Parenting a teenager can be difficult at times. Your teen may go through challenging phases and become withdrawn, distant, or even aggressive. Some behavioral changes in teenagers are completely normal, but extreme behavior may be due to serious underlying issues such as eating disorders or substance abuse.
Parents must know how to spot concerning behavior and provide their teen with the support they need to transition into a healthy adult.
With this in mind, here is some key advice on parenting a troubled teen:
Talk with your teen openly
You may find it challenging to communicate with your teen at times, especially if they’re being unresponsive or distant. However, you must make an effort to keep communication open and connect with your teen as much as possible. Let them know that you’re there for them and available to talk whenever they need you. Eating family meals together at the dining table is a great way to encourage your family to speak openly, without everyday distractions like mobile phones and televisions.
Try to do fun activities with your teen to maintain your bond and encourage them to speak to you about any difficulties they may be facing. Some fun activities to do with your teenager include a picnic or walk in the park, a trip to the cinema, or a family meal at a nice restaurant. Try to spend as much quality time together as a family as possible. Arranging exciting activities will encourage your teen to join in, even if they’re reluctant at first.
Get your teen the support they need
If you’re worried that your teen is presenting behaviors above what is expected in normal teenagers, then you should always speak with them about your concerns and offer your support. In some situations, it may be necessary to seek professional help i.e. if your teen is suffering from a mental illness like an eating disorder or depression. Fortunately, there are many resources and centers available to support troubled teens.
For instance, Ignite Teen Treatment has a variety of specialist clinics with skilled professionals trained to help teens overcome issues like addiction and anxiety. Having support from someone outside of their family can help many teens overcome mental health issues and difficulties in their lives.
Remember to take care of yourself
Parenting a teen can be stressful and overwhelming at times, particularly if your teen is troubled or going through a difficult phase. It can be easy to become caught up in your family worries and forget about your own health and wellbeing. However, you will be much better equipped to support your troubled teen if you’re in good health.
For that reason, all parents must remember to practice self-care by taking the time to relax and deal with any stress in a calm environment. This may involve booking a pampering trip to the spa, seeking some solitude in your bedroom, or spending time socializing with friends. You can find plenty of great tips on how to relax as a busy parent.