There are many questions that parents ask themselves through every phase of raising their child, from those early toddler years through teenage drama. Most parents figure out how to deal with each issue that comes along, but what about when a teenager is showing real signs of trouble, such as drug abuse, bad behavior, skipping school, violence and more?
There are several frequently asked questions that parents of troubled teens must ask themselves to determine if what they are witnessing is simply teen rebellion or something that needs professional help.
Question #1. Is the teen’s behavior atypical? In other words, if a teen isn’t normally stressed or anxious, but is becoming more so every day, that’s a big warning sign. If a ten is normally a little high strung or anxious and seems to be going through mood swings that are fairly typical of past behavior, there’s probably not much to worry about. however, if a teen’s behavior undergoes significant changes and is getting steadily worse, it may be time for professional help.
Question #2. Is the teen abandoning past hobbies, friends and activities? If a teen is ignoring activities that used to bring joy, avoiding friends that were once close and is otherwise disengaging from life, like sleeping in too much or just moping around instead of getting out, it could be a sign of bigger problems. Depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, and more are very real teen issues that need professional help to overcome.
Questions #3. Is everything getting worse? It’s normal for teens to go through mood swings or bursts of energy followed by periods of lethargy. However, if the ten’s behavior is getting steadily worse, and starting to impact areas like school, work and family relationships, and this has happened for longer than a few months, it’s time to consult with an experienced medical professional to assess either physical or mental health issues. Especially troubling are suicidal or violent thoughts, words and actions.
Question #4. Is the teen a danger to themselves or others? Some teens develop significant anger issues and can become aggressive, and even violent. If parents are afraid the teen will hurt a family member or friend, or even themselves, then the issues have moved beyond normal teen moodiness and have entered into an area where professional help is not only a good idea, it is needed badly to ensure the health and safety of the teen and those around them. Sometimes teens who are busing drugs or alcohol become violent when they are using, and that can be another red flag for parents.
Question #5. Do others recommend action? Parents should consult with other experts in the field of adolescent behavior, from teachers and counselors to therapists and medical doctors. if their assessment of the teen is that therapy or other intervention is needed, then parents should listen to that advice and not ignore it. these experts can often recommend the next steps to take, and may even recommend teen help facilities that they’ve had experience with. Ignoring the problem or hoping it goes away on its own is the wrong approach for parents.
Sundance Canyon Academy is especially helpful to the parents of troubled teens in answering questions related to teen behavior, problems and possible treatments. Sundance Canyon Academy has years of experience in treating hundreds of teens with issues like substance abuse, ADHD, depression, anxiety, bipolar, abuse trauma, mood disorders, learning disabilities and more. Parents who are seeking a real solution to their troubled teen’s issues should contact Sundance Canyon Academy to answer their questions.