Offices in San Ramon & Livermore
Bring Back the Balance Your Family Needs
Does it feel like your family is falling apart?
Are you and your kids arguing more than usual?
Is your child falling behind in school? Is he/she having trouble focusing?
Are you fearful that your teen is using drugs or alcohol?
Is your child having tantrums that last a long time?
Are you concerned about the influence his/her friends are having on them?
How much distress, disruption and heartache are your child's problems causing?
You may be having a hard time parenting your kids. They may be struggling with everyday issues with school, friends, and peer influence or they may be having other issues like anxiety, depression, ADD, bipolar, obsessions and compulsions, drug or alcohol issues, academic problems, and many other issues. Your family may be in a constant battle or struggling to bring back a sense of normalcy.
You have probably tried many things to help your kids and family have the happiness it used to have.
You may have spent time talking to your kids about the changes in their mood and behavior. You may have negotiated with them, punished them, and rewarded them with no results. You may have talked to friends and neighbors, church members, and co-workers for advice but nothing changes. You may be desperate for answers.
Why is my child having problems? What causes this?
Children and teens have various stressors in their life that they may not know how to navigate alone. They may not know why they feel differently and do not know how to fix it. Some of the causes of these problems may need professional help.
Some are caused from emotional stress at school or home. The child may be bullied at school or have separation anxiety from their parents. They may be witnessing fighting in the home between parents or worried that their parent is under a great deal of stress. They may have sleep issues, sadness, and can develop physical symptoms which can keep them home from school.
Some problems are caused from learning disorders. Some children and teens are undiagnosed so are sitting in a classroom with others wondering why they can't understand what the teacher is presenting and other kids can. They start to feel stupid and worthless. This may present as acting out behavior or depression.
Others are caused from being a gifted child. Most of the time gifted children are bored in school. Behaviors may show as poor attention span, boredom, daydreaming, power struggles, irritability. They may need less sleep and may question rules.
Some are caused from biochemical abnormalities in the brain. There are various neurotransmitters in the brain that affect our moods. Serotonin and Dopamine are two of the most important ones. Dopamine is one that brings pleasure and happiness. If there is a deficiency in the dopamine levels, mood can be affected and behavioral issues can arise. Depression and drug addictions are just a few disorders caused from this. Bipolar disorder has been linked to problems in the limbic-thalamic-cortical circuit in the brain.
Sensory integration dysfunctions are another cause of behavioral problems. This is thought to be an inefficient neurological processing of information received through the senses, causing problems with learning, development, and behavior. These children are over sensitive or under sensitive to sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound.
Still others are caused due to a lack of structure or consistency in the child's life. Children need consistent rules and consequences to learn self-discipline. They need to know what to expect next in their lives in order to feel safe and secure.
What can I do?
Listen to your child. Listening and valuing your child's ideas is what promotes openness in communication. Some parents are overly scheduled or don't know how to truly listen which shuts the conversation down. Listening to a child means not giving advice or attempting to correct the situation.
Be consistent with your rules and expectations. There will be times when your child or teen will not like or agree with your rules. They may behave like they don't like you because of this. Being your child's friend need not be your goal for now. It is more important to resist the urge to win them over. They need you to be their parent.
Talk about morals and values. They need to know what is right from wrong. They are barraged with media and friends telling them one thing. They need to have a strong sense of value and know the difference between inappropriate and appropriate behavior.
Avoid fighting. Fighting only fuels hostility and does not solve the problem. Maintain the mutual right to disagree. Don't try and reason with someone that is upset. It is a waste of time. Wait until tempers have cooled before trying to sort out a disagreement. Don't try and talk kids out of their feelings. This will only make matters worse. You can acknowledge a child's feelings without condoning it. This will help defuse anger.
Bring back the balance to your family.
Consider counseling for your child/teen or for yourself or family.
Therapy has been shown to be a very effective tool to decrease the tension and problems in children and their families. By working with a third party you are able to look at the issues from a different perspective and receive the support and guidance you need.
I'd like to help you through this hard time.
My name is Angela Tracy. I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I have a bachelors degree in Psychology and a masters degree in Counseling Psychology with a Specialization in Children and Adolescents from John F. Kennedy University. I am a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. I am a supervisor of Marriage and Family Therapist Interns. I am also certified as a Play Therapist through John F. Kennedy University and am in the process of receiving my certification in Eating Disorders.
I specialize in working with children, teens, and their families.
I have had specialized training through various agencies and schools that I have worked for. I have worked in Family based agencies and continuation high schools with at-risk teens. I volunteer yearly at Camp New Hope - a camp for bipolar kids and teens. I love working with kids and their parents.
Contact me so we can get started!!! You can reach me by calling my confidential voice mail 925-980-2409. You can call at any time. You may also e-mail me at email@example.com. I do not provide therapy via e-mail so will call you back to answer any questions you may have or to set up an appointment.Angela Tracy, MA, MFT
Marriage and Family Therapist MFC 37888
2 Crow Canyon Court, Suite 110
San Ramon, CA 94583
1790 Holmes St., Building B
Livermore, CA 94550
Serving the entire Bay Area
Text ©2006, 2007 Angela Tracy.
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