Teen

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “Could My Teen Have Autism?”   As many as 1 in 59 American kids receive an autism diagnosis, and most of them are diagnosed by age 3. However, there are kids with autism who enter their teen years without being diagnosed. Since autism symptoms can range from mild to severe, symptoms of teens with high functioning autism may not seem to drastically impair them. Even so, there are major benefits to having your teen evaluated if they’re showing any signs of autism. A diagnosis can bring many emotional, relational, and academic benefits to teens as they navigate this important stage of life. Parents can also receive tremendous relief from having their child diagnosed, as once they’ve identified the cause of their teen’s symptoms, they can better focus on what to do about them.    So what are some signs that your teen may have autism?:    1. Communication quandaries   Sure, all teens can be a little socially awkward at times. Autism, however, presents some distinct communication challenges that make it hard for teens to connect with peers, such as:    Struggling to join in conversations appropriately    Having difficulty talking about a range of topics     Using speech in an unusual way such as talking in a monotone or accent    Having trouble understanding and discussing emotions     Responding to questions by repeating them rather than answering    A diagnosis can be a starting point to help your teen understand their challenges and gain tools to build lasting friendships.       


   
     
      
        Click here for a free 15-minute consultation with one of our Specialists
      
     
   


 
   Free 15-minute consultation with one of our Specialists 
   
     
      
         

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
               Name  *  
               Name 
              
                 
                    
                  First Name 
                 
                 
                    
                  Last Name 
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
               Phone 
               Phone 
              
                
                 
                    
                  (###) 
                 
                 
                    
                  ### 
                 
                 
                    
                  #### 
                 
               
            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            
               
                 Email  *  
                
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            
               
                 When is a good time and date to call back?  *  
                
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

         

      

      

      
       
         
       
      

      

       Thank you! 

        
     

   

 
     Reading body language seems to come naturally to many people, but unspoken communication often eludes individuals with autism. If your teen has autism, they may struggle to read the expressions of others, refrain from meaningful eye contact, and show little emotional expression. They have a much easier time understanding clear and literal explanations as opposed to metaphors, sarcasm, or vague inferences.    3. Social differences    Teens with autism tend to have few friends and prefer to spend time on their own. While they may have difficulty connecting with people in their age group, they might be more comfortable interacting with younger kids or older adults since they impose less social pressure.    4. Intense interests    Most teens are “totally obsessed” with their celebrity crush or smartphone, but teens who have autism often exhibit obsessive symptoms in the following ways:    Fixating on certain interests such as geology or basketball      Compulsive routines and rituals such as only drinking from a particular cup    Repetitive body movements such as rocking or hand tapping    Unusual attachments to certain objects    Repetitive noises such as grunting, throat-clearing, or squealing     5. Greatly gifted   The minds of neurotypical people tend to work several areas of the brain at once (social interactions, for example, require multiple regions of the brain to work together). The minds of those with autism are able to focus more of their brain’s resources into one area at a time, often causing them to develop remarkable talents. Whether they are gifted in chemistry, playing piano, learning languages, or memorizing baseball stats, teens with autism tend to have amazing memories and unique intellectual abilities.    6. Sensory sensitivities   While most teens start distancing themselves from mom and dad to assert their independence, teens with autism may also not want to be touched due to sensory sensitivities. Teens with autism may be bothered by the texture of their gym clothes, bright florescent classroom lighting, or noisy high school hallways.    7. Challenged by change   Teens with autism find calm and comfort in rigid routines and structure. Change is hard for them to cope with and they may become distressed or upset when their routines are altered. High school can be a hard time for anyone, but it’s particularly difficult for teens with autism due to its many changes. Increased complexity, changing classrooms, different teachers, and high-pressure social situations can make adolescence a particularly trying time for teens with autism.    Why a diagnosis is important    Teens with autism can excel in school, work, and relationships, but they’re more likely to do so if they receive support and understanding. Without a diagnosis, they may have a harder time accepting their differences and leveraging their unique strengths. If you suspect your teen may have autism, a diagnosis can open countless doors to   secure accommodations in academic    and    professional pursuits   ,  and our specialists can guide you through the best ways to support them.       Dr. Amy E. Weir, Psy.D.,  is an expert in neurodevelopment and autism spectrum disorder. If your child is showing symptoms of ASD, Dr. Weir can evaluate your child to see if there is a diagnosis and recommend a variety of supports to benefit your child’s development.      


