Raising a teen? It’s a struggle. Being a single parent? It’s no joke. Dealing with a child’s behavioral disorders? A constant battle. And all three? It can feel near impossible. Each day feels like survival mode. You may endure a constant fear that your child will never “snap out” of this, and worry what the future will bring for them. And on top of it all you have to handle it alone.
If you are a single parent with a troubled teen, we tip our hats to you. You do alone what is more than difficult for a two-parent household to manage. We know how challenging your daily life can be, and we’re here to offer some help. There are three main areas that can make or break the routine of raising a troubled teen, and it’s important to keep them in balance for everyone’s sake.
- Day-to-Day House Functioning. We know that usually the housework and daily routines fall low on the priority and urgency list. It’s not uncommon for single parents to focus their efforts where they belong – with the kids. But the stress and “mom guilt” that can be associated with a sink full of dirty dishes, piles of laundry, or overgrown weeds in the yard only make life more chaotic. Set aside some time each week to tackle as much housework as you can, then say “that’s enough.” If you can, consider hiring help for cleaning, babysitting, yard work, or other tasks to lighten your load. The best case is to assign chores and tasks to kids with rewards.
- You Time. Even lower on the priority list than chores is usually taking care of yourself. You’re working so much, and caring for your children when you’re not – there’s never time for just you. It’s important to prioritize self care like exercise, adequate sleep, or long relaxing baths. Don’t be afraid to see a therapist if you could use some perspective and help with the emotions that come with a troubled teen.
- Consistency & Therapy for Your Troubled Teen. A teen with behavior disorders needs routine, consistency, and boundaries. It can sometimes be hard for a single parent to provide the therapy and rules that are needed. Don’t be afraid to consider a therapeutic boarding school or additional counseling to keep your teen moving forward and progressing. You are not a failure if you can’t provide the intensely structured environment that behavioral teens need for improvement – for tough teens parents can only do so much.
In the meantime, rest assured that this stage will not last forever, and you are doing a better job than you might think. You may feel alone but there is help out there for single parents of teens with behavioral issues. You don’t have to do it on your own.
Leave a Reply