Parenting isn’t easy. It’s especially difficult when you’re parenting a troubled teenager. Troubled teens suffer from depression, addiction, and can be violent to themselves and/or others. These teens can make parents stay up all night in despair worrying about what they can do to end the chaos.
As parents, we have a biological need to care for our children – no matter their age. We feel it’s our responsibility to fix whatever issues occur. That’s why when a teen gets into trouble, our first inclination is to see what can be done from home before turning to professional treatment centers.
The following are the steps in helping your troubled teen from the comfort and security of your home:
Step #1: Spend more time with your teen. Set time aside every single day to speak with him face-to-face. Start with only a few minutes or for as long as he wants to talk, and then go from there. You’ll find the more you do it, the longer and more in depth the conversation will be.
Step #2: When your troubled teen tells you something, fight the urge to judge or offer unsolicited advice. Talking with your teen needs to be comfortable for him to open the lines of communication.
Step #3: Identify similarities. Teens often believe they are nothing like their parents. It’s part of wanting to be independent. However, most teens enjoy finding out their parents have similar likes and dislikes. Give it a try to see if it improves the connection you have with your teen.
Step #4: Set up a schedule for your home. Schedules make troubled teens feel safe and secure. It’s why troubled teen treatment centers are so structured. Teens should have time for meals, bedtime, and important tasks such as homework and chores. It may take some encouragement to get your teen to get into the habit of structure, but once he does, you’ll likely see positive results.
Step #5: Seek therapy. According to child and adolescent psychiatrist Charles Huffine, “Youth will modify their dangerous behavior in response to practical, problem-solving, behavioral therapies.” A counselor can help your troubled teen understand why he’s behaving badly and improve his problem-solving skills.
When It’s Not Enough
Some troubled teens simply cannot resolve their issues at home. They are too close to the problems to fix them. A troubled teen treatment center is an excellent option when parents don’t know what else to do. This option is one that will support, guide and help your teen resolve his internal issues, so he can get back on a good path towards a successful future.