4 Tips for Parenting Troubled Teens

Published on July 9th, 2014

Have you run out of ways to deal with your child’s behavioral problems? Is he or she becoming increasingly depressed, abusive or destructive? If you’ve run out of patience and know you need to address these issues and work with your teen, pay attention to the following four tips:

1. Make Time for Yourself

Many parents don’t realize this, but the healing process begins and ends with you. As much as you want to devote 100% of your attention to your child, you can’t give him the care he needs without caring for yourself first. You should give yourself the time you need to re-energize physically and emotionally. If you are a single parent, get the support you need by enlisting the help of loved ones and professionals in the field of teen behavior. Most importantly, watch out for signs of depression or anxiety. Many parents let their own issues creep up on them while caring for the behavioral problems of a child.

2. Look at the Situation from a Different Perspective

Many therapists will ask parents of a troubled teen to take a different look at the situation. Often, a new perspective will enlighten you to what has been triggering your teen’s behavior. Could the problem be resulting from a childhood experience, an unrecognized trigger, or some other root problem? By looking at the situation from a different angle, you can develop new methods for coping with and addressing your teen’s behavior.

3. Develop a Healthy Lifestyle

One of the greatest things a parent of a troubled teen can do is find a healthy balance for their child’s life. Most experts will recommend some type of structure in your relationship with the troubled teen. And while discipline and enforced rules may cause your child to act up, they are necessary for creating balance within the home. Most importantly, you can encourage your teen to eat healthy and exercise regularly. A therapist may also recommend reduced access to television, video games, internet use, etc.

4. Know When to Call a Professional

Even the world’s best parents can benefit from the help of a specialist. If your child is becoming aggressive or violent, abuses drugs or alcohol, or is distancing him or herself from old friends and family members, it may be time to seek outside help. A counselor or therapist will be able to help you identify the problem, implement effective interventions, and provide your teen with the needed support.

5. Healing Process Starts with You

Remember, your child’s destructive behavior is not your fault—but there are steps you can take to begin the healing process. Whether your family is in need of a new perspective, a lifestyle change, professional help, or all of the above, the process starts with you. Follow these four tips and you’ll find answers to the questions and frustrations you’re dealing with. And when it comes time to find the professional help your family needs, give Options Family & Behavior Services a call at (952) 564-3000.

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