Troubled teenagers struggle with life.
Raising teens under normal circumstances is always a challenge for parents, but raising troubled teenagers is even more of a challenge. That sweet, irresistible child who could not stand to be apart from his or her parents a short time ago, is now avoiding parents at all costs since he or she now finds the parents repulsive all of a sudden.
Teenagers are now struggling to find their own identity, facing hormone changes and generally dealing with difficult life situations of which they have never had to deal before. They don’t have the same reasoning capabilities that adults do, and they seem to make poor choices quite a bit of the time. They may practice behaviors that place them and others around them at risk, such as drinking, drug abuse, shoplifting, sex, and other similar acts.
And deal with depression and unusual behavior.
The teen may be dealing with depression, eating disorders and severe anxiety. If these types of behaviors are repeated over and over, then it is probably a red flag that there is something going on that needs attention. It is very important for parents to stay connected, even when most everything that the parent has to offer will be rejected. Believe it or not, the advice does sink in, even if troubled teens do not act like it did. The parents have to stick to their guns, so to speak, and plainly illustrate boundaries that give the teen guidance.
Know when to seek outside help.
Weird behavior is pretty normal for teens, because they really don’t know how to act in a lot of situations. This is why the parents have to be firm, but fair. It is a time of risk and trust, and just how much of each is experienced has a lot to do with the underlying relationships the teen has with the parents.
If things get out of hand, for example and parents feel threatened by their troubled teenagers, then outside help should be sought. Counselors, coaches, church personnel, anyone who could have some influence and who might garner respect from your teen can help. The most important thing to remember is that no matter how difficult things may get, it is still important that the teen still feels the parents’ love. One parent stated that raising a teenager “is like being in a state of perpetual panic, but doing so calmly.”
If your teen has that strong connection of love with the parents, in the long run that will win out in most cases. The parents just have to stay in the game, no matter how difficult that may become. If things do get out of hand and it gets more difficult to handle troubled teenagers and it is more than parents can deal with, then outside help will have to be sought.
Additional resources about how to communicate with troubled teenagers.
Tired Of Not Being Able to Communicate With Your Teen
Team Building Activities to Improve Teen Communication
Six Strategies to Develop Teen Communication Skills
Figuring Out How Teens Communicate
Is Your Teen an Outsider in School?
An Infographic that may also help.