How to Deal With a Troubled Teen

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The teenage years are times of intense changes, which are not restricted to physical growth. Teenagers experience growth intellectually as well as socially and morally. All these changes can make the transition from adolescence to adulthood difficult. When dealing with teenagers who are going through difficult times, remember what it was like to be a teenager and that you may have to accept the limitations of your teen. It can also help to remember that eventually the teenage years will be over.

Step 1

Establish rules that are appropriate for your teenager, and use the rules to reward good behavior. For example, if you establish a curfew for 10 p.m. and your teen adheres to it for a period, reward that punctuality by moving the curfew back to 10:30 p.m.

Step 2

Educate yourself. You may not understand why your teen is troubled. Talk to your teenager and ask about any troubling circumstances, including any sexual changes the body is going through. Go to the library and read a book or magazine article about the typical troubles that face today’s teens.

Step 3

Resist making a battle over every disagreement with your teen. You may not approve of everything your teenager does, but making a battle over every disagreement can work to make your teenager think you are being unfair.

Step 4

Make your expectations clear to your teenager. Teens might be unhappy with some of your expectations, but they know you care about them and understand that they need to meet these expectations. Also, by clearing stating your expectations, you diminish the opportunity for misunderstanding.

Step 5

Explain your views of behavior to your teen. The teenage years can be considered a time of experimentation, when new behaviors are tried. Don’t ignore the subjects of behaviors that include sex, alcohol, drugs or tobacco. Explain the risks of certain behaviors that include these topics.

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