It can break your heart when your son starts to act out in ways that is harmful, negative and destructive to his current and future plans. Dealing with troubled boys is a real challenge and one that has gotten a lot of attention over the years. When it comes to helping troubled boys, there is no quick and easy solution.
Here are 10 things you can do to help you in dealing with troubled teen boys:
- Don’t wait. If your teen son doesn’t get the proper help he needs, he could quickly land in a perilous or even dangerous situation. Don’t wait until it is almost too late to step in and help your son. Early intervention when you first start to notice self-destructive behavior can be critical to his long-term health and wellness.
- Get help. Drastic behavior changes are different than typical adolescent mood swings. If your teenage son is dealing with symptoms of depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol use, or other unusual behavior, seek professional help. You can love your son a lot but love can’t cure an emotional or mental health issue.
- Listen and communicate. Your troubled teen son needs to know that you are someone he can come to with problems, questions and just to talk. Refrain from judgement and belittling when listening and focus on being a loving, open and honest listener.
- Stand firm when needed. Teens test boundaries all the time, so implementing fair consequences for things is a must. Decide ahead of time what the rules are (such as a set curfew) and what the consequence is for breaking it (like losing the cell phone for a week). That way, when things do happen, you are both aware of what the result is without arguing and fighting.
- Learn to give. Many conflicts between parents and teenage boys comes down to the parents still wanting to control their child. Look inside yourself and decide which things are important to you and which ones you need to allow your teen to explore and make decisions for. Chances are they will fail and make mistakes in their decision making process, but that’s part of growing up and you need to let your teen son spread his wings more and more as he grows.
There are so many things in the world that are hard for teenage boys to navigate on their own, so that’s why your son needs a parent like you to help him avoid bad decisions. When you show your teen that you are a positive, loving, stable role in his life, he will be more likely to use you as a support and as a mentor as he moves from adolescent to adult.