, and then find the courage to be themselves in all their magnificence.

… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.

“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Making New Friends In High School

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

It can be difficult getting started at a new school. The key to making new friends is to be courageous and take steps every day towards your goal. – Sandra

“I am starting high school this month and I need some suggestions on how to make at least one new friend.

NOTICE WHO LOOKS INTERESTING
Start by noticing who in your class looks interesting to you. Pay attention to what you like about them. Try to notice who has friendly eyes, a kind smile, and is generous to others. Pick out at least 5 people who you think might make a good friend.

SEE WHO RESPONDS
Try saying hello to them every day for a week and see how they respond. What you are doing is showing them that you are interested in getting to know them. How they respond back to you will let you know who might be interested in getting to know you.

Once you have gotten a pleasant response from someone to your saying hello, you can approach that person and find out more about them. Begin by introducing yourself and saying where you moved from, and asking them a question.

STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION
The question can be about anything, but ideally, you want to find out what they do in their spare time. The secret to success is to find someone who you can have a fun conversation with. You do not have to settle for someone who just doesn’t seem that interested in you.

NOT EVERYONE IS A MATCH FOR YOU
Good friendships are often based on shared interests, meaning that you like to do similar things that they like to do. It’s okay if not everyone is a match for you. Don’t worry about it. Just move on and keep trying.

Like you said, one good friend is what you would like… and if you find even more than that, that’s a great too.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Preparing for High School

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

The new school year is the perfect time for teens to take inventory and perhaps even re-invent themselves… in anticipation of starting high school in the fall. – Sandra

“I’m starting high school this fall and I’m so scared! Can you give me any tips?”

I can appreciate that fear may be one of the feelings you have as you think about starting high school. But sometimes those jittery feelings in your stomach can also mean excitement.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Going to high school can mean new beginnings. If there was anything challenging for you about middle school, you have a chance to make some changes.

RE-INVENT YOURSELF
Have you ever noticed that each year when you classmates come back from their summer vacation some of them may look or act differently? Did you know that you can grow through your summer experiences? Think about how have you grown in the last school year. What things might you want to do differently this coming school year?

SET NEW GOALS
Do you want to be a better student? Do you want to try a new sport? Would you like to meet some new people? This is an opportunity to set some new goals you would like to accomplish.

RE-EVALUATE YOUR FRIENDSHIPS
Sometimes, your old friends go along with you to your high school. Sometimes, you need or want to make new friends. Think about what you enjoyed about the friends you had last year and try to look for similar qualities in the people at your new high school. But if you experienced a lot of painful drama with your friends last year, you may want to consider choosing some new friends.

ASK FOR SUPPORT
If you find that during the first couple weeks you are feeling uncomfortable, ask for support. Express your feelings to your parents. Speak to a teacher you feel you can trust. Talk to a friend. You don’t have to go through this alone. Changes are not always easy. Sharing with someone about what you are going through begins the process of finding solutions to help you feel better.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Coping With Death

When a beloved family member dies, it can feel like the world is so unfair, and that you will never smile again. Saying goodbye to someone you love, and who has loved you, is a bittersweet process.  – Sandra

“My grandmother just died, and l loved her so much. I used to be the guy people always said smiled too much, but now that she’s gone I just feel bitter and cold.”

SAYING GOODBYE
The sadness that you feel is for the loss of someone who has brought delight to your life. The thought of not seeing or speaking with her again just plain hurts. It’s very normal to feel bitter, even angry, and those feelings can continue for some time…

There is now an empty place that she filled in your life, which may leave you feeling less than enthused about other things you are involved in. You may also find that your feelings come in waves. Sometimes, it may feel like you are drowning in them. Other times they may recede and just leave you feeling empty.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
It is important to rest during this time and take good care of yourself. Be sure to eat regular meals. Confide in someone you trust. This could be a good time to start a journal, if you don’t already have one.

Feelings carry information for us. Even the darker feelings. So it is important to not run from your feelings, but to observe them, and learn from them. Your feelings about your grandmother’s death may be telling you about how much she meant to you.

