Let me introduce myself: my name is Dr. Michael Rubino III and I am a licensed Marriage, Family and Child Therapist with a Ph.D. degree in psychology. I specialize in treating children and teenagers, and have had a private practice in Pleasant Hill since 1997.
I see a lot of high-risk teenagers, runaways, and teens who are suicidal, along with the average teenager who thinks they have the world completly figured out. By this point it is safe to say that I have seen everything and heard everything when it comes to dealing with teenagers.
Over the years of dealing with teens there are some common factors that I have noted. The first one Oprah explained very well. Every teen wants to know, "Do you see me?, Do you hear me?, Is what I say important to you?" In other words, do you care about me? You look at your teen and you see an adult body, but remember, they are still children and they want to know that their parents care. So the first thing that will help your teen survive High School is to take time and talk person-to-person and listen without judgement.
Another factor that will help your teen survive High School is to remember the tremendous pressure they face today. Our world moves very fast and we expect our teens to keep up. They are faced with the pressures of getting straight As and participating in numerous after school activities so they can enter a good college, while figuring out who they are as a person, and coping with peer pressure.
Peer pressure is a big issue. Most high schools have more drugs than most pharmacies today. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to be sexually active too. And today there is also the technology pressures. What cell phone do you have? There is also texting, email, Facebook and ipods, just to name a few. Ten years ago most of these things were not major issues; today they are a teenager's life line.
As a parent if you can remember that all your child wants is to know that you love and accept them, they will do fine. However, remember they are dealing with a great deal of stress and are usually sleep deprived so do not always make sense. But if you make an effort to try to understand the world from their perspective, you can help them with their issues.
An important point to remember, though, is never to lie to your teen. Trust is a major issue with teens. If your teen trusts you, you will find out probably more than you ever expected. So try being patient and listening from their point of view and you can help a lot.
I know this is a lot of information, and this is just a brief overview so imagine what your kids deal with daily. I will be continuing with this blog and going into specific issues one at a time in more detail. In the meantime, if you have questions or specific topics you would like me to cover, or a teen you would like me to see, feel free to email me. at DrMike@RCS-CA.com.
Are you a parent with a question about your teenager? Are you a teenager wanting to know more about how you feel? Share your questions and thoughts in the comments below or email Dr. Rubino at DrMike@RCS-CA.com.