Monday, April 18, 2016

Signs of Teenage Suicidal Behavior

Signs of teenage suicidal behavior can be hard to spot. Often time it is confused with regular adolescent behavior.
The difference between the two is that teenagers' suicidal behavior is more extreme.

I want to you think for a moment...
Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish I could make all my troubles, hurts, and pains go away?”

If you have, chances are so has your teenager. It's this line of thinking that could sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts.
There is so much pressure for a teenager to be "normal" or "perfect".

1.      They have to be a model child for their parents.

2.      They have to be a perfect friend to their peers.

3.      They have to be a good student for their teachers.

All of these things and more are overwhelming and stressful.
In fact suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 - 24 year olds according to

As a parent myself, it is scary for me to think that my child could go to such a dark place.
What scares me even more is not being able to bring them back from the brink of despair.
To fight such a battle, we as parents, must first know the signs of our teenagers suicidal behavior.

Common signs of teenage suicidal behavior:
Signs Of Teenage Suicidal Behavior

· Making suicidal statements

· Being preoccupied with death in conversation, writing, or drawing

· Giving away belongings

· Withdrawing from friends and family

· Having aggressive or hostile behavior

· Neglecting personal appearance

· Running away from home

· Risk-taking behavior, such as reckless driving or being sexually promiscuous

· A change in personality (such as from upbeat to quiet)

Some of these signs could be a cry for attention and may never progress to suicidal thoughts.
Any cry for attention should be met with swift intervention.

If you think your teenager's behaviors are signs of suicidal thoughts, please seek help for them.  If they are an immediate danger, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.  Once they are stable, contact us to schedule a confidential appointment with one of the many therapists at New Vision Counseling Center, LLC.


Monday, April 11, 2016

How To Deal With Troubled Teens

Think back to when you were a teenager.
Would your parents or society have placed you in the troubled teen category? 

What were some of your experiences? Do you remember the emotions you felt, the stress you felt to be popular, or smart, or pretty?
Surprisingly enough, sometimes these emotions follow us into adulthood. But one hopes that as we age and become wiser we know how to deal with these emotions in a mature and healthy fashion.

As a teenager the brain doesn’t quite yet understand the concept that “this too shall pass”. This could lead to some behaviors that would cause them to be labeled as troubled teens.
Click here to learn more about the inner workings of a teenager’s brain. 

If you are a parent with a troubled teen, don’t despair, there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Although parenting a troubled teen will take extra effort on your part, there are things you can do to make the situation easier.

 Tips To Parenting A Troubled Teen

 ·         Identify The Cause

         If your troubled teen has recently made a drastic personality change or a shift in their circle of friends, sit down with them and talk about it. There may be something going on of which you are unaware. As busy adults it is very easy to neglect the needs of our teens. Therefore, we must remember that raising healthy teenagers should be our number one focus and remain vigilant.
I remember I had a friend in high school who started drinking a lot. Unbeknownst to her mother, the father was sexually molesting her and this is what caused her drinking. Her mother was so consumed with her own life, she never took the time to identify the root cause of my friend’s behavior.

Don’t let something like this happen to you.

·         Establish Rules And Consequences
          If your troubled teen is doing things like skipping school, staying out past curfew, or shoplifting etc., then establish some ground rules and consequences to their actions. For example, if they are skipping school, don’t allow them any television or social media interaction.

 Social media is such a big part of teenagers’ lives now but you shouldn’t allow them to be consumed by it. If you do, removing them from social media as a consequence may cause some frightening responses. In fact, there was a news story of a young man, who was an “A” student and one would not consider troubled, killing his parents because they took away his Ipod.

I don’t share this story with you to scare you but I am using it as a cautionary tale in order to make you aware and warn you of the possible outcomes of letting your child become overly dependent on social media and technology.

 ·         Seek Professional Help

I specialize in counseling troubled teens and families. Sometimes my teenage clients will open up to me even when their parents have exhausted all attempts at communication. This is because they find it easier to speak to someone who is not directly involved in the situation. This allows me to find the causes of their negative behavior and relay them to the parents. Afterwards I assist the parents in coming up with a plan of action to help get their troubled teen back on track.
There are so many outside forces that can cause your once happy go lucky teen to become troubled. But whatever you do, do not give up on them and do not stop trying to get through to them. They may not know it but they desperately want you to be “all up in their business”. Your persistence shows them that you love them and love and acceptance is what they are really after.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dealing With A Defiant Child? Here’s 3 Tips To Help You

“No mommy, I don’t want to”, said the toddler to his mother. I could see the frustration in the mother’s eyes in the checkout line of the grocery store. I could almost read her thoughts and hear her prayers of patience. Dealing with a defiant child is not an easy task especially when you are in public and do not want to draw attention to yourself by causing a scene.

Being a parent is not for the faint of heart. It takes a person with patience, love, endurance and understanding to come out of the trenches unscathed. It is even more difficult to parent when you are dealing with a defiant child.

 Children are defiant for all types of reasons but the most common and prominent reason is lack of control and this is especially true in toddlers and preschoolers. They lack any sense of control over their lives at this young age yet they still want to assert their independence. What we as parents see as defiance, toddlers and preschoolers see as independence.

Tips For Dealing With A Defiant Child

·         Remember You Are The Adult

           Your defiant child isn’t being that way on purpose. It is easy to lose your temper when you want your child to do something and their defiance rears its ugly head. As the adult you need to maintain a sense of calm. By remaining calm, your child will mimic your behavior. If you get on the crazy train with them your child will only become more defiant and irate.

·         Give Them Some Control

           As the parent you control every aspect of your toddler/preschoolers’ life, from what time they wake up in the morning, to what they eat, wear etc. In order to lessen some of the defiant behavior allow them to make some choices. For instance, pick out two outfits and allow them to decide which of the two outfits they want to wear. Giving them the ability to make decisions helps them to feel more in control of their life. This is also a great way to build and support their natural instinct to be independent.

·         Let Them Cry It Out

          Sometimes your defiant child is just having a bad day. As parents we tend to forget that just because toddlers/preschoolers don’t have the stresses of work and bills they still get stressed out. Maybe they feel like you don’t understand what they are trying to say or perhaps you are not giving them the attention they want. All of these things can cause them to have a melt down. When we as adults have melt downs it is no longer acceptable for us to scream and roll around on the floor, although many of us wish we could, me included. But it is acceptable for your child. So let them get it out, ensure they will not harm themselves and just wait until they calm down. Afterwards they will be your sweet angel once again.

 Dealing with a defiant child can be challenging to say the least. But it’s important to remember that your child’s behavior in a particular situation does not define your child. Be careful about negatively labeling your child with such phrases as bad child, hard-headed etc. As the parent you are responsible for guiding and molding your child. So keep a high tolerance for patience, humor, and a lot of love. Because in the end that is all your child really wants and needs.