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO GRIEVE
You have just learned a very hard lesson about life, which is that nothing lasts forever. Humans, and all things, have a limited life span. This isn’t something to be afraid of, but it can be very hard to digest.

This is why it is so important to be grateful for the people we love, and tell them so. Give yourself permission to grieve. It does not mean that you will never smile again.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Academic Success Coaching for Teens

Academic Success Coaching:

A Personalized Coaching Experience: Helping Teens Thrive in School

We teach your teen how to take active steps towards their academic and personal goals, sustain motivation, build their character, and develop their personal leadership style.

Module 1: Understanding Your Learning Style

Three 75-minute sessions plus one 30-minute parent phone consultation

Description: In this module, the focus is on providing a foundation for creating a sustainable system for teens to get the grades they want without stressing out. They will discover their learning and academic thinking styles as well as their core motivation type. They will spend time reflecting on what they really want and identify how they might be getting in their own way. They will also learn how to create systems to make their lives easier and identify things to do differently to make a positive difference. 

Module 2: Aligning Your Values with Action

Three 75-minute sessions plus one 30-minute parent phone consultation

Description: In this module, the focus is on increasing self-awareness and building continuity and flow between your teen’s thoughts, emotions, and habits. We will cover concepts such as their limiting beliefs, assumptions, perspectives, and individual values, as well as how to make empowering decisions to honor their values. They will also have the opportunity to “meet” their Future Self and start creating action steps to work toward the vision of the life they want with confidence and increased motivation.

Module 3: Discovering Your Leadership Style  

Four 75-minute sessions plus one 45-minute parent phone consultation

Description: In this module, the focus will be on personal leadership, which can translate into creating an outstanding college application. Leadership is not just about holding a “leadership position.”  Leadership is about doing what you believe in, doing it well, and doing it for a cause greater than yourself. We assist your teen in creating a vision: of what is possible, what they want to create, and the impact that they want to have on their community. Concepts covered include identifying their passions, empathy, leadership projects, and mission statements. It’s about helping teens link their educational experience with a sense of purpose, passion, and fulfillment. At the completion of this module, clients will be able to readily answer the question “What is all my hard work for?”

**NOTE: Individual modules can be purchased separately, or in any combination, with 10-week Academic Success Coaching Packages offered at a 20% discount.

Please contact us for prices and scheduling.

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Worried About Your Teen? FREE Initial Consultation.

ADOLESCENT THERAPIST | PARENT COACH | TEEN MENTOR

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Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

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Should You Tell A Guy You Like Him?

A Note From The Los Angeles Teen Therapist

It is very important that you take care of your feelings and make good choices when it comes to interacting with boys. Boys usually start getting interested in girls around middle school, and if a guy likes you, he is probably going to show it. -Sandra

“I  sort of like this guy in my class, only he doesn’t know it. What should I do? Should I say something to this  guy?”

LOOK FOR SIGNS
To know if a guy likes you, you want to look for signs like whether he teases you (nicely) or makes a point of paying attention to you. Since girls act more mature than guys at this age, don’t be surprised when a guy gets uncomfortable if he finds out that you like him. He is worried about what his buddies think of him.

HANGING OUT IN GROUPS
A lot of kids prefer to hang out in groups. This allows you to be around the people you like without the pressure of feeling awkward. Middle School is a great time to become friends with guys and learn who you feel comfortable around. Do you like to be with guys who are funny? How about smart? Does it matter if he is drop dead gorgeous, if he is not a kind person?

DON’T BE IN A RUSH
Don’t be in a rush to find someone just because some of your friends may have declared they have a “boyfriend”. If the guy you like does not show interest in you, move on. Not everyone is going to appreciate your charm and beauty.

JUST ACT NORMAL
If you like a guy, just act normal. Smile and say hi when you see him. If he stops and asks you a question, be friendly and start a conversation. Find out about his hobbies, or what he likes to do on his weekends. Get to know him as a person.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEELINGS
What you really want to know is whether he is the kind of guy who enjoys your company and treats you with respect. Remember, take good care of your feelings by choosing to hang around guys you consider to be true friends.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Looking Cool in Middle School

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Middle School is a time when the opinions of friends become very important, and pre-teens often wonder about how to fit in. – Sandra

“My bed time is way earlier than all of my friends’. They get to stay up late and watch all of the cool shows. When I see them, they’re talking about what I missed and I have no idea what to say. Should I just pretend that I know what they’re talking about?”

