Can I kick my teenager out of the house?

With a rebellious teen who is constantly battling you, challenging you, disrespecting you, or reacting with violent behavior, you may feel at the end of your rope.

Certainly, no one could blame you for feeling like you have nothing left to give to your teen. You may find yourself returning their angry outbursts with anger and yelling of your own. You may even find yourself screaming at them to get out of your house.

No one wants or deserves to feel afraid and unsafe in their own home. If you’ve reached this point, you could find that you don’t want to deal with your teen any longer. You may have younger children to worry about.

While it is understandable that you want to remove your troubled teen from your home, you may need to consider all of the consequences of taking this step.

The legal considerations

If your teen is a minor and doesn’t have another parent or family member to go to after being removed from your home, you could be facing serious legal consequences.

Laws vary by city and state when it comes to parenting, but when it comes to the abandonment or endangering of children, the laws are firm across the board. The only exception is if the courts have legally emancipated the minor.

What does this mean for you, as a parent who feels entirely out of options?

An emancipated minor. Courts can legally sever the legal relationship between parents and children. Parents will no longer need to be responsible for providing their children with a home, food, or education.

The emancipated child will then be given complete responsibility for his own life and welfare. It is important to note that teens cannot petition for emancipation until they are fourteen in California and sixteen in most other states.

Parents of an emancipated minor face no legal consequences if their teen is kicked out of their home.

Minors who are not emancipated. If your teen is under the age of 18, they are considered to be underage in most states. If you kick your minor teen out of your home, this is considered to be abandonment. This is a crime, and you can face legal consequences, no matter where your teen moves to.

What if your teen goes to stay with a friend? If you don’t communicate with him and fail to support him financially, this can still be considered abandonment. Legal abandonment is a serious concern that can bring with it fines and jail time.

The bottom line is that even if your teen is abusive, non-responsive, and living out of your home, you are still legally required to communicate with them and provide them with financial support.

Legal concerns aside

If you set aside the legal concerns you’re potentially facing, you should consider the emotional and mental side of kicking your teen out of the house.

As his parent, you are responsible for taking care of your teen. He may be engaging in activities that are threatening his safety and the safety of others in the household, but kicking him out of the home to fend for himself may not be the right choice.

Troubled teens need limits, boundaries, consequences, and to know that they are safe and loved. The teen years can feel impossibly difficult. It would be best if you did not allow your teen to control your home, control you, and threaten your other children.

That said, you would likely feel immense concern, guilt, and even mental health concerns if you kicked your teen out.

Heading things off before they escalate

In an ideal world, you’d be able to address problems with your teen before they escalate to the point of you wanting to kick them out of the house.

What this looks like will depend on your teen, your family dynamic, and your teen’s issues.

Take the time to listen to your teen, to learn more about what is going on in his life. His acting out could be the result of something going on that he hasn’t yet spoken about.

Notice whether he’s had changes in his life. Has he stopped showering daily? Has his physical appearance changed? These changes can point to something else going on in his life.

How is he doing at school? Academic changes can often be a red flag that something is happening in your teen’s life.

Has your teen started to experiment with drugs or alcohol? While this is considered a normal part of adolescence, it can also point to other concerns like depression or peer pressure.

Establish boundaries and stick to them. This can be difficult when you’re faced with a volatile situation, but your teen must have structure and rules.

The sooner you can address concerns your teen is struggling with, the better you’ll be able to avoid getting to the point of wanting to remove them from your life.

Getting help from the professionals

Parenting a troubled teen can make you feel relatively isolated and lonely. It is important to remember that you don’t need to go through these struggles alone and without professional help.

Start with recognizing that your approach to your teen’s behavior, and your negative reactions, could potentially be fueling the fire. With this in mind, consider the benefits that can be had if you get yourself into therapy. Therapy for yourself and other members of the family can help each person learn valuable coping skills.

It is not just your troubled teen who needs to be “fixed.” Your teen needs to understand how his behavior is impacting his family and others around him. He needs to understand how to work through his concerns in a healthy manner. But the dynamics inside your family and home can also take a toll on his mental health and his ability to cope.

It’s tempting to give up, but your troubled teen needs your support now more than he ever has. It’s quite normal for parents to be the ones bearing the brunt of their angry teen’s behavior. You are the stable part of his life and the source of the unconditional love he needs.

Considering alternative living arrangements

If your teen’s behavior is out of control and you’re struggling to find a way to cope, you may need to consider another option for their living arrangements. This does not mean you should immediately kick your underage teen out of the house.

Avoid making impulsive decisions when the emotions are running high. Focus on finding a solution that will help your teen find his way back to stability and control.

Residential treatment centers are a good option for some troubled teens. They can give your teen the structure and stability needed to overcome everything he is struggling with. He will learn how to identify and cope with his underlying concerns. Whether they are mental health struggles, concerns with addiction, or something else entirely, residential treatment centers can benefit your troubled teen in so many ways.

Contact Help Your Teen Now for more information and to learn about other options available.

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