Robbie says, “I found offensive language on my daughter’s laptop. This is very unlike her. She doesn’t talk like that except on private social media. The subject was sexual in nature.”
Read more to find out what counselor Leslie Bashioum has to say about the challenges that teens face, and how parents can help and guide them.
About the Author
Leslie Bashioum, MA, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in marriage counseling, family therapy, and anxiety & depression in women. She sees clients online and in-person at our Springfield, Missouri counseling center.
(Transcript is generated by a software and may have discrepancies from the video.)
Welcome to My Counselor Online. I’m Cassie and this is My Counselor Says. My Counselor Says is where you submit a question, either for yourself, or for a friend, and one of our incredible therapists takes their time and answers your personal question. So let’s go find out what My Counselor Says.
Leslie Bashioum on the Challenges that Teenagers Face
Teenagers can be really tough because they are in the midst of such big social, cognitive, and biological changes. It can be really hard to navigate what behaviors are normal, and what behaviors are not.
It can also be hard for teens to differentiate between their perception of reality and others’ perception of reality. So in this case, it could be that your daughter perceives that she must act this way or say these things in order to fit in or to be liked or to feel valued. It could also be the case that there could be something deeper going on, if we find that, maybe, we’ve noticed some other changes in her recently. These changes could include that she’s been more irritable lately, or maybe some changes in her sleep or appetite. Maybe we noticed that she’s had some feelings of worthlessness or trouble concentrating lately. And these are just to name a few.
How to Help Struggling Teens
If this were the case, I would suggest talking with a licensed counselor who can help you navigate and dig deeper into what might be going on with your daughter. In either case, one of the most important things we can do as a parent is to show our kids that we care. By simply listening, we send the message to our teen that they’re not alone in their struggle.
Modeling Boundaries and Earning Trust
We can also model healthy boundaries by communicating that our love is unconditional, but that freedom is not free. In order to earn freedom, our adolescents must learn to build trust. We can teach our adolescents that being trustworthy in certain activities can lead to more freedoms.
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