Share this page and help other parents.
Working with troubled teenagers is a challenge in many ways.
Troubled teens are young people trapped between stages of life, often strapped with mindsets that work against them. Add external circumstances such as family problems, abusive situations, health issues and a heavy dose of bad choices and parenting troubled teens can be more than just a challenge; it can be a nightmare.
Getting help for parents with troubled teenagers is vital. While parents of troubled teens cannot force their child to change for the better, they are still a major influence in their teen's life.
In fact, in most situations, parents are still the number one influence in their teenager's life. The teen may not admit this, of course, but nevertheless, it is true.
After reading the following parenting information, scroll down and we'll continue with our discussion of what to do with troubled teenagers.
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. Even out of control teens who tend to dismiss parenting fundamentals, deserve to see these proven family ideas put into practice.
IMPORTANT: Don't disregard this information if your child is not yet a teen or you have younger children in your home. 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. Do you need more help with parenting troubled teenagers? More information designed specifically to help parents like you? Then take a deep breath and another step towards finding the right solution for you and your teen. 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 help for parents of troubled teens
Counseling and mentoring are two important aspects of help for parents who are trying to help their teenagers. These are broad areas, however, and can look quite different for different families.
There is professional therapy, of course. Always look for a therapist or counselor whose values match your own. Your local clergy can often be a starting point for counseling, too. They also can be an excellent avenue for referals for more in depth counseling.
The point here is that you, Mom or Dad, need a place to work through the stresses of parenting a troubled teen as well as learning new and more effective parenting skills.
(Note: it took me a while as a young parent to understand that of all the occupations out there, none of them require ongoing professional development any more than parenting does. And yet, at the time, I wasn't doing any ongoing learning to help me do my job as a parent.
Once I realized I was making things harder for myself and my kids than they needed to be, I started looking everywhere for excellent parenting resources. Now, I certainly had to toss more than a few resources - some aren't worth the paper they are printed on! Nonetheless, I was learning and growing as a parent and my kids helped out by giving me new situations to learn about on a regular basis!)
Depending upon your personal family situation, a parenting mentor is also an excellent idea for folks who are parenting troubled teenagers. A mentor is simply another parent you trust and respect; someone who is farther along the parenting road than you are and preferably someone who has faced similar parenting challenges.
A parenting mentor can give you a place to "vent" in ways that are harmless to your family and teen but very necessary to your sanity. Don't underestimate the power of another parent coming alongside you in this way.
And by the way, return the favor. There are all kinds of families out there with all kinds of needs. Disrespectful children come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Find another parent who is behind you on the road of life and be available as their parent mentor. Believe me, helping another parent will give you much joy and improve your own parenting confidence level.
Here is a great article that might shed more light on this topic.
Calm Parenting: How to Get Control When Your Child is Making You Angry
Troubled teens treatment
As with parents, there are many treatment avenues available when working with troubled teens. Many families begin with counseling and self-help programs.
Sometimes additional treatment, such as boot camps, summer camps or inhouse treatment are needed. Often a combination of treatments is best and needs to be re-evaluated from time-to-time.
These are all very heavy-hitting options when trying to figure out what to do with troubled teens. Some teenagers have been struggling for years and certainly need serious aid.
But not always is that the case when it comes to parenting troubled teens. If you can see that your teenager is heading for trouble but there is still time to effectively intervene, that is good news. Roll up your sleeves, gather your resources and get to work.
In this case, using parenting mentors and professionally designed self help strategies can be quite effective - but ONLY if parents are willing to be diligent about learning and applying what they learn. Again a parenting mentor can be very useful to help keep you on task.
Hey, parenting is hard enough when everything is going well (which is infrequent, anyway), but when a big challenge comes along, we all need all the help we can get.
If you want to know what parenting program I can recommend that can be an effective troubled teens treatment, that would be The Total Transformation program, hands down. Part of why this program works is because it supports parents extremely well. I cannot overestimate how important I believe getting parental support is when you are dealing with these kinds of tricky challenges.
So what to do with troubled teenagers?
- Take a deep breath. Stand back and try to objectively evaluate your situation. Using something like our Behavior Log can really help with that.
- Get some education and resources. Look online. Visit forums. Try your local library. Talk to your clergy and family doctor. Your teenager's school should have access to resources, as well.
- Don't despair! Yes, this is scary and hard, but staying calm will help you make better decisions and panic never works for anyone. Try out some resources or make the decision to have a therapy consultation. This will help you determine your options.
- Work hard at what you've decided to pursue. Set measurable goals and re-evaluate from time to time. Make adjustments.
And remember, Mom or Dad, hard as it is, no matter if we are parenting troubled teenagers or dealing with other life challenges, we all must eventually let go of our kids. They must learn to fly on their own. Yes, sometimes they will fall - sometimes badly - and it is one of the most painful things to watch.
But it is necessary. For all of us. So right now, go hug your teen (if they'll let you). And any other kids you have. And your spouse or partner. Hugs are one of the best troubled teens treatment available.
And they are free.
More parenting articles for you.
Tough Love for Teenagers
Problems of Many High School Dropouts
Advice for Parenting Problem Teenagers
Program for Troubled Teens
Colleen Langenfeld is a mother with over 29 years of parenting experience and helps other busy moms around the globe at www.paintedgold.com.
Note from Colleen: Remember, I earn my living making excellent recommendations to you, Mom, so when you choose to click any of the links on this website and make a purchase, I may earn a commission.
Naturally, that means I care about what you think! If you try a product or service I recommend, I'd love to hear from you. How else can I keep my recommendations top notch for all my visitors?
And thank you, for stopping by.
We enjoy and value feedback from our website visitors!
We also like to put visitor comments on our website for the benefit of other visitors.
If you submit comments, we ask your permission to share your comments on our website (see permission checkbox below).
We only ask for your name and email address in case we need to contact you for clarification.
We will only use the first name and initial of your last name when saying where the comment or quote came from.
"This information was really useful!" - Jane S.