Adolescence is a time when you are discovering who you are and how you want to be perceived in the world. One of the challenges that everyone faces during this time is that each family has their own set of rules. The key is to respond to your parent’s requests with respect and creativity. The privilege of staying up later is something that can be earned. One option is to politely explain the situation to your parents and ask how you might earn the privilege of staying up a little later.

GET CREATIVE
Some shows that are on at night have adult language and behavior that some parents would prefer that their children not watch. It could be helpful to hear your parents opinions about the shows you are referring to. If they are open to your watching these shows, but are just concerned about you getting enough sleep on a school night, then perhaps they would consider taping them for you, and allowing you to watch them at an earlier time the following day, or on the weekend.

NEGOTIATE FOR WHAT YOU WANT
The bottom line is that there is a good chance that you will find yourself in many situations where you are not allowed to do everything that all of your friends are doing. As long as you live in your parent’s house, they will be setting some rules. The better your relationship with your parents, the better chance you have of negotiating for what it is that you want. And in those times when you don’t get your way, it’s important to know that you are not the only one who struggles with parents who set limits.

LISTEN CAREFULLY, AND ENJOY THE CONVERSATION
As for the conversations with your friends, you don’t have to pretend you know what they’re talking about. You also don’t have to reveal what time you go to bed. When you don’t know what they are talking about, try listening carefully and enjoying the conversation. Sometimes it’s nice to just be with people you like.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Hate Being The Younger Sister?

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Being a younger sister can be a very difficult position! It may feel so unfair when an older sister gets to do things that you are not yet allowed to do. One of the jobs of the parent is to decide if their child is ready for a certain activity or responsibility. – Sandra

“My older sister gets to do so much more than me, which I don’t think its fair!  How can I feel happier with what I have?”

DON’T BLAME YOUR SISTER
Because she is older, your sister will be able to teach you a lot of things that will make your life easier. At the very least, you can learn by watching her. Ideally, she will be a friend of yours for the rest of your life. So getting angry at her is not the best idea.

STRESS REDUCERS
The following are a list of some stress reducers when you find yourself feeling jealous and upset:

1. Politely ask your parents when they think you will be able to participate in the activity you are feeling jealous of. (This may reassure you that your time is coming soon, but just be careful not to nag them.)

2. Start a gratitude journal where you write down at least 5 wonderful things that happened in your day, each night before you go to sleep. (you could even share this with your parents if you wanted to!)

3. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are loved very much by your family, and that when your sister was your age, she had the same limitations that you do now.

4. Try to avoid comparing yourself to anyone, and live every moment of your life enjoying what you have.

If I were to fill a glass of water halfway, someone might tell me it is half empty. Someone else might say it is half full. The half full person is focusing on the positive. I suggest that you do too. Life definitely tends to be much more fun that way!!

COOL PERKS
Also, remember that younger sisters get cool perks that older sisters don’t have anymore! Maybe your mom does your laundry but thinks your older sister is old enough to do her own! Perk…for now! And remember that soon enough you’ll be old enough to get the privileges that your older sibling gets, so look forward to that.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Having “Best Friend” Trouble?

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Does your best friend have a friend that you don’t get along with? Often, when someone is best friends with more than one person, their other friends may get competitive for their attention. – Sandra

“My best friend Anna, I like A LOT. But another friend Hannah, who is Anna’s best friend, I don’t really trust, because she has lied to me or just plain ignored me. I am thinking about avoiding Anna because of Hannah, but I don’t want to hurt Anna. What can I do?!?”

HONORING YOUR FEELINGS
It sounds like it hasn’t been pleasant for you to spend time with Anna when Hannah is also around. Given that she has ignored you and has even lied to you, I can appreciate that you don’t feel like you can trust her.

CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS
In situations like these, you always have options. You can, as you suggested, not be Anna’s best friend anymore. But as you said, you don’t want to hurt her, and she isn’t the one you are having problems with. So, perhaps there are other options you may want to consider.

