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Troubled Teenagers - Do You Have One?
Needing help with troubled teenagers is not fun. A troubled teen can turn a family upside down and make everyday life unbearable.
And what to do? Who to talk to? When to worry? How to stop worrying? These are all normal questions with understandably difficult answers.
After you read the following parenting information, we'll continue with getting troubled teenagers help.
Please help! How do I raise my teen or pre-teen?
As a parent, do you have more questions than answers?
Back talk, defiance and disrespect do NOT have to be daily visitors in your home. Start by taking control now.
1. Read through the free short report "Raising Teens". Make sure you are covering the fundamentals in parenting your son or daughter.
IMPORTANT: Don't disregard this information if your child is not yet a teen. A huge secret to successful parenting is prevention. By reading this report and using the behavior log (explained in point #2) you'll be getting a jump on handling your growing child's needs today.
Believe me, solving a seven or ten year old's problems is a lot easier than solving a fifteen or seventeen year old's problems.
2. Print out our Behavior Log. Use it to keep track of your child's behavior for a week or two. Then you'll have a better idea of what you're really dealing with.
3. Getting help for troubled teenagers can mean looking at multiple solutions. Is the situation with your teen still more than you know how to handle? Then take a deep breath and another step towards finding the right solution for you and your child. Head over to Empowering Parents where you will find an enormous amount of articles and discussion written by common sense experts and other parents who have been in the trenches, too. I have found this can really help.
Getting troubled teenagers help is only one part of the equation, in my experience. Frankly, YOU need help, Mom or Dad. Seriously, how can you help your son or daughter when most days you feel as confused and frustrated as your troubled teen?
I would like to offer some simple suggestions that can possibly lead to more calm and peace in your home. No guarantees. Sorry. I can't offer that. But I have found after thirty years of parenting four children that during challenging times any movement forward is a winner.
So let's aim to win.
Help for troubled teenagers starts with taking the volume down. Way down.
What I mean by this is that much of the time, homes with troubled teenagers are off the scale with yelling, scolding, arguing, etc. You'll have to evaluate your own home, of course, but often this very lack of peace is what drives parents to seek help in the first place.
And rightfully so.
Every home needs to be a peaceful home. Not necessarily quiet; each family has their own unique personality. But if your home has become a place you dread instead of desire, then it's past time to take action.
Let's start with a basic parenting truth. You cannot make your troubled teenager stop yelling. Or cussing. Or running off.
That stinks, doesn't it?
What you can do - what every parent does have access to everyday - is to influence your child in some very profound ways. To help troubled teenagers, all parents have to address their power of influence. Think about this for a moment.
No doubt you've used (or tried) consequences with your child before. Consequences are a way to influence your child. Remember when your son or daughter was young? They wanted to go to the park to play? Well, they needed to clean their room first. You didn't force them to clean their room. And sometimes they may have decided that they really didn't want to go to the park that badly after all.
Nonetheless, we all respond very similarly to this type of influence. For example, if your place of employment stopped paying you, how long would you be working for them? They cannot force you to come to work, but they have arranged a way to influence you to be their employee. You get the picture.
So use your influence. Start by taking back control of your home. Refuse to yell, scream or argue. Give some thought ahead of time of what you will say - calmly - when your troubled teen starts pushing your buttons.
One way troubled teenagers help themselves is by responding to your influence, whether they realize it or not. Refusing to be drawn into a shouting match with your teen will often mean stating the consequences, rules, whatever you are using in your family for structure, and then walking away when the yelling starts.
Believe me, your troubled teen is not yelling to hear himself yell. He is yelling to see you react. And when you won't, he will probably yell more at first (after all, yelling has worked in the past, right?), but eventually he will need to stop yelling and consider how else he can get his way.
Oh, do you hear that?
It's the quiet in your home. Ahhhh.
Help troubled teenagers by putting the ball back in their court
Now, you've already figured out that none of this is easy, right? Your teen didn't stop cooperating overnight and it will take time to work through these challenges. And it may never look like you want it to look. (Psst. Let me tell you a parenting secret. After the kids are raised, families almost never look like what the parents expected, even when everyone pretty much cooperates with the process. That's just life. It would help if we could all learn to appreciate each other the way we are.)
But after listening to other parents who have worked through some very difficult problems with their troubled teens, I am convinced that most families can make extremely positive changes if they are willing to work hard and hold their teens accountable. That's a tough love for teenagers statement, which simply means that holding kids accountable for their actions will go a longs ways to ease the everyday stress in your home.
If this concept is confusing to you, or you simply don't know how to make it work with your troubled teenager, then this article might help - a lot. How to Create a Culture of Accountability in Your Home.
Take a look for yourself. I especially think the part about helping your teen establish what to do and when is very helpful. That's the kind of parenting tool that we often use in our home with good results.
Getting help with troubled teenagers is a beginning - a good one.
Hopefully you have some new things to think about. Or maybe some old things to consider in a new light. Find just one thing that makes sense to you and stick with it until you see results.
If you want to know what parenting program I can recommend that would apply to helping troubled teens, that would be The Total Transformation program, hands down.
Does Total Transformation work? In my understanding, it has a good chance of improving many family situations IF a parent works it diligently. Part of why this particular program has a measure of success is because it supports parents extremely well. I simply cannot overestimate how important I have found it is to get trusted support while parenting!
More parenting articles for you.
How to Stop Back Talking
Help With Teenagers
Colleen Langenfeld is a mother with over 29 years of parenting experience and helps other busy moms around the globe at www.paintedgold.com.
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