Parenting a teenager can be challenging, and parenting a troubled teen can be even more difficult. Troubled teens may display a variety of behaviours, including anger, defiance, withdrawal, substance abuse, and self-harm that can be tough to deal with.
If you’re struggling to parent a troubled teen, here are some tips that may help you to help them.
Keep calm and stay cool
It can be difficult to remain calm and patient when dealing with a troubled teen, especially if the police are involved or you’ve had to call the best criminal defence lawyers to get them out of trouble, but it’s important to do so. Responding with anger and frustration can escalate the situation and make it harder to resolve. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and approach your teen with a calm and patient demeanour.
Listen, but don’t judge
It’s important to create a safe and supportive environment for your teenaged. This means listening to them without judgment and letting them express their thoughts and feelings. Avoid interrupting or dismissing what they have to say, even if you disagree with it. By listening to them, you can gain a better understanding of what they’re going through and how you can help.
Do your best to empathise
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Showing empathy to your child can help them feel understood and validated. Acknowledge their feelings and let them know that you care about what they’re going through. By showing empathy, you can build a stronger connection with your teen and create a more positive relationship.
Build strong boundaries
While it’s important to be understanding and empathetic, it’s also important to set boundaries and consequences for your troubled teen’s behaviour. Make it clear what behaviour is acceptable and what behaviour is not. When boundaries are crossed, follow through with appropriate consequences. This will help your teen understand that their actions have consequences and encourage them to make better choices in the future.
Encourage positive activities
Encouraging your unruly teen to engage in positive activities can help distract them from negative thoughts and behaviours. Things like sports, hobbies and volunteering can help to keep them out of trouble and show them that life can be fun without bad behaviours.
Seek professional help
If your teen’s behaviour is persistent or severe, it may be necessary to seek professional help. A therapist, counsellor, or mental health professional can provide additional support and guidance for both you and your teen. They can help your teen work through their issues and develop coping strategies to manage their emotions and behaviour. They can also provide you with the tools and resources you need to support your troubled teen.
Parenting a troubled teen can be a difficult and stressful experience, but by following these tips, you can help your teen navigate their challenges and develop the skills they need to lead a healthy and fulfilling life and stay sane yourself too!