When Troubled Teenagers Act Out, Therapy Can Help


Source: flickr.com


Becoming a parent is a tremendous honor. But alongside this honor are responsibilities and expectations that should be met. Nurturing, feeding and taking care of a child is a 24-hour job. It is not easy at all. According to Kathy Hardie-Williams, MEd, MS, NCC, LPC, LMFT, “During the teen years, the brain develops at such a rapid pace that it puts the limbic system into fight, flight, or freeze mode.”


This statement becomes an “understatement” when the child, who will then grow up into a teenager, encounters issues. Problems that have to do with teenagers come in many forms, but the most common of all is powered by emotional and psychological aspects.


This is why as early as now, parents have to equip themselves with knowledge on dealing with these problems. Not necessarily solve them right away but at least handle it in such a way that it will help reduce the chances of their children getting into more issues. According to Stephanie Dowd, PsyD, “As your kids get older and their problems become more complex, you have to transition into more of a supporting role, and that can be difficult.”


Below are some tips on how to guide your teenagers who are acting out or are in trouble:


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Ask For Professional Help.

Once you have ascertained that your teen child is in trouble, it is best that you seek professional help at once. This act is not a show of weakness on your part, but a parent’s undying love for their child. Asking assistance to a mental health professional to assess your child’s “troubled” behavior is the best solution to intervene and make this right with your teen child.


Honesty And Open Communication Are Vital.

Being honest with your feelings and fears can help in finding the solution to your teen kid’s problem. Pouring your heart out with everything that you have inside is like dealing with the issue head-on. You can talk to your teenager about it so that he will have an idea of how his situation is affecting you and the whole family as well.


But then take note of your words as these can aggravate the child and push him to act out even more. You can also have this open conversation with your partner, relatives, and trusted friends. With your honesty, the people you talk to might be able to find the perfect solution to this problem. According to Tiffany Ashenfelter, LPC-S, “It’s important to remember that honesty is usually the best policy.”


Examine The Problem With Your Teen Child.

Knowing the source of the problem will help you and your teen child find resolve. Take time to talk with your child’s friends, classmates, and teachers (if the issue is about school). Once you have ascertained the source, you will now know how to deal with it. If you get no concrete answer in your investigation, you can turn to a counselor for assistance through therapy programs.


Source: flickr.com


Be Realistic On Expectations.

Assess the expectations that you have for your teenager. Maybe your standards are too high for him that he cannot live with them. Bear in mind that you must always have a realistic expectation of your child. You know him and his limits. Accept his strengths and weaknesses wholeheartedly.


Listen To Your Teenage Child.

Hear your teenager out. Let him talk and explain things to you. Do not interrupt, nag or yell at him. Give him the chance to speak to you so that the problems he has can be fixed. Have that heart to accept this issue to get him out of the wrong situation.


Practice Empathy.

Try to understand your child by putting yourself in his position. This will allow you to see and assess his situation to its fullest essence. With this, you get to understand your teen child and formulate the best solution to his problem.


Teenage issues and troubles should not be taken aside. You as a parent must be supportive of your child. If you let this slide, he will go down deeper. Act now, before it’s too late.