How to get teens and tweens to tell you about their problems

View Meg Newman, MS, LMFT's video on How to get teens and tweens to tell you about their problems...
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How to get teens and tweens to tell you about their problems

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To get your tween or teen to open up to you about something that's going on with them at school, it's really important that first of all you are approachable. Let them know that you are there for them and that you would like to solve the problem with them, not solve it for them. And it's also really normal for them to want to try to solve the problem on their own at first, because at this developmental stage that is on of the important tasks, is to be able to individuate from their family, to be accepted by their friends, to try to solve things on their own, independently. So when they come to you, it's really important that you are approachable. Don't ask them why has it taken you so long to tell me this, right. Thank them for coming to you and talking to you about this and ask them what they would like to do to solve the problem. And you can brainstorm with them to figure out solutions to what's going on. Don't try to solve it for them or take the control out of their hands. But if it is something that is dangerous, a dangerous situation or someone is at risk of being hurt, then certainly you need to step in and take care of that. But otherwise ask them what they would like to do and brainstorm some ideas together.

View Meg Newman, MS, LMFT's video on How to get teens and tweens to tell you about their problems...

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Meg Newman, MS, LMFT

Therapist

Meg Newman is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Venice and Tarzana CA. Meg is also a mother and stepmom. Meg has worked as a therapist with children and teens focusing on a variety of issues concerning anxiety, eating disorders, body image, substance abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Meg is native to Los Angeles and loves spending time with family, as well as snowboarding as often as possible.

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