Do You Want A Content or Troubled Teen

Troubled Teen or Content TeenagerIt’s not easy being a teen.  We all remember the difficulties of growing up, especially when confronted with peer pressure, drug use, dating, bullying and the like. With all these challenges, teens fortunate enough to have parents there supporting, listening and understanding them were greatly helped in getting through these difficult times.

If you are the parent of a troubled teen, then addressing the situation without causing more damage may seem like an impossible task.  But the truth is that parenting difficult teenagers is usually as difficult as not understanding and exercising the options that you have as a parent. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have all the answers and solve all the problems, far from it.  But it does mean that as a parent you can use options to help turn your child from a troubled teen into one more contented and able to handle the pressures that they face.

Set Clear Boundaries

Be upfront about what they can and cannot do and what you will do if you find out that they are breaking the rules.  The rules you set need to be clear, unambiguous and reasonable.  Plus, you need to remind them of these rules on a regular basis.  Remember you childhood and how forgetful you were, the same is true for your kids.

Listen Attentively

This is the most important skill of parenting a troubled teen.  It’s not just listening to what they are saying, but to the non-verbal ways they are communicating.  Teens don’t have the emotional maturity to express all of what they feel, but their body language can be a strong indicator of the emotional turmoil that they are currently going through.

Dealing with Depression

There are strong signs apparent when a teen is clinically depressed.  In these situations you need to act quickly and decisively to stop the depression in its tracks before the situation becomes worse.  Signs of depression include:

  • Prolonged sadness
  • Irritability
  • Sleeplessness
  • A significant, sudden change in their weight
  • Thoughts or tendencies towards suicide

Any one of these signs should be cause for alarm and you must get professional help for your teen. A big part of parenting difficult teenagers is identifying when the situation has gone beyond your ability to correct the situation.  The decision to act is one of the most difficult for parents to make since it makes you feel inadequate and powerless.  The guilt you carry in the belief that it’s all your fault must be disposed of in favor of getting your child the help they need.

Remember that you are their parent, not their friend. This advice is not to push your child away, but to help you understand the role of what a parenting difficult teenagers is suppose to be. You want your children prepared for what the world is going to offer them as adults. The better parent you are, the better your children will become. The bonds you share with your child go well beyond friendship, so your focus should be on raising them so that they can develop the emotional maturity needed to handle the challenges of being an adult.

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