How to Deal with a Troubled Teen
When children reach the adolescent stage, they are prone to self-destructive behaviors as they become more desperate to show that they are in control by acting like they know everything despite their lack of experience. Their desire to fit in provokes them to do the unthinkable just to gain approval from their peers. During this stage is where they need the guidance of their parents the most.
Tips to Handle Troubled Teens
Keep your cool
Teenagers show rebellion by breaking the rules, getting failing grades at school, and being angry over simple things. These are just a few examples of how they try to push your buttons to get a negative reaction from you. As parents, it is critical to keep calm and deal with the situation using good judgment. Getting mad at them or giving them harsh punishments can only exacerbate the situation, keep in mind that they do all of these things because they need attention, love, and understanding.
Relate to them
At some point in your life, you probably had experiences that are similar to what they are facing at the moment. It can help if you share your own struggles and how you overcome it. Letting them know that what they are going through is normal and that you empathize with them makes you an ally. Be their friend instead of their critic, the more you try to connect with them the more you gain their trust.
Watch out for the warning signs
Showing disobedience with house rules is typical but when your teenager starts experimenting with alcohol, engaging into fights or isolating themselves from people it may be time to seek for help because it can be an indication of a more serious problem that can lead to depression or addiction; which in some cases might require contacting a mental health expert. Always be observant and do not disregard the cues as “part of their transition to the adolescent stage”.
Lend your ears
Being too busy to listen to what your child has to say can give them the impression that you do not care about them at all. Hence, they distance themselves from you and try to resolve their own issues on their own. If you feel that your teenager needs your help, do not hesitate to start a conversation and ask how they are. Always be the first one to hear their problems, act like their best friend so they’ll feel more at east confiding their problems with you.
Do not restrict their independence
Allow your teenager to make adult decisions as long as they do not get hurt or get in trouble in the process. Let them experience how to figure out things by themselves but always set boundaries so they’ll know when to stop and what not to do. Being too strict or fighting with your child for power will only drive them to become more reckless.
If your teenager is acting weird and you notice that he or she is showing a bad behavior what should you do? This is a tough question to answer especially if you have no experience in dealing with misbehaving teens. Learning ways to show support to your teenager during this episode in their life can help save them from going down the wrong path.