Listening to: Todd Rundgren, Something/Anything
Still a-glow from my weekend in Nirvana, I'm finding it difficult to come up with something/anything to update this thing. In the meantime, I'm skimming an old Family Therapy textbook to prepare for my newest clients, a mom and her 16-year old daughter. Condemned to spend time in the weird purgatory of too much on my mind and nothing to say.
I met with the clients yesterday to see if this was a relationship we wanted to establish. The mom ended the previous therapy because she felt as though the counselor was advocating too much for the daughter, not considering both sides of the story, and was not seeing any improvement in her daughter. Given the lack of results, I was asked to step in.
During my undergrad work, I had a summer internship working with adolescents; I hated it. Teenagers are difficult because they believe they have all the answers in any given moment. The teenager I talked to yesterday was insistent that all she needed was "to be left alone", that she just wanted mom to stay off her back. I told her that this was unacceptable, that it wasn't going to happen, that mom had obligations to insure her daughter was going to school, was healthy, was not hanging out with the wrong crowd, was not drinking or smoking dope.
My own concern is that I'll swing too far to the other side but I have to say that if my own daughters were skipping school to hang out with older guys, drinking, getting high, having sex, heads would roll. My cursory reading of the Family Therapy textbook is making me realize that my skills are all intuitive, that I need to just go with what I feel is right. I need to make the girl know her privacy is respected, her right to seek her own identity is honored. Yet, I need to let mom know she is right to demand that her daughter is following the rules, not taking the wrong path as she negotiates her way through adolescence.
However, any input here (especially from teens or parents of teens) would be appreciated.