For most parents, the teenage years can be difficult, but it’s even more difficult to deal with teens with behavioral problems. An even bigger issue is that there are times when parents aren’t even aware of the signs that their teen may be in need of help and therefore they see their adolescent as just “bad” and that they need to straighten up and just stop the bad behavior.
As a parent, you need to become aware of the signs that there is more going on and that there is a possibility that the bad behavior could be an indication of something much more serious that isn’t going to just correct itself on it’s own any time soon. There is nothing more frustrating to teens with behavior problems that know something isn’t quite right than trying to reach out to parents for help when the parents don’t understand or recognize there is a problem.
Teen Behavior Issues
Yes, every parents knows there will be times while raising kids that your teenager is going to make you wonder what you were thinking when you decided to have children, but when these behaviors become a routine part of daily life, it’s time to evaluate the situation. This is especially true if the behavior becomes increasingly more difficult to handle or if a teenager, who was less difficult begins to experience a major deterioration in behavior suddenly.
Reasons for Poor Behavior
Teenagers do have their own sets of values, and sometimes these don’t agree with the rules their parents have set down. These minor behavior problems are not necessarily a sign that your teen needs help, but may be simply the result of “growing pains.” Of course, there also exists the possibility that other reasons are behind the behavior such as depression or other types of mental disorders that can negatively affect children and when the bad behavior becomes extreme or as I stated earlier a daily occurrence than it’s time to seek a professional opinion.
For teens with behavior problems, it is also important to consider the possibility of an illegal drug or alcohol use or perhaps a food or medication allergy that is causing the difficulties. These things must also be considered and looked into as causes.
Discipline for Teens With Behavior Problems
Many different methods can be utilized to make a teen understand you are unhappy with the behavior they are exhibiting. All of the signs that indicate your youngster needs help must be considered and ruled out before evaluating the discipline for a particular behavior.
Once any underlying causes have been ruled out, it’s important to set up a discipline plan that is fair, consistent and age appropriate. At this age, however, it’s usually more effective to consider a discipline that involves the removal of your their favorite things such as the use of the telephone, television, computer or car and of course time with friends outside of school.
It also helps to consider a positive reinforcement system where by your teen earns or loses points toward gaining certain privileges. This puts more focus on the good behaviors and encourages your adolescent to improve their behavior in order to gain back the things they are most interested in. This method allows them more choices so they feel they have at least some control over their life.
Of course, it is important to not go overboard with any discipline, but rather make the punishment fit the crime. Even for those parents who believe in corporal punishment, this is not appropriate for teenagers nor does it work as well as the methods that have been listed above.
Some Final Thoughts for Parents
The most important thing to remember is the need for you to become aware of the signs that teens with behavior problems need help and to get professional intervention before it becomes a serious problem. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the behavior is going to go away by itself if you just tighten the reins and get tougher. Because in cases where there is a more serious underlying issue, quite the opposite could happen.
Although setting up a good discipline program as discussed above may work for teenagers who are really just trying to spread their wings and see how far they can push their parents, those who have a substance abuse, mental or physical reason for their behavior could become confused, or possibly even aggressive.
Always keep your eyes open and know the signs that teens with behavior problems need help instead of simply thinking that it’s just a “phase,” or part of that rebellious stage of growing up.