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.

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