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Tag Archives: Warning Signs

New Research About Teen “Sexting”

The National Campaign to prevent teen and unplanned pregnancy recently published the results from a survey they commissioned in conjunction with Cosmo Girl. The survey asked teens and young adults about their use of technology to send sexually explicit pictures and messages to one another. The survey included the responses of 1,280 teens and young adults ranging in age from 13-26.

In the findings, they reported that “A significant number of teens have electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves.” They go on to report that “75% of teens and 71% of young adults say sending sexually suggestive content “can have serious negative consequences.”

Given these startling statistics, it is increasingly important that parents discuss “sexting” openly with their kids. 

  1. Talk openly – Although this is a difficult topic, it is important that your kids are aware that when sending pictures or sexually explicit messages the images are not truly private.
  2. Know their friends – Just as with all other friends, it is important that parents know who their kids are connecting with and communicating with online.
  3. Think long term, even when your kids can’t – Parents often have the ability to think of the long term repercussions of their actions.
  4. Stay up on technology – In order to be able to know what your kids are posting and sending out, you must be able to understand all of their technology.  Whether its Facebook, chatting, or “texting” make sure you are as savvy as your child.
  5. Communicate your expectations – by setting some expectations for what is appropriate online your kids will understand what is allowed.
If your child is misusing technology or posting explicit pictures of themselves or others, and this is disrupting their lives, we may be able to help. Whether you or your family are looking for therapists or treatment programs, Prepare To Bloom, LLC is just a phone call away. Please contact us at (650) 888-4575 or visit us on the web at www.PrepareToBloom.com.
 
 

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Transitions to Adulthood

I would like to remind parents about the risks of transition times. Increasingly, parents are seeing that the transition to young adulthood is not a smooth one. When I speak about transitions with parents I am often referring to transitions between activities such as going from English to Math class, from school to home, or from sports practice to homework times. But there are bigger transitions, life transitions, that demand special attention. I discuss with my clients that the struggle through high risk times such as the transition from middle to high school, having the parents go through a divorce, surviving a death in the family, or moving from the turbulent teen years to young adulthood need to be approached carefully.

The families I am working with are reporting that their children are not prepared to head into adulthood.  This is further supported by The Network on Transitions to Adulthood.  According to their reports, “Significant cultural, economic, and demographic changes have occurred in the span of a few generations, and these changes are challenging youths’ psychological and social development. Some are adapting well, but many others are floundering as they prepare to leave home, finish school, find jobs, and start families.”

As our society is becoming more technologically advanced, our daily living skills seem to be falling behind. There are real challenges that this generation of young adults must deal with. However, the skill set needed to successfully launch is severely lacking in many areas.

Many families struggle with what is the best route for their child. There are a wide range of programs all across the country that are designed just to support these needs.  These programs vary greatly in what they offer; from highly structured programs and curricula to support around building vital independent living skills. If you are looking for programs, therapists, and support for a young adult in your life who is struggling, Prepare To Bloom, LLC may be able to help.  You can learn more by calling us at (650)888-4575 or checking out our website at PrepareToBloom.com.

 

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What we do at Prepare To Bloom, LLC

Prepare To Bloom, LLC

Prepare to Bloom was formed in 2011 by Shayna Abraham, M.A., who has over a decade of experience in the therapeutic and educational consulting industry. She is well known for her work with another reputable consulting firm based in California. Shayna brings a unique set of skills, knowledge, experience, and expertise to her new company. Shayna has worked with hundreds of families and successfully assisted in the placement of clients in academic and therapeutic settings.

What is a Therapeutic and Educational Consultant?
A therapeutic consultant, sometimes called a therapeutic placement consultant, is someone who assesses a family’s needs and helps to create a plan for intervention. Adolescents and young adults who work with therapeutic consultants may be struggling with anxiety, depression, disrespect to authority, identity issues, academic failure, substance abuse, anger or aggression, poor choice of friends, oppositional defiance disorder, eating disorders, and/or learning disorders.

Consultants create individualized plans for adolescents and young adults. Sometimes the client needs an out-of-home placement in a program that is designed to meet their precise needs. In other situations, local treatment professionals may be recommended for the client and/or family. In all cases, however, the consultant coordinates with all of the appropriate professionals, schools, and/or programs.
How do you choose the right consultant?
Choosing a consultant is similar to choosing a therapist. It is a very personal process as you will be sharing some private information with the consultant.
Comfort – First and foremost, you need to feel comfortable speaking openly with your consultant. Don’t be afraid to ask your consultant pointed and straight forward questions during your interview process.
Background and Training – Consider the consultant’s background and training. It is important that the consultant participates in ongoing training. This training should include ongoing visits to the programs and professionals that s/he recommends.
Specialty – Consider the consultant’s specialty. Make sure that the consultant has experience working with your family’s set of concerns.
Customer Service – Consider the consultant’s customer service – Customer service is essential in a field that is built around individualized counseling and relationship building. Find a consultant who is readily available and is willing to meet on an unlimited basis.

