Teenage years can be very challenging for the entire family. When there is a troubled teen in your family however, life can really become problematic. The key to survival and helping the troubled individual can have a lot to do with how everyone adapts. Life will change, therefore people must change as well.
Give Your Troubled Teen Room To Breathe
While it might be your parental reflex to snoop through backpacks and read online mail, don’t do it unless you really have to. If you suspect drug or alcohol use or think your teen may be inclined to cause harm to themselves or someone else, then by all means do what you have to. Short of those extremes though, people trying to make their way through a difficult age need space to learn and grow. If they feel pressured and spied on all the time, they may rebel further.
Make Sure They Have Someone To Talk To
Even if it isn’t you, your teenager should have an outlet for discussion and finding solutions. High school is hard even for studious kids who get along well with authority figures, but it’s much more difficult when they have problems. Try introducing your teenager to other adults with whom they may be able to open up to. A counselor may also be called for and they can provide the best type of support and advice for the whole family.
Join A Support Group For Parents Of A Troubled Teen
No matter how tough a family is or how much they rally around the cause, everyone needs guidance and some way to relieve the stress of the situation. It can be very helpful to discuss what goes on in day to day life with others who know exactly how you feel. See if there isn’t a local organization or some place online, whichever you might prefer. Chances are very good that you can find the exact type of format you need to openly talk, relate and just take a load off.
Do Things Together As A Family
It can be all too easy to allow a teenager with an attitude or serious problems to stray away from the family, but this won’t help your cause. While you don’t want to force activities that will cause resentment, you do want to make plans that include everyone. Alternate the places you visit or the fun you have according to different family member’s preferences. For example, take the clan to a zoo, museum and then the mall. Make sure each individual has something to look forward to and some control over the selection process.
Despite being a serious challenge for most families, life with a troubled teen does get easier. With a lot of patience and perseverance, the whole family should be able to endure this time and be a stronger unit for having gone through the experience.