   
     
      
        Request an Assessment Consultation 
      
     
   


 
   Request a testing consultation 
   
     
      
         

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
               Name  *  
               Name 
              
                 
                    
                  First Name 
                 
                 
                    
                  Last Name 
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            
               
                 Email  *  
                
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
               Phone  *  
               Phone 
              
                
                 
                    
                  (###) 
                 
                 
                    
                  ### 
                 
                 
                    
                  #### 
                 
               
            

            

        

            

            

            
               
                 What is the best and day to call you?  *  
                
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            
               
                 Reason you are looking for testing?  *  
                
                  
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
                 Info about person tested  *  
                 Who is testing for 
                
                    Child  
                
                    Adult  
                
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

         

      

      

      
       
         
       
      

      

       Thank you! 

        
     

   

 
      Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting teenage boys through life’s transitions. If you think your teenage son may have autism, Dr. Sample can provide a supportive place to evaluate your son’s symptoms and empower him to reach his potential.         
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Elsa Torres, Psy.D.,  is an expert in diagnostic testing and counseling and is experienced in providing therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you think your teen or   other family member   may have autism, Dr. Torres can guide you in taking the next steps to support your loved one.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Torres 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology. If you think your teen may have autism, Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing, recommend support, and help you become an informed advocate for your teen’s education.       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   American Autism Association (2016). What is autism?  MyAutism.org  Retrieved online: https://www.myautism.org/all-about-  autism/what-is-autism/?gclid=CjwKCAjw9sreBRBAEiwARroYmwt4izLg3dJ_ZaXsClvHBhqaFiEgUwGrFpux1AMBJjpTeekibHMB3xoCZrcQAvD_BwE  The Australian Parenting Website (2018). Signs of autism spectrum disorder in older children and teenagers. Retrieved online: https://raisingchildren.net.au/autism/learning-about-asd/assessment-diagnosis/signs-of-asd-in-teens  Hurst, Michael. (2015). Teenagers with Autism: Symptoms, Treatment, and Help.  CRC Health . https://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/autism-in-teenagers/  Shinn. M.M. (2019). Accommodations for College Entrance Exams: What Parents Need to Know.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/does-my-child-need-accommodations-for-the-sat-act    Shinn. M.M. (2019). Could My Dad Have Undiagnosed Autism?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/could-my-dad-have-undiagnosed-autism    Szalavitz, M. (2012). What Genius and Autism Have in Common.  TIME Magazine . Retrieved from http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/10/what-child-prodigies-and-autistic-people-have-in-common/   Zerbo, O., Qian, Y., Yoshida, C., Grether, J. K., Van de Water, J., & Croen, L. A. (2015). Maternal Infection During Pregnancy and Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Journal of autism and development tal disorders ,  45 (12), 4015-25.   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Could My Teen Have Autism?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/could-my-teen-have-autism

“Could My Teen Have Autism?”

