Parents need to be involved with their teen’s life in order to prevent normal teenage pressures and issues from ballooning into severe emotional problems or abuse. If you are a parent looking for help for an out of control teen, you might find the following interventions useful in bringing your teenager back into control.
The most important factor in maintaining a healthy relationship between parents and teens is to remain involved with their lives. Do everything you can as parents to maintain a sense of caring and open communication between your teenagers and yourself at all times. Teens want and need to have a sense of independence at some level in their lives. They often have a strong desire to make their own decisions and become their own person. This, of course, should be encouraged with age appropriate decisions they are capable of handling at the level of their maturity.
Teens with a positive, open relationship with their parents are less likely to become out-of-control teenagers and less likely to have feelings of depression or low self-esteem. Spending time with your teen is important but often difficult since your teen will want to spend an increasing amount of time with their peers during this adolescent period. This increasing need to be with their peers is normal but they should also be encouraged to view family time as being important. Take your teenager to a movie, to dinner or go shopping and use the time to talk with your teen and make an extra effort to reconnect if you sense the two of you have been growing too far apart.
Your teen may balk at having any boundaries but it is important for you to set age appropriate boundaries and follow through on the consequences as intended. It gives teens a guide for what is expected of them and sets the standard for their behavior. Having a set of rules and responsibilities can be comforting to teens regardless of how much they may outwardly protest and be a quite effective intervention for nipping problems in the bud.
Remember, if you are a parent looking for help with a teen who is already out-of-control then setting good boundaries with your teen is vitally important for you to gain back the control of your teen. Teens often test their parents to see how far they can push them. They want to see where the line will be drawn and what they can get away with before the parent stops them. If you don’t set realistic boundaries they will continue to get more and more out-of-control as they continue to test you and then wait to see how you will respond.
Ensure that the boundaries you set for your teenager are fair and age appropriate. A thirteen year old and a seventeen year old have different maturity levels, different social expectations from their peer groups and different life experiences. Gauge what is fair and reasonable as you set the standards and remain flexible as time and circumstances change.
If you are parents in need of an intervention to help you with an out-of-control teen, it’s especially important to keep in mind that setting boundaries that are too strict and to confining for your teenager’s age and maturity level can be nearly as harmful as not setting any boundaries at all.