Helping parents reach out to troubled teens…
Troubled Teen Parenting Solutions and Resources
Once you’ve determined that your adolescent has problem behaviors that are beyond your ability to cope with effectively on your own, it’s time to reach out for professional help and support.
There are many solutions and resources for troubled teen parents to choose from including:
- Parenting teens programs and courses
- Parent books, audiobooks, and classes
- Parent coaching
- Outpatient therapy and treatment
- In-patient therapy and treatment
- Alternative residential schools and camps.
Which course of action is the right choice, will depend upon the circumstances of the disturbing behavior and your home situation. You should begin with solutions that will be the least disruptive to the natural home environment and move up to the most restrictive options such as residential treatment or schools only if all else fails or the severity of the situations warrants such drastic measures.
Parenting teenagers books, audiobooks and classes
Skill building parenting classes are offered in many places around the country including local schools, family-counseling clinics, outpatient treatment centers, and even at some public libraries. These types of programs along with parenting books, courses and audiobooks are the place for parents of unruly teenagers to start.
These resources can be very useful for improving communication and discipline skills, which can help to prevent distressing issues in the first place or stop minor problems before they have the opportunity to become major tribulations.
This is the next step you should take if the problems with your adolescent seem to be just beginning to move beyond your ability to cope with or things are starting to really get out of control.
This is a more recent addition to the list of available solutions for parents to choose from. Coaches can help you learn more effective tools for communicating, disciplining and coping with your youngster. Parent Coaching is for skill learning and support not for actual therapy.
Outpatient therapy and treatment
It’s important to find a therapist or outpatient program that deals specifically with troubled teens and their parents. You will need to work along side the therapist to rebuild your relationship bond with your teenager.
Sending your teen for therapy alone singles them out as the family problem and only tends to isolate them even more from the family unit. It’s more effective to involve the entire family in the counseling so all issues are addressed and everyone learns to work together as a unit to solve the family problems.
In-patient therapy and treatment
These are viable solutions if your distressed teenager is suffering from more severe behavioral, emotional, or mental disorders or if they have substance abuse problems that warrant more drastic treatment.
Make sure you’ve checked out the less drastic options listed above before taking this more extreme measure as a solution to the problem behaviors. These programs are quite costly and removing your youngster from the home for treatment really should be the last resort not the first.
Alternative schools and camps
These programs are also quite costly and not always the most effective solution. You should carefully weigh your choices to determine if this alternative will be an effective answer before considering this as an option.
Some short-term camps can last for as little as one week while alternative school programs can last as long as one year.
These short-term programs are not always effective as teens often revert back to their pretreatment behavior soon after returning home.
With longer-term residential programs the same problem can occur shortly after returning home if they don’t include a transition program to ease the troubled teen back into their home environment. Make sure this is part of the treatment plan and long-term programs can be an effective solution for more severely troubled teens. If you do choose to go this route learn more effective parenting skills before your teen returns to the home environment.
Using any of these solutions or resources for resolving your adolescent’s problem behavior should be thoroughly examined before you make your final decision. It’s important to find the right solution for your family situation. Check out our article section on Parenting Solutions for guidance on these difficult decisions.
If you start with one of the less drastic means of help and it doesn’t solve the problems all isn’t lost, you can always take a more drastic route if necessary at a later time. If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again. Your child’s future depends on it.