Does your teen have trouble making friends? Do they struggle with sensory sensitivities? Do they have strict routines they stick to? If you’ve ever wondered if your teen might have undiagnosed autism, check out this week’s blog.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?”   Having your teen enter the world of dating can cause anxiety for any parent. A dad’s instinct may be to think of ways to scare off his teen’s date, while a mom may want to grab binoculars and spy in the bushes. Though protecting your kids is important, open and nonjudgmental communication is the best tool to support your teen in making good dating decisions. With the right approach, parents have the power to help teens stick to their values, keep realistic expectations, and manage the highs and lows of dating.     So what can parents do to support teens as they date?     1. Focus on the purpose   Ask your teen what they believe the purpose of dating is. When teens go into dating with a clear understanding of its objective, they are more likely to make rational decisions and avoid negative situations. Remind them that dating is about developing their relationship skills as well as getting to know what they want and need in a partner. If they date simply to fit in or to fill their craving for intimacy, they will likely be disappointed.     2. Discuss what healthy looks like   When parents talk to teens about dating, they often focus on rules such as, “No being out past 10,” or, “no drinking and driving.” An additional priority should be to talk to your teen about what healthy relationships look like. Remind them of the characteristics of supportive and long-lasting relationships including:      Trust    Mutual understanding    Communication    Respect    Honesty    Faithfulness    Praise    Maintaining interests outside of one another     3. Help them recognize abuse      Teach your teen the warning signs of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse such as:    Isolating them from friends and family    Insulting, degrading, or intimidating them    Cheating    Showing intimate pictures or “sexts” to others    “Gas-lighting” (when an abuser gets called out for their abuse and turns it around on the other person to make them think they’re crazy)    Hitting, kicking, grabbing, pushing, or biting    Stalking or constantly monitoring them    Guilting or coercing into sex or other acts     4. Build up boundaries   Encourage your teen to determine the behaviors that they’ll refuse to accept in relationships. Remind them to explain their boundaries to their date in the beginning so that expectations are clear from the get-go. It can be helpful to define boundaries in the following categories:     Emotional  – Example: “If my date calls me insulting names, that is crossing my boundary.”   Physical  – Example: “If my date puts their hands on me in anger, that is crossing my boundary.”   Digital  – Example: “If my date asks me to Snapchat sexual photos, that is crossing my boundary.”    Moms – if you need help taking your own advice on healthy boundary-setting, check out our women’s guide to stop people-pleasing       5. Play it positive    Although you want to teach your teen the warning signs of unhealthy relationships, make sure you approach this milestone with a positive attitude. Don’t speak about it with dread or express disdain for their date; that will only drive your kid away from you. Tell your teen you’re excited for them to experience this new aspect of life and that you trust them to make the right choices. Show interest in learning more about their date and the good qualities your teen sees in them.      6. Rely on respect   When you’re talking to your teen about dating, make sure to keep a calm and respectful tone. If they feel you respect their individuality and opinions, they will be more likely to return the same respect to you. Even if you’re met with sighs and eye rolls, try to keep your cool and trust that your teen will hear what you have to say. Make sure to ask your teen’s point of view as well and listen with empathy and understanding.     For more tips on being an emotionally intelligent parent,    click here      7. Don’t steer away from sex   It may be tempting to avoid discussing sex with your teen, but remember that if you don’t give them the sex talk, their locker room buddies will. Regardless of your family values, don’t make your teen feel bad or abnormal for having natural sexual feelings. Express that these feelings are a normal part of maturing into an adult, but there are values that you expect them to adhere to. Think through your values and clearly explain them to your teen. It’s also important to talk to them about what others might do so they know ways to respond if they are met with unwanted advances.      8. Trust the job you’ve done   After you’ve said your piece, take off your private investigator hat and hang the binoculars back in the closet. You’ve spent more than a decade preparing your child for this milestone, teaching them right from wrong, empowering their self-esteem, and establishing boundaries for their behaviors. Trust that your lessons have prepared them to be resilient through the good and bad aspects of teen dating.      9. Know when to intervene    The ups and downs of dating can be incredibly positive in shaping your teen’s identity, building their emotional intelligence, and preparing them for adult relationships. However, it’s not uncommon for teens to enter unhealthy or abusive relationships. If you’re concerned that your teen is in a dangerous relationship, or if you’re just unsure how to talk with your teen about dating, our specialists can help.     Cynthia R. Johnson, LMFT, is a specialist in Parenting and Child Therapy at Variations Psychology. Cynthia can strengthen your family’s communication while empowering your teen to make healthy, positive choices.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Cynthia R. Johnson 
       Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting teen boys through life’s transitions. If your teenage son is having any challenges related to dating, Dr. Sample can provide a comfortable place for him to overcome obstacles and develop healthy relationships.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. sample 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology. If you are concerned about your teen’s mental or emotional health, Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing and recommend support to meet your teen’s needs.       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.   References:   Center for Disease Control (2018). Understanding Teen Dating Violence. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/teen-dating-violence-2014-a.pdf  GoodTherapy.org. 9 Tips for Talking to Teens About Dating and Relationships. Retrieved from: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/9-tips-for-talking-to-teens-about-dating-and-relationships-0227157  Mayo Clinic (2017). Sex Education: Talking to Your Teens About Sex. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/in-depth/sex-education/art-20044034  Shinn. M.M. (2018). “Why Can’t I Say No?” The Women’s Guide to Stop People-Pleasing.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-womans-holiday-guide-to-stop-people-pleasing  Shinn. M.M. (2018). “Am I an Emotionally Intelligent Parent?” 6 Tips for Moms & Dads to Boost Their EQ.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/am-i-an-emotionally-intelligent-parent-6-tips-for-moms-dads-to-boost-their-eq  Whyte, A. (2018). Parents: How to Help Your Teen Set Healthy Dating Boundaries.  Evolve Treatment Centers . Retrieved online: https://evolvetreatment.com/blog/parents-how-to-help-your-teen-set-healthy-dating-boundaries/    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). “My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?”  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/my-teen-is-dating-what-do-i-do

“My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?”