HANGING OUT IN LARGER GROUPS
Sometimes, it is less intense when you add more people into the group. Whereas with only 3, if Hannah is talking to Anna, you may be left with no one to talk to. With even one other person present, the equation becomes more balanced.

REQUESTING PERSONAL TIME
A second option is to invite Anna to spend time alone with you. At school, this may not be as easy to do, but after school and on weekends, she may be willing to set aside time to be with you.

REMOVING THE ELEMENT OF COMPETITION
Although perhaps not your first choice, another option is to find a way to get closer to Hannah. If you are both competing for Anna’s attention, you may not have even given your friendship a chance to grow. If you could figure out a way to make Hannah a friend of yours, this could solve your problem.

MAKING NEW FRIENDS
If you are enjoying Anna now, and are not ready to give up your friendship, then you need to find a creative way to work with the choices she is making about other friends in her life. Perhaps you might want to add a new friend to your life…

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Got A School Dress Code?

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

You can still express your unique style while wearing a school uniform. Of course you want to look cute. It makes sense that you would be looking at the popular girls for ideas on how to do that. – Sandra

“Our school uniforms are pretty ugly and I really want to wear cute outfits like the popular girls but still follow the dress code. How do I do that?”

THE PURPOSE OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS
Since adolescence is a time when boys and girls start checking each other out, some girls try to stand out in different ways. School uniforms are designed to make everyone look similar.

HOW OTHERS PERCEIVE YOU
What kind of attention do you imagine the outfits you mentioned that the popular girls wear are attracting? Is that the kind of attention you want, or are you looking for ways to express who you are?

RESPECT FOR YOUR SCHOOL
The fact that you want to follow the dress code shows respect for your school. I think your parents and teachers will appreciate that, and in return, treat you with respect.

CREATIVE OPTIONS
As for looking cute, there are other creative ways to approach that goal. Although I don’t know your exact uniform, I do know that there may be options in regards to how you wear your hair, as well as accessorizing with bracelets, necklaces, leggings and tights, and shoes.

WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON
It is important to find a style that feels right for you. You don’t necessarily have to look like everyone else. However, clothing is just one of the ways that you can express the unique person that you are. A wise person once told me, “one of the best thing to wear to school and really stand out is a smile.”

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teen Girls: Dealing With Teen Boys

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Do you find yourself feeling shy around guys? Read up on tips here. – Sandra

“I’ve always been friends with boys, but as lately, every time I see one of the guys I’ve been close to since kindergarten, I get really shy. What’s wrong with me?”

HORMONES ARE CHANGING
I would guess that you are attracted to the guys you are feeling shy around. This is not unusual. As hormones change, biologically we become interested in people who could be potential future life partners. This can leave you feeling self-conscious around people who, up until now, were simply your friends.

RE-DEFINING YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Also, as you grow up, you don’t always talk about the same things you used to talk about as a child. Therefore, you may find yourself struggling to be with old friends in a new way. These can leave you feeling awkward, talking about random stuff.

MALE AND FEMALE ROLES
Our society tends to define people in terms of male and female roles, with different sets of expectations for each. This can be confusing, as those roles were not so obvious when you as children. Boys and girls who played together as children may start moving into different areas of interest as they prepare for their roles as young men and women. People you thought you knew well can suddenly feel like strangers as they move in different directions from you.

FINDING YOUR WAY
Your job, during this time, is to discover who you are, and who you like spending time. My suggestion is to choose companions with whom you feel comfortable being yourself when you are around them.

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Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Is Everyone Else Dating – Except You?

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

It can be hard when your friends begin dating – and you feel left behind. – Sandra

“My friends are all changing, going out with guys, while I’m left alone with no boys. What should I do? “

CHANGE CAN MEAN LOSS
Change is not easy for anyone. This can be a sad time, as the closeness you once felt is not there in the same way anymore, and you experience a loss of something you value. I think what you are mainly referring to is the fact that your relationships with your friends are changing.

