Sundance Canyon Academy has provided help for many single parents raising troubled teens. For teens whose behavior has exceeded their parent’s patience, a therapeutic boarding school can be beneficial. The students are surrounded by trained therapists who help them learn to navigate their changing lives and emotions.
Some exasperated parents consider sending their troubled teens to a military school or boot camp to help them “straighten out,” but those are rarely effective in the long run. Ultimately, troubled teens need to learn positive ways to deal with unpleasant emotions and develop positive habits to help them throughout their lives.
Tips for Single Parents Raising Troubled Teens
If your child’s behavior is starting to become challenging, here are some pointers to help your teen change their negative behavior.
Remember that your teen is still a kid.
Even though they may have grown significantly in the past year or two, they’re still a kid inside. They haven’t learned how to deal with their new emotions, and they don’t have the life experience that they need to make the best decisions.
They still need your guidance to learn how to behave appropriately, and it requires the same level of patience that you had when they were little. When your teen tests your patience with outlandish behavior, take a deep breath and remember that they’re still a kid and that they’re still learning.
Help them identify their emotions.
As puberty takes over, your teen will likely start feeling things that they’ve never felt before, or they might experience those feelings more intensely than before. Talk with them and help them learn to identify their feelings and put names to those feelings.
Knowing the difference between stress, anger, and sadness is difficult for adults, making it even more difficult for teens. Ask your teen to describe their feelings and help them identify when they’re experiencing a particular emotion. Being able to put names to their emotions gives teens more control of their feelings and their actions.
Help them learn coping skills for negative emotions.
As your teen starts identifying their feelings, help them find positive coping skills for dealing with negative feelings. Anger is often preceded by some other negative emotion like sadness, stress, or shame. If they learn how to appropriately deal with the initial negative emotion, they can stop it from escalating.
Everyone experiences negative emotions from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, teens need to learn how to manage their emotions and keep their actions under control.
Provide a positive role model.
We all know that “do as I say – not as I do” doesn’t work. Kids of all ages learn from what they see. If your troubled teen struggles with managing their feelings and actions, show them how to do it appropriately. This can be more difficult than it sounds because your teen might be the one inciting your negative reactions. Even when they try to push your buttons, remember that you’re still a role model for them.
As a single parent raising a troubled teen, look for help from others. Parenting a troubled teen can be extremely stressful and upsetting. There are support groups available for single parents that can give you space to vent about what’s going on at home. Remember that to raise your teen well, you also need to take care of yourself. Participate in positive self-care activities, and seek out therapy if you need to.
If your teen son’s behavior is getting out of hand, consider getting outside assistance. If his behavior is detrimental to himself or your family, he may need professional counseling to learn how to manage his emotions and build positive life skills. Contact us today to learn more about how our therapeutic boarding school can help your troubled teen.