Which teenagers are at high risk for such behaviors as drug or alcohol use, dropping out of school, pregnancy, violence, depression, or suicide? And which teens really need help for troubled teen programs?
One of the difficulties parents of teens face is how to recognize the more subtle indicators of such behavioral problems and when and how to intervene.
So are you the parent of a teenager? If the answer is yes, then welcome to the club.
I swear, not a lot can be more stressful and annoying, than raising a grouchy teenager. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and I always will. However, I just can’t understand why kids can’t stay sweet and innocent for the rest of their lives? Is that really too much to ask? I think not.
Anyway, if you have experienced the teen years, then you’re well aware of how hairy things can get. Anything from drugs, to alcohol, to sex can become a serious issue. If things progress and get too out of hand, you may find yourself in a center that provides help for troubled teens. But, hopefully it won’t get that bad.
Have you noticed that help for troubled teens has become more accessible these days? You know why this is, right?
It’s simply due to the fact that children in this day and age are facing even more difficulties and pressures. Although you probably dealt with teen sex and pregnancy back when you were in high school, you most likely didn’t deal with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This has changed the whole scheme of things.
Pregnancy is no longer at the top of the list of concerns for many parents.
Listen to what one parent recently had to say:
“I must say that I have been rather fortunate in this respect. We have now spoken with our teenage daughter about alcohol, drugs, sex and the other usual teen stuff, and she decided they aren’t for her. Thank God! Now I won’t have to shove her away in one of those clinics that offer help for troubled teens. Just a joke!
However, we did have our bout with alcohol before our nice long talk. Although we did encourage her not to drink, she still went out and stole some liquor with her friends. Yes, I did say stole. Believe me; she is now paying the price. I guess one method of help for troubled teens is community service. I believe she has learned her lesson but I’ll tell you our biggest concern right now is AIDS.”
One of the obstacles that can cause parents to delay in getting help for their struggling adolescent is their confusion about the answer to this question… What truly defines a troubled teen, and when does a parent really need to seek intervention?
Many parents find themselves comparing their child to other children. Parents often vacillate between, “My child is not as bad as their kid!” and “Why can’t my teen act like that so-and-so’s child?”
Although it is tempting to compare your child to other adolescents in an attempt to measure the seriousness of the situation, this is not truly indicative of a teen’s need for outside intervention. Parents will do best if they look at their individual situation and decide for themselves if the teenager is on a self-destructive path.
This is not to say that parents should not avail themselves of support groups or other sources of information that might guide them in their choices. It simply means that you know if your child is in trouble. Trust your instincts and take action before the situation deteriorates.
What can you as a parent do to help your teenager open up to you?
Well, you could start by letting your teenager know that you were once a teenager too! This can definitely be hard to picture for quite a number of teens (And even for yourself to picture). Especially, if they picture you barking out orders like a drill sergeant. (Definitely not a pretty picture.)
If this is the case, you may want to try to change the way your teenager pictures you. You can still be an authoritative figure while letting your teenager see you eye to eye.
Sometimes it helps to let your teen picture you as human just the same. Maybe even a teenager who at one time might have needed help from a troubled teen program. Sometimes the authoritative side of a parent over shadows the image of you as a human being who commits mistakes like the rest of us.
As much as you would like to show your teenager a perfect example all the time, it wouldn’t hurt to let him/her know that you make mistakes yourself. Showing your own vulnerability can definitely make it easier for a teenager to open up to you.
Now, if you realize that you are in need of help for your troubled teen, there really are many sources of help available. The key is taking the initiative early. Don’t wait for things to get worse. This can end horribly. Get the help for troubled teens that you and your child need. You’re both worth it.
Growing up can just be a tad overwhelming for parents and for kids. And you will actually find that acquiring help for troubled teens is not all that difficult any more.
If you have a teenager who is in desperate need of some counseling or just plain “straightening out,” then you may want to try the World-Wide-Web. The Internet can introduce you to various programs that provide help for troubled teens. Start today by exploring the articles and resources right here available to you on this site.