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What's it Like to be a Teen in LA?

April 14, 2016

 

Growing up is tough; especially in Los Angeles.  Surrounded by millions of people, it can still feel boring, lonely, and lame.  No one seems to understand how stressed you can get with school, friends, romantic relationships, and family.  It can often feel like no one cares and no one wants to help or that no one has time for you.  It’s common to feel angry and frustrated, sad, hopeless and helpless now and again.  When these feelings don’t go away or become so intense you can’t handle them, it’s time to get help.  Can’t talk to friends, siblings, parents, or teachers?  I can help!


It’s not always easy to put what you’re feeling into words.  Here are some common ways teens like you describe their feelings:


•  You feel sad, angry, or irritable all the time
•  Nothing seems fun anymore, and you just don’t see the point of trying
•  You feel bad about yourself—worthless, guilty, or just "wrong" in some way
•  You sleep too much or not enough
•  You have frequent, unexplained headaches or other physical problems
•  Anything and everything makes you cry
•  You’ve gained weight or lost weight for no reason
•  You just can’t concentrate. Your grades may be getting worse
•  You feel helpless and hopeless
•  You’re thinking about death or suicide (If this is true, talk tosomeone right away!)


If you are experiencing problems like Divorce, dealing with Step Parents or Step Siblings, Family Dysfunction, Bullying, Abuse, Neglect, or you are Depressed, Anxious, having Suicidal thoughts , Cutting, Using Alcohol, Drugs or Smoking Marijuana, it’s time for you to get help!
  
It may feel like things will never change and nothing will work.  All I can promise is that nothing will change unless something is done.   Give yourself a chance to feel better.  Ask your parents to call me.  I want to help you.

 

TIPS FOR COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR PARENTS

 

Communicating with parents can be difficult.  It’s easy to get irritated by parents because they just don’t stop to understand.  Here are some helpful tips to make communicating with your parents easier.

 

1. Be Truthful
Try and be truthful to your parents.  If you want them to understand you, it’s up to you to give them as much truthful information about you as possible.  Being frank with your parents builds trust and provides them with the facts they need to really understand where you are coming from. 

 

2. Be Clear
Don’t forget, people are not mind readers.  If you want your parents to know something, you need to tell them clearly. If you're asking for something, be clear in stating what you want and why you're asking for it.  Try to use simple language they can understand.  When they know exactly what you’re asking and why, they are more likely to agree to it.  Your parents will never know you unless you clearly tell them what you’re about.

 

3. Come From A Place Of Love
Try not to talk to your parents when you’re angry.  When people are mad, they say things they don’t mean and that doesn’t help anyone.  Ask them for space to cool off and come back to them when you’re ready.  When you’re ready, tell them how you feel, not what they need to do.  Saying, “It makes me really sad/mad when you treat me like a baby” is much more powerful than, “Stop treating me like a baby!”

 

4. Prepare Your Talking Time
When you have something to say, set up a time to do it.  Winging it usually doesn’t work.  If your parents aren’t mentally prepared to talk to you, you’ll get nowhere.  Ask for time with them and think about what you want to say.

 

5. Don't Give Up
Communicating is hard to do.  It’s not always going to work out as you planned or hoped for.  Don’t give up.  The key to good communication is trying and learning from what didn’t work.  Some parents are better to talk to in the morning than in the evening.  Some parents are easier to talk to over dinner, on weekends, or right before bed.  Keep trying and you’ll find what works best in your family.

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