Has your child:
- Lied to you?
- Stolen from you?
- Skipped school?
- Destroyed property?
- Ran away from home?
- Had a brush with the law?
- Refused to follow any rules?
- Having unprotected sex?
- Hanging with the wrong crowd?
- Experimenting with drugs or alcohol?
How to Deal With a Troubled Teen
Step 1 - What is your role?
Face the fact that you have a troubled teen. Often parents don’t want to know that their teen is doing drugs, having trouble in school, etc. Part of dealing with these problems is understanding what your role is in the situation. Thousands and thousands of parents face the same problems and each of them has their own understanding a role to be a parent depending on their values. Each of them is using different approaches to modify their child’s behaviour based on family traditions, religions, or personal life experience.
|We highly recommend reading:|
Active Parenting - Parenting of the 21st Century
5 Building Blocks of Active Parenting
Step 2 - Analysing teen behaviour
Carefully analyse behaviour. What happens right before the behaviour, what happens during the behaviour and the consequences of the behaviour. How did you react? Look for evidence of misbehaviour. When you understand the specifics behind a behaviour, you can begin targeting that behaviour with specific techniques.
Step 3 - How serious is it?
An out of control teen can wreak havoc on a family and household. The most important thing that a teen can make is self destructive choices that puts their health, safety, and future at risk. Depending on the particular situation, you will choose different strategies to help your troubled teen.
Step 4 - Techniques for use on troubled teen behaviour
Consistently enforce rules. Sit down with your teen and negotiate a set of rules and regulating that are realistic and that you can both live up to. Establish clear boundaries that cannot be crossed, and then set a consequence for breaking that rule. Carry it out!
Example: If the rule is broken, consider to remove all forms of their entertainment. This would include restricting them from hanging out with friends, using the phone, watching TV, using the Internet. Consider doing this for an extended period of time, only offering to return items and privileges when your teen has earned them back. Even if this doesn’t get them to behave in the manner you wish, it does teach them that when they don’t behave maturely and responsible in their lives, they lose what is important to them. This is an important life lesson for everyone to learn.
2. Stand firm in your decision
Many troubled teens find that if they argue long enough, you will become tired and give in. Try to avoid becoming angry and arguing back. Giving in to arguments or “reasoning” only encourages more arguments.
Example: If you need the car for the evening, and your teen argues that you are mean, their friends get to use the car, etc, simply state that you need the car, and since his or her friends can use their cars, he or she can call for a ride.
3. Creating strong connections
What is your child interested in? Does he love music or sports? Find a way to engage him through the things he loves in life.
Example: Start by taking him/her to a music store, buying a CD and listening to it together. Try to discover what it is about this music that speaks to your teen. In this way, you connect to him through what he loves, through those things, ideas and experiences that lift and envigerate his soul.
4. Communicate strongly
Discuss, don’t scream. Aggressive behaviour is easy to tune out. Remember, you have to make him feel comfortable and secure when he is confiding in you. Strong and clear communication from your side will make him feel secure about trusting you. Speak to your teen like he’s an adult and he may act like one.
When parents serve as role models, teens will always look up to them and emulate their behaviour and habits. They will always confide in you whatever may be the situation.
6. Be an advocate for love
Always love your children. No matter what they do or say, always love your children. Remember to tell them and show them often, no one is too old to hug. Make a point of regurly reinforcing this, such as every day at breakfast, not just when they are behaving.
Just For You
During this troubled time, stand your ground, stay the course, and try to remember that this stage of your child’s life is temporary. Stay motivated by reminding yourself that the serious action you take now may very well help to steer your teen down a much better path then the one they are currently on.