Concerned about troubled teens? Does your kid show behaviors that are really a cry for help? Or maybe you have a teen who wants nothing to do with you and is constantly defiant, rebellious and disrespectful to adults, especially authority figures.
How do you know if this is just a passing phase or if your child really needs your help ? This article on troubled teenagers: three warning signs that your teen needs your help will show you the difference. After all, the worse possible situation is that you might wake up one day and find that you didn’t pay attention to the warning signs. Even though teenagers look like adults and act tough, they still need our guidance, especially when they are making decisions that could forever change their lives.
That said, you don’t want to treat your child like a troubled teen, when, in fact, he’s just a normal teenager who is grappling with all the angst, hormones, and emotional ups and downs that today’s modern teenagers face. So here’s your checklist:
Check List for Troubled Teenagers
- Your teen is antisocial. This describes your teenager most of the time. If your teen spends most of his time locked up in his room or in front of a computer screen and has no interest in doing anything with the family, like having dinner together, going to the movies or on a family vacation, then you need to be concerned. Also, if your teen hangs out with other antisocial teens, this problem becomes magnified.
- Your teen is chronically defiant. All teenagers talk back or buck up against the system from time to time. This is normal because teens are trying to find themselves and to do so, they must reject authority figures in some ways. This is why you shouldn’t take rejection personally, but it is also why you need to pay attention when defiance becomes chronic. If your child won’t listen to anyone, even when you know that he knows that adults are acting in his best interests, you have may have a troubled teen. Normal teens are alternately receptive, compliant and rebellious. When they realize that their behavior was out of line, they apologize.
- Your teen is destructive to self, property or others. As hormones fluctuate and emotions boil, teenagers have difficulty controlling their anger. We all remember what this was like. But if your teen often puts himself in danger, is destructive or violent to others, then you have an issue on your hand. Punching a hole in the wall once does not make a troubled teenager, however, chronic expressions of anger does.
- Your teen engages in criminal behavior. If your teen is driving drunk, stealing from your purse, breaking into homes, etc., he is screaming for your help. If you allow this to continue, your child could do something that permanently changes the course of his life and even end up in prison as an adult. Without intervention, a criminal mentality can turn into a lifestyle. .
Troubled teens who engage in one or more of these behaviors are in need of help. Don’t wait on this because these kinds of problems do not correct themselves, in fact, they get worse with time. For instance, a teenager who hits someone in anger gets empowered when you do not do something about it.
Although therapy can be effective, it takes time to build trust between the teen and therapist, if this happens at all. But first, you have to find a smart therapist who is willing to go the distance with your troubled teenager.
What I recommend instead is a program that has a more immediate effect. This is system that allows parents to help to change troubled teens behavior as soon as they’ve learned a few simple techniques that they can put into practice right away. After all, the problem with therapy is that parents never learn how to deal with their teens because the therapist does most of the work. By learning how to motivate change in your teen’s behavior, you will learn the secrets of dealing with troubled teens that your parents didn’t know and couldn’t teach you.
Troubled teens are easy to spot if you know the warning signs. How can you determine if teen behavior is just a passing phase or your teen needs help? Read this article to learn more.
Laura Ramirez is the mother of two teenage boys, a parenting author and parenting coach. Read a review of the Total Transformation program a tool that she recommends to parents to help turn around troubled teenagers.