Click the image above to view our brochure

For additional information about Therapeutic and Educational Consulting and Prepare To Bloom, LLC please call us at (650)888-4575 or check us out online at PrepareToBloom.com.
 
 

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Teenage Addiction

Josh* was introduced to me by his parents because he was struggling to find time for anything other than online gaming and smoking pot.  Josh’s parents were concerned that he had become addicted to marijuana and online gaming. “Who knows?” they thought “Maybe he’s doing other things as well…” His parents shared that their relationship with Josh was deteriorating as a result of this.  They said that when he did come out of his room, which wasn’t often, he would yell and be disrespectful towards them.

After meeting with Josh and his family it was clear to me that Josh did not know how to say to his parents that he was feeling very depressed.  Rather than dealing with his feelings, he was stuffing them away. Instead of talking through his emotions, he was spending more and more of his time in his alternate online reality.

This scenario is reported frequently by the families we work with. Families we meet with frequently report that their teen is an addict. We believe this to be true in a small number of cases. We tend to see that the majority of the clients we work with are using drugs, alcohol, video games, and other process addictions as a way to bring attention to their struggles. Often, teens and young adults are unable to effectively communicate their pain in another way, so they communicate through their actions.

Regardless of whether they are using drugs, alcohol, sexting, online gaming, gambling, or other process addictions, all of these unhealthy coping mechanisms are effective at relieving stress in the short term. The problem is that they are not effective in treating the underlying issue that is creating the pain. This is why our clients will continue to participate in these risky behaviors.

The solution is to identify and treat the underlying issues. This may happen in individual therapy, group therapy and or family therapy.  Whether you or your family are looking for therapists or treatment programs, Prepare To Bloom, LLC may be able to help you locate appropriate help. Please contact us at (650) 888-4575 or on the web at www.PrepareToBloom.com.

*All identifying information has been changed to protect the individual’s privacy.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2011 in Addiction, Families, Self Harm

 

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Tips for Parents about Drugs and Alcohol

Prepare To Bloom Therapeutic ConsultantsParents often ask about what they should look for to know if their teen, tween, or young adult is using drugs or alcohol. Sometimes a child may tell you, in their own way, they are using but more often than not they will try and hide it. There are many subtle clues that parents can watch out for including changes in behavior, who the child associates with, and changes in their performance and interests. I have heard many stories over the years and have compiled in this blog a short list of factors parents should look out for:

  • Unpredictable behaviors- Most teens have mood swings and unpredictable behaviors. Sometimes parents notice increased lying. Parents often minimize these changes, but they should trust their gut when it happens more frequently or more drastically than previously.
  • Change in peer group- Peer groups change for various reasons, but if you are noticing that your child’s peer group has changed drastically and quickly there may be reason for concern. There is reason to be concerned when your child becomes secretive about who their friends are, where they are going, and who they are hanging out with.  Also find out if their friends are using drugs.  More often than not, if they are hanging out with other kids who are using, they are as well.
  • Lacking interest in sports and other activities- While drugs and alcohol are not the only reason that teens and young adults lose interest in activities they previously enjoyed, it should not be ruled out.
  • Changes in academic performance- The first thing parents frequently notice is a slip in grades. This often happens as other pieces of their child’s life are slipping as well. Some of the time there are increased truancy, suspensions, or other disciplinary problems.
  • Being secretive- Parents report that their child becomes increasingly secretive about phone calls, texts and online communications.
  • Missing money – If your child does not have access to money they will not be able to fund their use of drugs or alcohol.  They will turn to finding other sources of money, this may mean stealing money and possibly other valuables.
  • Paraphernalia- Parents may find cigarettes, bongs, pipes, and empty bottles or cans.  Often kids will claim they are holding onto something for a friend.
If you are concerned about your child, young adult, or someone in your life, Prepare To Bloom, LLC  may be able to help.  If you are interested in information about therapeutic and educational consulting, therapists, or treatment programs, please give us a call at 650-888-4575 or visit PrepareToBloom.com for more information.
 
 

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Warning Signs for Teen Depression

All alone in a vast expanseTeens experience lots of emotional ups and downs, but it is important for parents to know the warning signs when depression persists.  Most parents know when something is “off” with their child, so it is important to trust your gut and take action.

  • The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry recommends watching for the following signs of depression in kids and teens:
    • frequent sadness, tearfulness, or crying
    • decreased interest in activities or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
    • hopelessness
    • persistent boredom; low energy
    • social isolation; poor communication
    • low self-esteem; guilt
    • extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
    • increased irritability, anger, or hostility
    • difficulty with relationships
    • frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches and stomachaches
    • frequent absences from or poor performance in school
    • poor concentration
    • a major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
    • talk of or efforts to run away from home
  • Take any suicidal threats seriously.  Any comments or actions your teenager makes about suicide are cries for help, and it is important that parents respond.
  • Being informed is key to addressing these type of concerns.  Times of transition are particularly risky, so be vigilant.
  • If you need assistance finding local or residential resources for your struggling teen Prepare To Bloom can help.  You can reach us at (650)888-4575 or PrepareToBloom.com.
 
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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Families, Mental Health

 

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