CHANGE CAN OPEN NEW DOORS
Growing up is filled with changes. New schools, body changes, meeting new people, saying goodbye to people you liked, and starting to date…. Change, although challenging, can also mean exciting new beginnings.

A NEW PHASE OF LIFE
The time when girls and guys start dating does not happen exactly the same way for everyone. There are some girls that jump right in, and others that prefer to take things slower. But eventually, everyone seems to move into enjoying this new phase of life.

SHOW THAT YOU CARE
Something that could be helpful during this time of transition is to be a very good listener to your friends. I would guess that they have a lot to talk about regarding their adventures in dating. There could be a lot to learn from their experiences. It is a way to stay connected and show that you care.

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SandraDupont.com

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Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Your BFF Choosing New Friends?

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

It can be hurtful when friends change, leaving their old friends behind. Sometimes friends make choices that can create distance between the two of you. -Sandra

“At school my best friend ignores me because she is friends with the “popular kids.” I tried to tell her one time how I am feeling but she said “this is why I like my popular friends better then you!” This is really starting to bother me.”

SOMETIMES, FRIENDS MAKE NEW CHOICES
On one hand, your friend obviously likes spending time with you. On the other hand, she also dreams of being popular. Each person must ultimately learn whether they prefer to have just a few close friends, or many acquaintances.

Acquaintances are friends of convenience, who are around in the good times, but are not always around when you need them. Although you can’t help your friend to make up her mind, it sounds like you have a clear idea of what kind of friendship you want.

SIT DOWN TOGETHER AND TALK
It is understandable that you are bothered by her ignoring you. Her crying the last time you mentioned how you feel seems to indicate she is struggling with some feelings of her own. Ideally, it would be good if you could both sit down together and talk about your enjoyment of being friends. In a perfect world, the two of you would then come to some understanding of where you want to go from here.

TRY TO COME UP WITH AN AGREEMENT
It would be nice if you could come up with an agreement that she would stop ignoring you, and that she could still make new friends. Juggling two sets of friends, however, requires a lot of maturity on everyone’s part. Unfortunately, this level of maturity may not yet be present with all the people involved.

Another option is for you to decide to patiently wait until after school to spend time with her. In this way, you could still be friends while she explored whether the experience of being popular is really what she thinks it is. If this is your choice, it would be important to not ruin your time together by complaining.

SOMETIMES, YOU NEED TO LET GO
The last option is let her move on, knowing that sometimes people just grow in different directions. Although this is a very sad decision, you need to ultimately take care of yourself. If her ignoring you is too painful, then this could be a good choice.

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SandraDupont.com

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Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Are Other Girls Acting Jealous?

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

It’s not uncommon for teenage girls to pick on others who stand out from the crowd. What you are describing is called envy. Read on to discover how to put a stop to jealousy and envy.– Sandra

“I’m a cheerleader and I can do cool tricks and flips. My friends think I’m showing off but I’m really not like that at all. I’ve tried to tell them but they are ignoring me. What do I do now??”

RECOGNIZING ENVY
Sometimes, when you have something that someone else wants, they try to take it away from you by putting it down. This is one of the main reasons that gossip magazines are so popular. Everyone wants to hear the dirt on the stars who appear to be living the “dream life”.

YOU HAVE CHOICES

  • You can just keep doing what you are doing, knowing that you will just have to put up with other girls acting upset.
  • You can stop doing all your cool tricks and anything else that makes you stand out.
  • You can share what you have by helping those who are interested learn to do some cool tricks of their own.

BUILDING BRIDGES

I recommend sharing as a way to build a bridge between you and those who wish they had what you have. Of course, there may still be some who won’t accept your gift, but a number of people will realize what a really nice person and real friend you are.

To have good friends you first need to be a good friend. Good friends share what they have. Good friends stick up for each other. Good friends are kind to each other. Good friends encourage each other to be the best they can be.

… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.

“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Can Being Popular Cause Problems?

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Some people prefer to have just a few very close friends, while others like to experience a variety. – Sandra

“I sit with different people at lunch on a day to day basis. My friends think that I am not sitting with them because I do not like them. What should I do?”

It sounds like you get along with, and are well liked by many people.

DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS OF FRIENDSHIP
It can be challenging when friends have different definitions of what they think friendship means. To some people, being a friend means that you spend all your time with them. Others may be understanding of the fact that you may have more than one friend, or group of friends.

I think it could be helpful to talk to the people who are complaining, and find about their definition of friendship.

SOME FRIENDS ACT POSSESSIVE
If your friends are merely feeling a little insecure, re-assuring them that they are still very important to you may help them to let go of the fear that you no longer like them. If they are the possessive type, and don’t want to share you with anyone else, you will have to let them know that your definition of friendship may be different than theirs.

After talking with them, if there are some who are still being critical of your choices, you may need to decide if they are worth your giving up all of your other friends to be with them. This is entirely up to you.

YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE
The bottom line is, that as much as you might want to, you can’t please everyone all of the time. You can, however, do your best to be honest and clear about who you are, and what you want.

In this way, the people who are comfortable with your definition of friendship will be happy to spend time with you.

… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.

“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Why Do People Gossip?

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

It is always fun to get together with friends, but crossing the line to gossiping can be dangerous. Read on to learn more – Sandra

“My best friend loves to gossip about other people, and I am afraid that she is gossiping about me. What should I do?”

GOSSIPING CAN MEAN A FEW THINGS:

  • Your friend could be feeling envious or jealous of someone, and is trying to feel better about herself by saying negative things about someone.
  • Your friend may be trying to feel more popular, and is using gossip to gather other people around her.
  • Your friend may be angry with someone, but instead of handling her hurt feelings directly with that person, she is venting her upset feelings publicly.
  • She may see some behavior in that other person that she thinks is wrong and is trying to make that person change by letting everyone know what they have done.

Since she is your best friend, your opinion is probably very important to her. Have you considered sharing with her your feelings and concerns about gossiping in general and creating a discussion?

If it seems like she is open to the discussion, you could even go so far as to express your fear that she may talk about you to others. You can then invite her to tell you directly about anything she thinks is getting in the way of your friendship and promise to do the same for her.

She is doing what she is doing for a reason. However, she may not understand why she is doing it and your conversation could be a safe place where she can explore her feelings. Together, you could discover better options for handling these situations besides gossiping.

… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.

“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens: Friend Hurt Your Feelings?

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Even best friends sometimes say things without thinking about how their words may affect you – Sandra

“I started playing basketball on a team a year ago. One day, me and my BFF were shooting baskets and she told me she was better than me at playing basketball. That may be true, but what she said hurt my feeling! What should I do?”

I can appreciate that what your friend said about her being better than you, at a sport you are trying to compete in, did not feel nice. Since you are BFFs, I think it could be helpful to let her know how you feel.

WORDS HAVE IMPACT
The problem isn’t that she thinks she is better than you at shooting baskets. You, yourself, said she is really good. The problem is that she didn’t seem to understand how her words affected you.

THE MEANING OF WORDS
The question I have for you is what did her words mean to you? Did they mean that she doesn’t care about you in the way you thought she did? Do they mean that she is somehow no longer your equal? To be able to communicate what you feel, it is important for you to understand what you are feeling.

SELF-ACCEPTANCE
Adolescence is a time in life when teens are trying to figure out who they are. By comparing yourself to others, you find out what you are good at, and where you may have to work harder. Your friend may have simply been trying to feel good about herself.

UNCOMFORTABLE FEELINGS
Adolescence is also a time of feeling vulnerable and a little insecure. Which is why teens are very sensitive about things that are said by their friends. This may be why it feels really uncomfortable to talk to her right now.

EXPECTATIONS
Something else to consider is that there are often expectations that go along with being best friends. I would guess that one of these expectations is that a best friend would cheer you on, and believe in you. It can be shocking and disappointing when your friend says something less than positive or encouraging.

REPAIRING RELATIONSHIPS
Communicating how you feel in a kind and respectful manner can go a long way towards repairing this relationship. Your friend may not have meant any harm, and may even believe that you are better than her in other areas. Perhaps this situation could be an opportunity to strengthen your relationship, by discussing what it actually means to each of you to be each others best friend.

… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.

“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.