“My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?!” Before you hire a private investigator and start stalking your teen’s every move, check out this week’s blog to support your teen through this exciting (yet slightly nerve-wracking) milestone.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Should I Let My Teen Get a Job? 10 Things Parents Should Know    As much as teens rely on mom and dad for a warm bed, free laundry, and a stocked refrigerator, they desperately want to feel like adults. Often times, this desire results in teens wanting to take on their first job. While parents want their teens to have a healthy transition into adulthood, it can be scary to let them take on the responsibility and the demands of a job while they’re still in school. Allowing your teen to get a job is a big decision, especially if they are involved in challenging classes or demanding extra-curriculars.   So how can parents know if their teen is ready to start filling out job applications? Here are 10 things to consider:    1. There are tons of benefits   We’re not talking about health insurance or retirement plans; those will come later down the line when they reach their career goals. But there are countless benefits that an entry level job can bring to a teenager’s life.  To name a few, jobs can help them:   Discover how to search and apply for jobs  Learn about money management  Gain confidence  Feel independent  Become more responsible  Develop work ethic and job skills  Stay occupied when school is out  Network and make friends  Develop time management  Pay for their own stuff (can I get a YASSSS!)    2. It doesn't have to kill your grades    “My son?! A job?! How will he pass AP bio?!” Despite many parents’ concern that by earning an income, kids will lose all motivation to make good grades, research has indicated that teens working 10-13 hours per week tend to have higher grades than their unemployed counterparts. It should be noted however, that working more than 13 hours per week can make it difficult to manage the high school work-load   3. It gives a "feel for the field"   Sadly, many students spend years pursuing high level degrees only to find themselves unsatisfied with their field after they graduate. An entry level job related to a field they are interested in can give them a sense of the pros and cons and help them determine if it’s really what they want to pursue long-term. For this reason, it’s good to encourage them to look for jobs that develop skills related to their interests. For example, if your daughter wants to be a doctor, becoming a lifeguard would teach her CPR and other lifesaving techniques.    For more tips on supporting your teen’s success, check out our blog on fostering passion and persistence in your children     4. Jobs help careers   While college degrees are important, let’s face it, employers want work experience. Whether or not your teen’s job has anything to do with their long-term pursuits, the skills and work ethic instilled by minimum wage employment can definitely make them stand out above candidates who only have academic track records. Plus, working as a teen demonstrates that they are successfully able to balance work and education, a trait that shows they are both persistent and adaptable.   5. Baby steps are the way to go   …just don’t call them that – your teen wants to be treated like an adult, remember?! They don’t have to go straight from total dependence on you to working 30 hours a week and moving out. Make a deal with your teen that they can only work as long as nothing else suffers – that means school, social relationships, extracurriculars, and family time. Start out with allowing them to only work weekends or seasonally. As they prove themselves capable and responsible, consider allowing more hours after school.   6. Motives matter   Taking on a job is a great way to teach goal-setting, persistence, and financial education to your child. If they express interest in getting a job, ask them why they want one. To buy a car? To prepare for a career? To gain responsibility? Have them set goals and hold them accountable as they work. This is also a great time to teach them how to budget and create a savings plan to earn things they want to work for.   7. Volunteering isn't the same thing   Don’t get us wrong, volunteering is a wonderful thing for your teen to take part in. It builds character, encourages compassion, and fosters gratitude. But there are certain takeaways from paid employment that volunteerism just can’t provide – jobs will teach your teen a heightened level of accountability and will help them understand the relationship between time, effort, and compensation – all important concepts as they enter adulthood.   8. There are cons to consider    While there are many benefits in allowing teens to work, it’s important to understand potential setbacks. First, teens are still developing, and their lack of real world experience can make them vulnerable for being exploited by employers. Working excessive hours can also harm their social life, extracurricular activities, and school attendance. Employment also exposes teens to older adults, potentially increasing the risk of them being exposed to drugs or alcohol. These reasons are why it’s critical for parents to stay involved, making sure their child’s working hours are moderate and that employment is not impacting other areas of their life.     9. Personal factors play a role   At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether teens should get a job. Parents have to base the decision on their child’s mental health, emotional maturity, and current demands. If your teen is taking a ton of high level classes and really stressing out about them, this year might not be the right time to add a job to their plate. If they struggle with time management or showing up to school on time, have them work on improving those areas before you consider letting them work.   10. Variations can help you decide    Every parent’s goal is to help their teens transition from carefree children to productive, responsible adults - but knowing how to do that can be tricky. The decision to let your teen work can be difficult, but our specialists at Variations Psychology can help.     Cynthia Johnson, LMFT,  is a specialist in Parenting and Child Therapy at Variations Psychology. She has years of experience in supporting parents, teens, and children in working through challenges, reaching their goals, and building strong, healthy relationships.     
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Cynthia.  
       Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D . specializes in supporting men and teen boys through life’s transitions. Teen boys and men face a variety of unique challenges throughout their lives, and Dr. Sample is experienced in helping clients cope with issues such as school or work challenges, family and relationship struggles, anger, anxiety, depression, and trauma. Dr. Sample provides a comfortable place for men of all ages to overcome obstacles and gain the tools for leading successful and fulfilling lives.     
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D ., is a Child and Educational Psychologist. Dr. Shinn can get to know you and your teen, discuss your goals and concerns, and help you decide if your teen is ready to take on their first job. In addition, Dr. Shinn can give you tips on how to better prepare your teen for the workforce before making your decision.       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Marta M. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.

