It may seem hopeless. You just don’t know how to get through to your teenager anymore. Every day is a constant struggle between the two of you and it never gets better. In fact, each day, you grow more distant. For a parent, this is not your idea of a loving parent-child relationship. You can’t believe that this is really happening.
You two fight a lot and hurtful words are exchanged – words that you don’t really mean but are said at the spur of the moment. You attempt to fix a recent problem but then, being the troubled teen that he is, another issue comes up and adds to the long list of fights between the two of you. You know that your teenager needs help, but how can you do it? How can you help him? What must be done to end all the heartaches this rift has brought you and your child?
Stop the fighting and learn to bite your tongue. You have to be patient at this time with your troubled teen and assist him in turning his life around. It may not be clear to you, but your teen is like that because he has a problem. He has an issue and he doesn’t know how to handle it. If he did, he wouldn’t be acting out. But, since he is a teenager with hormones that are unstable, his choices and decisions may not be the best. He will need you even if he doesn’t say it out loud.
How can you assist your child to cope with his issues? A parent like you can do it in 5 ways:
Don’t hesitate to look for help.
If your teen is extremely troubled, you have to find “reinforcements.” For example, your child has a problem with drug addiction. You will need to find a therapist specializing in that problem and force him to go to rehab. This is but one of the many extreme problems a troubled teen faces and he cannot face this alone.
As his parent, you need to decide for him in this trying time so that he can get better, and be the real good person that he is before his trouble started. Show him that you love him no matter what and that you will be there for him because you want him to be a better individual.
Be honest with your teen about how his behavior is affecting you and the family.
Ask your teen to sit down with you and to talk. He may or may not do that, but in the event that he does, you have to be honest with him as to how his behavior is affecting everyone in the family. Tell him about your feelings. Tell him that the reason why you are often “angry” at him is not because you are “really angry”. You are just worried sick that he may hurt himself with all the trouble that he is in and is going on with him.
Let him know that as a parent, you cannot live with yourself if he gets physically, emotionally, and mentally pained. If he is hurt, you are hurt too because you love him so much.Tell him that.
Find the reason why your teen is always in trouble.
Is he smoking or skipping school? Does your teenager violate curfew law? Is he engaging in premarital sex or lies to you constantly? You have to ask yourself, “Why is my teenager doing this? Why is he behaving this way?” Go to the root cause, so you can start solving the problem.
As his parent, you have the key in guiding him to the right path. He may be smoking or skipping school because you didn’t know that he is submitting to peer pressure. If you catch this early on and direct your child to a therapist or to other intervention programs, the problem can be contained.
Do not over expect.
Parents sometimes expect too much of their children which causes the bad or rebellious behavior in them. Let’s say, you may have expected your child to perform really well in school because once upon a time, you were like that too.Yes, you’re only looking out for his best interest and you want him to succeed in life – one of the reasons why you expect too much from him.
But, then again, HE IS NOT YOU. You are two different people and you need to understand that. Go easy on him with the expectations and ask him what he wants. Value his input, guide him through the process and support his choices.
It’s time to listen.
Your child has something to say because he is now almost an adult. So, instead of making him shut his mouth, for once, listen to him. You are his parent and if he has problems, he should be comfortable enough to talk to you about it. If he cannot open up to you, he will find that listening ear in other people and most often, that listening ear is not genuine with him. Instead of telling him, “What do you want now?” change your tone to, “What do you want to TALK AND SHARE WITH ME now?”
These suggestions may seem simple, but it will change the course of your relationship with your troubled teen. If it doesn’t work out the first time, do not give up. Keep on going and make him feel every single time that he is valued and loved. Demonstrate that in actions and in words.