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Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 380
Experience:  Owner and Psychotherapist at Self-Employed, Private Practice
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I have a teenage daughter and we seem to end every evening

Customer Question

I have a teenage daughter and we seem to end every evening during the school week with fights about screen-time and bedtimes. Tension builds and everyone goes to bed tired and angry. What can we do better?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Therapist Leslie replied 1 year ago.

Good evening and thank you so much for your message. I realize it's difficult to reach out. Please know I honor your courage.

My name is ***** ***** I am a psychotherapist in the Metro Boston area.

This question frequently comes up in my office as I specialize in working with teens and their families. When this question does come up, I always work with parents and their teen to create a contract of sorts. This contract is written by both the parents and kids and states the expectations around screen time, bedtimes, homework and so on. Each section is sectioned out and might look something like this (of course, this can be tailored to the teen's age):

Screen time understanding: X total hours of the day, all after homework is completed. Electronics are left on the kitchen table at bedtime.

Bedtime understanding: X time on school nights, X time on weekends.

Chores/family responsibilities: Empty dishwasher on Wednesday afternoon, make bed daily or whatever the chore required..

At the end of the contact there should be clear guidelines of what the punishment is. After this has been determined, each parent and the teen signs the contract and a copy is given to the teen and then also posted in a common place (such as inside the pantry in the kitchen).

The purpose of the contract is to eliminate evening drama and arguments. When the contract is violated, the parent simply says, "You violated the term of our contract and therefore have lost an hour or screen time (or whatever the understanding is.)." There is no need for screaming or an argument as everything is written and determined in advance.

Have I answered your question? Is there anything else I can do to assist you further? I want to ensure you are pleased with my service. I also gently request you provide a star rating for me. Of course, we can continue to talk after the rating is provided.

Please take good care of yourself and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Warm regards,

Therapist Leslie