Your child is acting out, and you aren’t sure what to do. You have tried traditional methods at home, such as stricter rules, consequences, loss of privileges, counseling, transferring schools and even yelling. However, the problems have just worsened. Your child continues to be defiant and disruptive, upsetting everyone around them. You believe that his or her behavior has escalated beyond that of a normal teen and are now planning to seek professional help. Do not give up hope because your child’s behavioral disorders can be taken care of at a residential treatment center for teens.
Types of Behavioral Disorders
Experts have determined that there are two general types of behavioral disorders: conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.
Children with conduct disorder exhibit the following symptoms:
Aggressive and threatening behaviors that can damage property, animals or people
Children with ODD, which is less serious, act out in the following ways:
Failing to accept responsibility for their choices and
These actions make your child miserable and hurt everyone around him or her, starting with your family and expanding into friends, classmates, teachers and other adults. The stress of your child’s on-going defiance frustrates even the most patient person. You don’t know how to handle him or her or how to bring stability back to your home. However, it’s clear that you need to take drastic measures immediately for the benefit of your entire family although you probably are uncertain about what to do next.
Steps You Can Take To Help Your Teen
1. Research the problem. You will need to learn everything you can about dealing with behavioral disorders. While the computer gives you easy access to a wealth of information, talk to professionals who understand the dynamics of this issue.
2. Persevere as you deal with your child. While it’s easy to lose your temper, remember that your child is not intentionally acting out; he or she simply does not know how to express themselves. As he or she works on changing, encourage his progress. In turn, make sure that he or she understands the consequences for outbursts and poor choices.
3. Talk to other parents. You are not alone as you walk through this battle. Find an online support group or better yet, one that meets in person.
4. Look for professional help for your child. First, take your child to your family physician who can completely evaluate your child for any underlying physical issues. Once medical reasons for the behavior are eliminated, then your doctor can refer you to a specialist. A child should get help as soon as possible so that they can mature at home, school and in the community. They will then be able to grow into a functional adult. A treatment program will address problems and then focus on objectives to reach the needed goals.
5. Consider medication. Medication, combined with therapy and behavior modification, can effectively change your child’s behavior. However, medication is not necessarily a life-long sentence but can allow the child to learn more effective coping skills. Once your teen learns how to apply these strategies, he or she might no longer need medications. In the meantime, a residential treatment center for teens can help address behavioral problems through round-the-clock attention and stabilizing medications.
6. Attend family therapy. After your child comes home, you will need to be prepared with new methods of addressing any misbehaviors.