Out of the Box Options for Helping Your Troubled Teen Boy

When you have a teen boy who rebels, even going so far as to find himself in trouble with the law, it calls for a revision in parental thinking. The first instinct for most parents is to wonder what they did wrong? But know that in spite of the best parenting, there are teens who will rebel anyway. Now it’s time to think outside the box.

Parent Tips

It helps to remember that your teen is not the only teen to rebel and get into trouble. Lots of parents have been down this road before. What tips would those parents share with you?

  • The number one thing to remember is that you cannot control your teen’s actions. Your teen has choices, just like you do, and most of his day is not spent with you. No matter what choices your teen makes, they’re his.
  • Since your teen is not in your control, part of thinking outside the box is to let go of the control you really don’t have. This could mean letting go of the dreams you had for that child, or if you’re religious, giving the problem to God.
  • Letting go doesn’t mean giving up! Don’t give up on that child or the potential you see in him. Love him unconditionally, and when one thing doesn’t work, think outside the box and try something else.
  • Don’t be afraid to look for outside help. Sometimes the problem is bigger than you.

Thinking Outside the Box

So what does that even mean, think outside the box? How does it apply to your troubled teen boy?

Sometimes we parents put ourselves {or our kids} in a box–we expect certain things or we get stuck doing what we’ve always done–when what we need is to open the box and look around at other options that may actually work. When you break a bone, you rush to an emergency room or other urgent care facility, and get help to fix it. When a family member is broken, we may feel embarrassed or hesitant about saying we need help, but there is no shame in it. Open the box and look around at the professional help that is available for your teen boy.

If your teen boy is struggling in his environment, whether it’s school, home, or peer-related, it might be a good idea to get him outside of that box entirely and change his environment. A change of environment to one that allows for healing, such as residential therapy or a therapeutic boot camp, can help to break the cycle of rebelliousness and set your teen on a much better path.

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