Parenting these days can be tough, especially when your teen gets in more trouble or has more behavioral problems than most. It is normal for teens to want to be independent and do things their own way, but it is not be acceptable for them to be constantly acting out in extremes that are both self-destructive and also hurt the people around them. It is extremely important to intervene and figure out why your teen is acting the way they are acting and how to fix the issue before their actions lead to more issues. Although troubled teens can seem absolutely impossible to deal with, there are important steps that you can take as a parent in not only dealing with them but also understanding them and what is truly going on.
- Identify why they act they way they do: Teens are known to spontaneously want to try and experience new things in life, which is completely normal, but it is not so normal when their behavior changes out of the blue, and there is usually something more to it than they will often say. As a parent, it is your responsibility to take the first step to identify what is making them act out in dangerous extremes, in order to truly fix the problem.
- Consider life experiences, recent or not: If your teen has been through something at a younger age, or possibly even something recently—like a divorce or traumatic event—it is very likely that this event could have influenced their behavior or outlook on life. So, it is extremely important to make sure that you are understanding and not too quick to judge when it comes to how they are acting or feeling, as it could be more complicated than you think. Instead, make sure that you are there for your teen and willing to hear what they have to say rather than just jumping to conclusions.
- Don’t forget to be a parent: Sometimes it can be easy for parents to form a more friend-like relationship with their child than an actual parental relationship that makes sure to lay down the rules and help set them on the right path. Troubled teens need guidance from an adult figure or parent who is able to provide a positive influence and help them make good choices such as encouraging them to find better friends to hang out with if the ones that they currently hang out with are encouraging them to do bad things.
Photo credit: teapics from Flickr