Teens want to be heard

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Teens want to be heard

How I get teens to open up to me is pretty simple. Number one, I'm younger. When they come into my office, they are expecting to see Mr. Rogers in a sweater vest, so to speak. It's me, and it's like, "Hey, what's up dude," or "What's up girl?" It's a completely different situation for them, right off the bat. I'm younger. I'm relevant. I understand a lot more what's going on in their world. If you can get here with a teenager, they will let you in to a lot that's going on. They tell me about what's happening and what's going on. I don't come in with, they are the identified problem, they need to change, and I need to lecture to them. That's what they are getting that in their real life. They are getting that with parents, coaches, and teachers. I sit back and ask them, basically, "What sucks? I'm going to help you fix whatever does." What parents can do, is they need to talk less, and listen more. If they can sit back and listen to their teen talk, without giving feedback or constructive criticism -- which shuts them down, typically -- and just sit back and listen, validate them in the situation. So much more will come out, and will be more productive in that situation.

Watch Jerry Weichman, PhD's video on Teens want to be heard...


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Jerry Weichman, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Jerry Weichman is a licensed psychologist and adolescent specialist as well as an author, speaker and parenting expert. His clinical practice at Hoag Hospital's Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach, California provides a window on contemporary teen and pre-teen behavior.

“Dr. Jerry” as his adolescent patients call him, is a young PhD who really relates to teens, speaks their lingo and has felt their pain. Author of the teen survival guide, How to Deal, and noted media expert on teen issues, Dr. Jerry is focused on helping teens cope with parents, teachers, friends and academic pressure, communicating with them in a way they understand to help successfully navigate the dramas and pressures of adolescence.

Dr. Jerry's popular speeches, lectures and seminars have presented assemblies of students, teachers, parents and administrators with practical approaches on how today’s teens can overcome the trials and tribulations of growing up, from coping with bullying to meeting parental academic expectations to walking away from drugs and other self-destructive behaviors. Jerry also sits on the board of directors for the Bullying Prevention Initiative of California and just recently sat on an expert panel for a screening of the documentary Bully.

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