You Recognize a Troubled Teen?
of the difficulties parents and educators face when dealing with
adolescents is recognizing the difference between a teen going
through the normal rebelliousness of adolescence and a teen who
is heading down a destructive path. Adults often struggle to find
a balance between giving adolescents some necessary independence
and reining them in when they push the boundaries of acceptable
behavior. Although some parents may be tempted to compare their
teen’s behavior to other teens to decide if their behavior is
appropriate, remember that one teen’s innocent rebelliousness
can be another’s doorway to truly self-destructive behavior. The
teen that wants more privacy is not the same as the teen who sneaks
around or lies about their activities. If you believe your child
is heading in the wrong direction, trust your instincts and take
action before the situation deteriorates.
parent who decides to confront behavior head on will inevitably
see the tension in the home exacerbated. Your increased interest
in your child’s activities will be met with suspicion and hostility.
You need to prepare yourself for your child’s counterattack. First,
honestly appraise the situation; do not just examine your teen’s
behaviors, but your own actions in response to them. When you
have implicitly given permission for negative actions by simply
ignoring them? When have you not followed through on enforcing
the consequences for unacceptable behavior? An honest examination
of the communication between you and your teen will help you avoid
the same mistakes in the future.
Parents’ delay in getting help when they write off problems as
“just a harmless phase.” For every teen that pushes the edge and
sees little or no consequences, there is a teen that has been
expelled from school or put into a compromising or dangerous situation
because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Never
assume teens that are acting out have the skills and self-knowledge
to change on their own. As the parent, you can even be held legally
responsible for your child’s behavior in some circumstances. If
you approach the problem with this in mind, you will more fully
grasp how essential your guidance and discipline is.
Because adolescence is a time of a changing sense of self, your
teen is probably less and less inclined to allow you to make all
their decisions for them. There is nothing wrong with letting
your teen make mistakes. The issues arise when those mistakes
are dangerous to them or others.
If you feel your adolescent is out of control, there are many
resources available. Counselors who specialize in child behavior
can help parents decide a course of intervention. In cases where
the child’s behavior has become extreme, many parents find that
residential programs are the most effective. The child can no
longer be influenced by the negative peer group or manipulate
their parents and teachers.
Therapeutic wilderness programs can be highly effective in transforming
behavior. These experiential programs teach primitive wilderness
skills, responsibility, and the consequences of negative behavior,
and they help the child improve self-esteem and self-confidence.
Therapeutic boarding schools that emphasize emotional growth as
well as academics can help turn around both behavior and school
performance of a troubled teenager. Children with learning disabilities
greatly benefit from the individualized academic attention they
receive in these schools.
Aspen Education Group has proven programs that can help adolescent
children who have self-defeating behaviors, learning disabilities,
and substance abuse issues. These intensive programs can quickly
narrow down your child’s issues to help him or her get back on
a positive life path.#
or call (888) 972-7736 for more information.
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