It is completely normal for your teenager to want to be independent, but not to act out in dangerous extremes. If they are creating self-destructive behavior DO NOT wait to intervene. The longer you let it go, the more perilous the situation becomes.
Here is some advice for parents with troubled teens:
-Identify the cause: If your teen is making drastic behavioral changes, there’s a reason. It’s a cause-and-effect situation. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to identify what’s behind the change. It may be a recent event, or it may be something deep-rooted.
-Look back: Negative events that happened at ages 2, 3 or 4 help to shape children’s personalities. By the time these toddlers become teenagers, they’ve been living with the resulting pain for most of their lives. As teenagers, they are able to act on these feelings with more lasting — and harmful — consequences.
-Listen and talk: Teenagers today have more opportunities to make bad decisions than they did in years past. This is all the more reason that you must be a positive, reliable person in your child’s life. Listen to him or her and resist the urge to judge or advise; sometimes just being heard helps. Even though they’re often reluctant to admit it, they seek approval, love, and a “soft place to fall” in their parents. If they don’t feel valued, loved and understood at home, they’ll turn elsewhere to get the acceptance they so deeply need.
-Act like a parent: …especially if your teenager is already going down the wrong path. A warm relationship is ideal, but sometimes you must do things your child won’t understand. Remember: you’re a parent, not a pal. Your responsibility is to ensure the well-being and safety of your child. Intervening in a dangerous situation (like ones involving drugs, abuse or truancy) might make your child dislike you, but it will also save his or her life.
If you are having a hard time dealing with your troubled teen, seek help from a Licensed Mental Heath Counselor.
For more information on how we can help visit our website! www.starpointcounselingtampa.com
Call us today to set up an appointment! (813) 244-1251