Coping With Troubled Teens

May 30, 2019Mandi Morrison

Dealing with troubled teenagers can be a tough challenge for any family. Teens can be very stubborn, and sometimes it may seem like they purposely do the opposite of what parents want. Each teen is a little different and they all have their own personal problems, but there are a few simple guidelines that can potentially help establish lines of effective communication. First, you have to figure out exactly what’s at the root of your teen’s problem, and then you have to develop an effective communication strategy. After that, you can begin searching for solutions.

Common Teen Problems

One of the common themes that pops up frequently with troubled teens is rebellion. Teens are often prone to rebellious behaviour because they want to establish ownership over their own lives. This isn’t a bad thing by itself. It’s perfectly normal for teens to start pushing back against their parents, but sometimes it can lead to extreme behaviours. In the end, they often get themselves into trouble by trying too hard to establish their identity. For example, they may start hanging out with a crowd that they know their parents disapprove of, which can lead to all sorts of problems.

Many troubled teens have issues with substance abuse. This usually happens because teens have a tendency to push boundaries and they’re often subject to extreme peer pressure. In the teen’s mind, trying drugs or alcohol is a small thing and he or she usually doesn’t realise the potential consequences. Teens aren’t always sensible about things, and they don’t usually take a long-term view.

Unsafe sex is another issue that can have huge consequences for a teen’s life. The dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy are often overlooked by young people. Even adults often have trouble remembering to use protection and teens are usually much less responsible.

Establishing Communication With Troubled Teenagers

It’s possible that helping your teen may simply be a matter of opening up communication pathways. Teens are often afraid to tell their parents what’s going on in their lives because they know they’ll get in trouble. Sometimes teens are successful in hiding their problems from adults, which may eventually lead to more severe issues.

When dealing with teens, it can be helpful to make it clear that the consequences for opening up won’t be as severe as they fear. Some parents may be very resistant to this idea, and it’s true that this can be a fine line. You don’t want to set a precedent that teens can do whatever they choose without any consequences, but they need to feel safe about opening up and talking about their lives. When it comes to this, different teens will require very different handling, and each parent must make their own judgements.

Getting Help for Teenagers

For some teens, the situation may be so severe that parents can’t deal with it on their own. In those cases, it might be necessary to bring in outside help. Sometimes troubled teenagers may feel a little more comfortable talking to someone like a school counsellor or a therapist. You can also find advice on sites like Regain.us. Make it clear to the teens that these people will listen without necessarily punishing them and they might be more inclined to open up.

For other teens, more aggressive measures may be required, such as boot camps or special schools. Making the decision to take these measures can be tough, but sometimes it is the only way to pull a teen away from the brink of disaster.

this is a collaborative post

Comments (1)

  • Sarah Stockley

    May 30, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Our eldest is 13 and can be very stubborn! Whilst we were camping at a festival at the weekend, she asked to go back to the tent, which I said yes to. My husband then told her she best not stay in there all day and be unsociable, this caused a total meltdown. I think knowing how to speak to them and say the right things is a must!

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