The teen years are often tumultuous. Many parents lament the fact that they cannot help their kids get through these years unscathed. Most parents have to deal with some difficulty from their teens–due, perhaps, to the teen’s lack of cooperation and general attitude problems. While raising a troubled teen is difficult, it is not necessarily that uncommon. It is not something that has to spell the end of the loving mother-child bond you worked so hard to create.
Causes of Trouble
The first step to dealing with your troubled teen is to understand what is troubling her. If you do not take the time to explore the root of the problem, you will never be able to help her overcome her difficulties. Dr. Phil reports that most troubled teens become troubled because they have experienced emotional turmoil of some form. This turmoil does not have to be something that has happened recently; it can even be something from childhood that the teen has kept bottled up and is just now dealing with. Consider the potential catalyst for your teen’s troubles.
Many parents of troubled teens feel like the only thing they do with their child is argue. While it can be difficult to avoid, arguing with a troubled teen is the worst thing you can do. You can be much more helpful by listening. Ask your teen to talk to you. Make it clear that you care about him and want to support him. Tell him he can come to you with problems he is having. And when he does come to you with problems, make time and listen.
Friendly, Not a Friend
Getting the reins on your troubled teen is much more difficult if you do not have a well-defined parent-child relationship, reports Dr. Phil. While it is OK to be friendly with your child, you should always maintain a clear distinction between yourself and the teen. Make it clear to your child that you are the authority figure, not just a buddy who is on her same level. If you continually act like her buddy, she is going to fight back when you suddenly try to exert your control as a parent.
Value of Consistency
Even if it seems like your efforts are fruitless, you must remain consistent in your discipline attempts and not waver from your set rules. As TroubledTeen101 reports, consistency is the key to controlling a troubled teen. As soon as you waver, your teen will sense weakness and any credibility that you have will be lost.
Seek Professional Help
Many parents who struggle to control their wayward teen are embarrassed by their difficulties and feel that their teen’s problems reflect badly on them as parents. It is important to remember that some problems are just too big for you to handle on your own. Turning to a professional for help is not a sign of weakness; it is indication of how much you love your child. If, try as you might, you can’t keep your troubled teen in line, enlist some help for both her sake and yours.
- expression teen image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com