When looking for help for their teen, some parents may not consider a residential treatment center for troubled teens. They may believe that the troubled youth label only applies to defiant or aggressive teens. However, the services provided by a residential treatment center help far more than teens with anger issues and defiance problems.
So What Does “Troubled Teen” Mean?
While issues like anger management and defiance are serious, there are other types of youth issues that fall in the troubled teen category. Teens who are struggling with prolonged issues without any positive progress often are categorized as troubled, especially if their condition worsens.
For instance, take a teenage boy with clinical depression. This teen’s slide into deeper depression likely led them to start having poor grades, lose interest in hobbies and friends, and steadily become more isolated. To help deal with these feelings of depression, he might turn to substance abuse, ranging from alcohol to prescription medications that belong to family and friends.
While the example teen isn’t typically what is thought of as a troubled teen, he is undoubtedly troubled and can benefit from the therapeutic environment and support of a residential treatment center.
Watch Out For These Signs Of A Troubled Teen
Some types of troubled teen behavior are obvious to a mildly observant parent. However, there are times where this behavior can be disguised as typical teenage rebellions. The most common signs and symptoms of a troubled teen are:
Extremely low self-esteem
Isolation from family and friends
Risky sexual behavior
Lying and secretive behavior
Excessive usage of social media, video games, etc.
Self-harm and suicide ideation
Bullying (either as the bully or being bullied)
Poor personal hygiene
Change in eating (over- or under-eating)
How Parents Can Help Their Troubled Teenager
If these signs and symptoms of a troubled teen have raised some red flags for you, then it is time to act. Below are some of the ways parents can help their troubled teens.
Create Communication Spaces
Troubled teens often feel like no one understands them or even wants to understand them. It can be nearly impossible to convince them with words alone. Instead, make it clear in your actions that you want your teen to feel safe communicating with you.
You can help facilitate your teen’s communication with you by making space for serious talks in your schedule. Natural breaks where you are available and setting up regular one-on-one time with your teen are great ways to make space for communication.
Advocate For Your Teen
Depending on what your teen is struggling with, they may need your help to get the right help to address their struggles. For instance, if your teen has ADHD, they will need your help to receive accommodations at school. These accommodations can make a huge difference in your teen’s ability to thrive and succeed.
Work With A Therapist
Many troubled teen issues are rooted in some sort of emotional and mental trauma. To help address internalized problems and find appropriate coping methods and tools, a therapist can be invaluable.
Finding the right therapist who specializes in working with teenagers can take work, but the help they can provide makes the search worth it.
Send Teen To Boarding School For Troubled Teens
For some teenagers, attending a boarding school for troubled teens is the best option. At one of these therapeutic schools, teens can enjoy a wholesome and entirely supportive environment. Even if your home is a wholesome, supportive place, it is likely that your teen’s public school is not, which is part of why these boarding schools are so impactful.
Along with having supportive staff and peers, teens also are immersed in daily therapy, with therapeutic practices built into the schedule. At Sundance Canyon Academy, in particular, there are also licensed teachers who follow a nationally accredited educational program. That way, teens can catch up with peers, retake previously failed courses, and graduate with a high school diploma.
If you are interested in learning more about our program and want to see if your teenage son can benefit, we encourage you to contact us! Our program advisors are more than happy to talk to you and explain the ins and outs so that you can determine if we can help your boy become the young man he was always meant to be.