Should I Let My Teen Get a Job?
10 Things Parents Should Know

“If you want to be treated like an adult you better start acting like one!” Us parents say that, but do we really want our teens to run out and get a job? If you’re wondering if your teen is ready for the workforce, check out this week’s blog and find out!

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      6 Tips to Prepare for your Teen’s Independence   Independence Day – the anniversary of America’s founding fathers declaring liberation from England’s governance. When it comes to governing one’s household, nearly every parent anticipates the day that their child will give their own, “declaration of independence.” Parents expect that as their teens emerge into their 20’s, they’ll soon be moving out and establishing themselves as self-sufficient adults. To many parents’ dismay, however, more and more young adults are having trouble meeting the milestones that lead to independence.  And while the prospect of an empty nest can be a little scary, the idea of children living with their parents forever can be even more concerning.   Is “Failure to Launch Syndrome” a thing?   “Failure to Launch” is not an official diagnosis, but rather a slang term derived from a movie referring to adult children who are either unmotivated or unable to become self-sufficient. Most psychologists aren’t fond of the term, “Failure to Launch,” because it labels these adults as failures, and a person’s ability to move out of their parent’s home should not solely determine their overall success. Also, failure sounds like a final outcome, and is a pretty harsh way to label what is often a temporary struggle. Negative labels aside, there’s no denying that there is a growing phenomenon of young adults who find the prospect of independence terrifying, paralyzing, or just plain unappealing.     So is it a psych issue?    There are several factors contributing to why millions of young adults, many of whom are employed or have college degrees, are finding it harder to leave the nest. The rising cost of living and limited economic opportunities are certainly a part of it, but in many cases, these adult children are struggling with beliefs that they are inadequate and incapable of making it on their own. Other factors contributing to their struggle may include mental illness, learning disabilities, or attention problems. Therefore, psychological issues often play an important role in a young adult’s struggle to achieve independence.   Why is this generation having such a problem?   There have been a few cultural shifts over the past several decades that experts believe have contributed to this “dependent adult” phenomenon:   The “No marriage til after grad school” shift   In recent years, society has encouraged young adults to prioritize higher education and graduate degrees over starting careers and families. While there are obvious benefits to having a well-educated society, many young adults have focused so much on academic endeavors that they haven’t developed the life skills that are necessary for self-sufficiency. Attending college into one’s mid-20’s to early 30’s has also caused more adults to delay independent milestones such as getting their first job, marrying, or moving into their own home.   The “Winning is the only option” shift    Since the 1980’s, there has been increased pressure on parents to protect their children from failure. This has promoted parenting styles that strive for perfectionism. Ironically, this drive to protect children from failure may be exactly what holds them back from success in adulthood. By conditioning children to believe that perfection is the only acceptable outcome, they are led to believe that they can’t possibly handle the pressures of independence without the protective net of their parents.   While these societal changes have made it more challenging for young adults to get out on their own, there are steps parents can take to support their child’s healthy transition into adulthood:     1. Have them set their own goals   Figuring out college and career plans in high school is a daunting task for many teens. Their brains aren’t fully developed yet, they have little to no work experience, yet they must make life-altering choices that strongly impact their future. While it’s good for you to talk openly about their plans and discuss potential pros and cons, be careful not to goal-set for them. Allow them to set their own goals and create their own action plan to achieve them. This will emphasize the belief that they are capable of managing their own life, even when things get confusing or overwhelming.   2. Take off the training wheels    Remember when you taught your kid how to ride a bike? For a period of time they rode with training wheels. Then you warily removed them but still held their handlebars as they rode around the block for a while. Finally, the day came that you released your grip and let them ride on their own. Make sure that when your teen approaches other life milestones, you aren’t leaving their “training wheels” on for too long. Teach them what they need to know, be available to answer questions, but remove your protective buffer to show them that you believe in their abilities.   