If your teenager finds themselves caught in a web of negative behavior, it can be tough for parents to watch this unfold and not know how to help them handle their daily lives.
Breaking through bad behavioral cycles and challenges requires in-depth understanding, open communication, and professional intervention.
This article will help you identify some of the challenges teenagers face in this digital age and how you can be empowered to help them.
We also look closer at the benefits of partnering with a residential treatment facility or military school to help facilitate change.
What Are the Generic Challenges Facing Teenagers Today?
Mental health challenges
Mental health issues among teenagers are higher than ever and increasing at a concerning rate.
The hormonal and emotional roller-coaster that comes with being a teenager can also play a role in developing mental health disorders and affect normal behavior.
The stigma that often envelopes itself around mental health can make it difficult for teens to reach out for help when they need it.
The rise in teenage substance abuse
Substance abuse is rising among teenagers for several reasons, including the ease of access via online shopping platforms and parents with busy schedules and less time to stay on top of their teen’s activities.
The long-term results of substance abuse can have life-long consequences on your teens’ physical and mental health, their relationships, and their future at large.
Body image and self-esteem
The increased exposure to societal ideals of physicality can negatively impact teenagers who are already dealing with their changing bodies.
Body image issues and low self-esteem come from social media comparisons, leading to teenagers aspiring to mold themselves after what is popularly considered cool.
This can lead to eating disorders, low self-image, and poor dietary habits.
Technology addiction, bullying, and cyberbullying
It’s incredibly concerning how rife bullying and cyberbullying have become in today’s teenage experience.
The cyberbullying part of this is rooted in the technology addiction affecting teenagers. The excessive use of smartphones, social media, and video games can lead to addiction and adversely impact teenagers’ social development, mental health, and overall well-being.
What Can be Done to Help Teens Navigate Challenges Posed by Modern Technology?
We cannot ignore how intertwined life has become with technology, even for adults.
The reality of cyberbullying and the pressures that come with your teen’s virtual life often leak into their offline reality.
Let’s zoom in closer to how we can best help our teens navigate online negativity.
Create awareness about reporting mechanisms.
Ensure your teenager knows where to reach out for help; they should know where to report bullying online and at school. Teach them how to report cyberbullying incidents, inappropriate content, or any other threats they may come across.
Harness digital well-being
There should be a healthy balance between online and offline lives. Be intentional about promoting activities involving physical movement, one-on-one interactions, and pursuing hobbies outside of the digital realm.
Learn about cybersecurity measures and stay updated
Teach your teenager about creating strong and unique passwords and their importance. Ensure your teen knows the risks of sharing personal information online, clicking on suspicious links, or downloading files they don’t know.
Encouraging your teenager to use reputable antivirus software and update their devices will help keep your teen cyber-savvy.
How Can Parents Offer Appropriate Support?
Having a comprehensive understanding of what challenges your teenager is facing puts you in a better position to source the right kind of help for them.
Know when to seek professional help.
If your teenager is struggling with severe challenges, such as mental health issues or substance abuse, don’t hesitate to rope in a professional with experience working with troubled teenagers to help.
Create a positive support network.
We all need someone to look up outside of our family members. Encourage your troubled teenager to connect with positive role models and help them find a mentor or a support group.
Additional guidance and a sense of belonging outside the immediate family can go a long way.
Make a big deal of their successes.
Parents are often guilty of constantly emphasizing negative behavior and overlooking the good that might be there (however small or rare).
Learn to recognize and celebrate the small victories along the way proactively.
Positive reinforcement can boost troubled teenagers’ self-esteem and motivate them to repeat similar behavior.
How Can Your Troubled Teen Feel Accepted Without Giving Up Their Autonomy?
As much as you want to help your teenager feel accepted in the family setting and amongst their peers, ideally, this should not come at the cost of their ability to operate and grow into a secure and responsible self-sufficient member of society.
Here are a few ideas that may aid you in helping your troubled teenager retain independence through the process.
Finds ways to validate their emotions
Because troubled teenagers often experience intense emotions, parents should create a safe space where their feelings are validated and acknowledged without dismissing or trivializing them.
Encourage independence and responsibility.
Giving your troubled teenager responsibilities can help them feel like they are trusted and that they, too, can add value. Doing this will help instill a sense of worth and independence.
Make room for their autonomy.
Of course, you need to set clear boundaries and rules but remember to respect your teenager’s autonomy and include them in decision-making processes whenever possible.
This can help them feel a sense of control and ownership over their lives.
Residential Treatment Centers and Military Boarding Schools Can Help Your Troubled Teen Build Resilience
Suppose you have done everything in your capacity and knowledge to help your teenager overcome the grip of toxic behavioral cycles and still find yourself back at square one. In that case, it may be time to consider a residential center or a military boarding school.
Help Your Teen Now has been working closely with parents of troubled teenagers and residential facilities and military schools for years and has successfully been the bridge in helping break the cycle of destructive teenage behavior.
Benefits of residential facilities and Military Schools
- Focus on Personal Growth: Residential facilities and military schools often prioritize personal growth through character development. Many offer opportunities for physical fitness, team building, leadership training, and community service.
- High-end Therapeutic Support: Many residential facilities and military schools have trained experts who provide much-needed therapeutic support, including individual and group therapy sessions, which can help troubled teens process difficult emotions.
- Life skills development: Residential facilities and military schools focus on teaching life skills that troubled teenagers may have missed out on. These include effective social skills, problem resolution, time management, and financial literacy.
By understanding the current challenges facing teenagers, offering support, setting clear boundaries, and connecting them to the professional help they need, you can help your troubled teen break through the challenging cycles of toxic behavioral patterns.
Ready to pursue getting your troubled teen on the right track? Let us help connect you to trusted partners and hold you through the healing journey.