Parenting is a tough gig, and it can get even tougher when your child is in their teenage years when raging hormones and crushing social pressure make “normal” a moving target. You’re going to need some resources providing straight talk on the pleasures and pitfalls of raising a healthy adolescent. Fortunately, a number of websites do just that. We’ve listed 4 of our favorite parenting resources below.
If your teen is struggling with serious mental health or behavioral issues, you may want to consider sending them to a residential treatment center for troubled teens. Early intervention can do wonders when it comes to getting a young life back on track.
1. Aha! Parenting
AhaParenting.com is an information-rich site offering advice on raising kids of all ages. You can click on tabs directing you to articles regarding tweens, young teenagers 13 to 15 and older teenagers aged 16 to 18.
Created by a clinical psychologist, the focus of Aha! Parenting is positive parenting. Proponents of positive parenting set rules and consequences and engage in follow-through when rules are broken. Putative measures, however, such as yelling and corporal punishment are avoided.
If you have a troubled teen on your hands, it can be tough to avoid shouting matches. Still, keeping the lines of communication open is crucial.
Aha! Parenting gives great directions on specific topics, like how to talk to kids about alcohol, as well as more general guidelines.
2. Raising Children
As the URL indicates, raisingchildren.net.au is an Australian site. Don’t worry, though. Just because it’s produced Down Under doesn’t mean this resource will upend your parenting style. It has quite a bit of valuable advice for those in the thick of raising teens ages 12 to 18.
One of the best aspects of the Raising Children site is that there’s a whole section dealing with mental health. There are articles on detecting and dealing with issues like teen depression and anxiety and an array of troubling behaviors.
The tone of the articles, such as one on when your troubled teen engages in self-harm, is pitch-perfect. Rather than being alarmist, it stresses that it’s normal for young people to have strong feelings that are difficult to deal with. At the same time, it highlights the seriousness of rituals like cutting, encouraging parents to intervene early and seek professional support for their struggling teens.
3. Raising Teens: A Site For Parents Of Teens Striving For Sanity
Can you keep a level head while raising your teen? It’s enough to make a parent feel lost at times, but the Raising Teens blog provides a pretty good roadmap.
Created by mom bloggers Cindy Goodman and Raquel Alderman, the Raising Teens blog has a conversational tone and addresses topics that will sound eerily familiar to anyone raising a teenager. Posts cover everything like relatively benign but crazy-making teen behavior like “earphone silence” as well as more serious problems like what to do if your teen is smoking pot.
4. Your Teen Magazine
YourTeenMag.com is a comprehensive site on navigating the teen years, from your child’s first day in middle school to the moment they leave the nest.
Many of the articles cover little-discussed topics, like the very real problem of boys developing eating disorders. Eating disorders are typically seen as something affecting only girls, but many troubled teen boys also engage in unhealthy behaviors like food avoidance, excessive exercise and purging.
This article—and others on the site—are solution-based rather than just anecdotal, providing warning signs as well as direction, in this case scheduling an evaluation for your son as soon as possible.
The above resources can provide significant guidance when it comes to surviving those tumultuous teenage years. Sometimes, however, a family can find themselves in a situation no mere article can address.
If your son’s issues are threatening his future and wreaking havoc on your home, you may want to consider sending him to a boarding school for troubled teen boys. Spending time in a safe place that offers therapeutic and academic support can help a teen in crisis move onto a bright future.