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“Making A Point” with your teen versus having a conversation

    Olivia calls her dad a s**t-head every chance she gets, but what she really wants to say to him is this: “Every time you talk to me you’re trying to make some point and it gets old. Plus, you think you’re being funny but it hurts my feelings and that’s why I don’t […]

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My Teen Client Calls Her Dad a S@#t-Head Every Chance She Gets

  My teen client calls her dad a s@#t-head every chance she gets but what she really wants to say to him is this: “Every time you talk to me you’re trying to make some point and it gets old. Plus, you think you’re being funny but it hurts my feelings and that’s why I […]

Dr. Janet Sasson Edgette

Tired of One-Word Responses from Your Teen? Ditch the Questions and Become Interesting Enough That They Want to Talk With You

Every day at 3 pm thousands upon thousands of kids and teenagers are being clobbered by questions about their day at school from the people who love them the most—their parents. And despite the fact that most of these parents would be satisfied with just a little bit of feedback, a brief commentary—even just a […]

boy sitting on ball

What Am I Teaching My Son If I Let Him Quit Playing Sports Just Because He’s Afraid of the Ball?

  You are teaching him… that you respect him, even if you don’t understand his choices. that you will listen closely to what he says and take it at face value. that it pays to speak up. that he doesn’t have to disguise his real feelings in order to gain or sustain your approval. that […]

barber shop red white and blue pole

“Boys Will Be Boys”: A Bad Excuse for Bad Behavior

It’s a simple phrase meant to dismiss bad boy behavior as simply boy behavior. Because of it, countless boys have been left to suffer at the hands of other boys, the latter group empowered by the implicit sanctioning of their brutality. Sure, girls and boys are different. Most girls will never take to blowing snot […]

tail lights of a car

What My Son Learned The Day My Car Was Repossessed

  Mom, there’s a guy in our driveway with a tow truck, my son reports. With miscalculated insouciance I reply, No worries, dude, I’m sure it’s Bill. Bill, our neighbor, owns a service station. He’s hooking up your car, mom. I run outside to yell at this man, who’s not Bill, and end up handing […]

Don’t Do A Victory Dance When Your Kid Says You Were Right

  Heidi was a 15 year old girl who came for therapy at the behest of her parents. “She’s been furious with us ever since we had her transfer to a charter school,” her mother told me over the phone when setting up her first appointment. “Her father and I were convinced she’d do better […]

How We Like Our Teenagers: Coltish and Unruly

Despite our communal anxiety about keeping adolescents in check, our culture still seems to like its teenagers a little coltish and unruly. You see this in parents’ bemused tolerance for their kids’ antics, and in the charity afforded them when rude or irresponsible; “typical teenage behavior” it’s called, which is unfortunate. Teenagers can do better, […]

Teenager Not Motivated For School?

  A colleague wrote me asking for my ideas about how to work in therapy with adolescents who have turned off to school:     “… Homework is one issue that continues to be a dilemma. As you know, there is the parental expectation that their kids do well in school … get good grades, […]