Truthfully, parents have their fair share of struggles when it comes to raising kids, especially during their teenage. The child goes through a period of discovering themselves and gaining independence which can be overwhelming. Some come under peer pressure and adopt bad habits, whereas others face anxiety, depression, and stress. All in all, teens mostly exhibit behavior that is concerning for the parents and they need teen counseling in Mesa.
As a parent, you worry about where your child is and with whom. Likewise, you may also despair over failed communication attempts and open defiance. Sometimes, your teen’s moodiness and reckless conduct might even get you to question your parenting.
What parents have to understand is that every teenager is different. Their brain is still developing; hence, they process information and explore things differently than adults. Thus, you must understand them instead of imposing restrictions and punishing their lousy attitude. It would help to apprehend behavioral changes, show empathy, and connect with your teen.
If you’re puzzled about how to make this work, keep reading. Here is a detailed guide for parents to manage troubled teens.
1. Recognize Signs of Depression & Anxiety
Often, troubled behaviors of teenagers can be indications of depression and anxiety. For example, the academic pressure could be taking a toll on your child’s mental health. Likewise, your teen might become self-conscious, trying to look a certain way. Parents who fail to pay attention to such telltale signs often find their teens excessively using alcohol and drugs to self-medicate their depression.
As a parent, you must recognize such signs and seek help for your child. You can search for a free treatment guide online or find a reputable therapist. They will try to determine the cause behind your teen’s reckless behavior, helping them overcome mental health problems.
2. Deal with Teen’s Anger
Is your teen aggressive? Being a parent of a short-tempered teenager is like living in fear. Any phone call could bring the news that your teenager has been harmed or has harmed someone. For any parent, this could be disturbing and overwhelming. All you can do is help your teen deal with anger constructively. For that, you have to understand the reason behind their anger. They could have feelings of inadequacy as their friends have things they don’t.
Moreover, you have to establish boundaries. For example, if your teen lashes out, make sure they know about the consequences. It ultimately enables them to take charge of their behavior and avoid making such mistakes again. Most importantly, you don’t have to lose your temper while your teen is angry. As challenging as it might sound, you must maintain a calm and balanced attitude no matter how much the child provokes you. If you start behaving like your teen, the situation will only aggravate, making it difficult to mend things.
3. Show Empathy
Every teenager wishes to be loved and accepted by their parents. And the reason why they act out often is that they feel unheard and misunderstood. Some teens often feel rejected by their parents. These instances can push teenagers away while making them rebellious. Therefore, parents must show empathy. Listen to what your child says without lecturing or being judgmental. In short, try stepping into your teens’ shoes and see things from their perspective.
Furthermore, give your teen a space to retreat instead of asking them to apologize or give explanations. After all, it prolongs and escalates the anger since they are still raging. Also, give them time to cope and calm down before conversing. Empathy will go a long way in fostering a healthy relationship with your teen.
4. Focus on Teen’s Discipline
Today’s teenagers have a lot on their plates. From school, friends, academics, and extracurriculars to college admission, they find it arduous to keep track of things. As a parent, you can put balance back into their life. Firstly, create a structure. Your child might argue or rebel against daily structure, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need it. Having a regular meal and bedtime will develop a sense of responsibility in your teen while making them feel secure.
Besides this, encourage exercise. Even a little physical activity daily can boost mood and relieve stress. It can be tough to make your teen do anything but play video games, but you can make it look creative. Perhaps, you can encourage them to opt for stimulating dancing, soccer, or skateboarding. Once you establish discipline, your teen will automatically have a balanced lifestyle.
5. Connect with Your Teen
Believe it or not, every teenager has anger and indifference towards their parents. Teens seem to think their parents don’t understand them, but still, they crave love and acceptance from their parents. Therefore, keep all the differences aside and make efforts to connect with your teen. Perhaps, you can have positive face-to-face conversations to keep them calm and stress-free.
Moreover, you can offer to have a chat with your teen over coffee or insist on sitting together for mealtimes. You might be greeted with a sarcastic or dismissive gesture, but it would ensure you are available. In addition, don’t get annoyed if your efforts are in vain. You might spend a lot of dinners in silence, but when your teen needs you, they will know you are there for them.
Lastly, try to find common ground. Maybe, fathers could connect with their sons over sports, whereas mothers and daughters can gossip over movies. Remember, the goal isn’t to become your teen’s best friend but to find common interests you can discuss.
Undeniably, raising a teen can be extremely challenging. You are in constant fear, worrying about their wellbeing. However, parents should learn to manage their teens with time. Instead of imposing restrictions, they should understand the need for privacy and space. At the same time, you must show empathy since teens are also going through a different phase. You can connect with your teen and help them cope with a little compassion and understanding.