Example: Teaching your teen about financial management when they get their first job    Show them how to create a budget  Teach them how to calendar due dates, set up a checking account, and pay their cell-phone bill  Tell them you’ll help walk them through their budget and bill payments for their first 2 paychecks  On the 3rd paycheck and beyond, be available to answer questions if they come to you, but don’t do it for them      3. Put and end to enabling   If your teen feels like they have it made living with you, they may not be motivated to face the challenges that come with independent living. If they’re procrastinating on searching for a summer job, stop giving them spending money. If they seem to be avoiding the steps toward getting their driver’s license, stop chauffeuring them around at their request. If independent driving isn’t an option for them yet, have them start riding their bike places to accustom them to getting around on their own. Sometimes removing the “perks” of living with mom and dad can be an effective nudge in getting your teen to face their fears and take the plunge into self-sufficiency.   4. Stop fearing failure   Teen years can be tough for both parents and their children; parents are used to the days of brushing their kids’ teeth, packing their lunch, and making sure they have clean underwear. Whether it be school work, household chores, or social situations, avoid the urge to rescue them every time they stumble. Independence requires understanding the consequences of actions, as well as maintaining resiliency through missteps. Your teen can’t develop these critical traits without being given the space to work through age-appropriate challenges, even when it means they must be late to a job interview or wear dirty socks.   5. Keep your love unconditional   If your teen isn’t showing the motivation or work ethic you think will be necessary for them to achieve independence, you may get understandably frustrated. Try not to express your frustration by lashing out or giving ultimatums. Teens and young adults who struggle with life transitions are often dealing with low self-esteem already; feeling that their parents’ love is conditional on their performance will only worsen the anxiety that holds them back. Let them know that you love them unconditionally and empower them by fostering their passions and persistency.  Click here to listen to a podcast by Dr. Marta M. Shinn on fostering passion and persistence in your child.      6. Visit a specialist    Emerging into adulthood can be a scary and confusing time, and struggling to achieve independence can impact both parents and their adult children. A specialist in family therapy can help families unravel the different factors leading to their child’s difficulties and give practical strategies to improve the parent-child relationship and empower adult children toward independence.   Cynthia Johnson, LMFT , is a specialist in Parenting and Child Therapy at Variations Psychology. Cynthia is experienced in helping parents build strong emotional connections with their children and provides parents with practical tips to support their child’s mental and emotional growth.     
 
	 Click here to learn more about Cynthia R.  Johnson, MA 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D ., is an expert in child and educational psychology. Dr. Shinn specializes in helping parents understand the educational and emotional needs of their children and can evaluate areas that might be getting in the way of teens reaching age-appropriate milestones such as attention or learning differences. Dr. Shinn helps parents and children overcome challenges and support one another other in reaching their goals.     
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life:         
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "NA");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
     The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism, Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams). See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a   call   and we will guide you.  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.

6 Tips to Prepare for your Teen’s Independence

Independence Day – the anniversary of America’s founding fathers declaring liberation from England’s governance. When it comes to governing one’s household, nearly every parent anticipates the day that their child will give their own, “declaration of independence.” Parents expect that as their teens emerge into their 20’s, they’ll soon be moving out and establishing themselves as self-sufficient adults. To many parents’ dismay, however, more and more young adults are having trouble meeting the milestones that lead to independence.

Is “Failure to Launch Syndrome” a thing?