It’s not easy to parent teenagers, and the task becomes even more difficult when they develop troubled behaviors. These behaviors might include depression, recklessness, violence, and substance abuse. As a parent, you likely feel exhausted from worrying about your teen’s well-being. In order to help your child, you can learn to spot red flags and how to deal with troubled teens at an adolescent treatment center.
Why Teens Develop Troubled Behaviors
Adolescent behavior can be confusing at times. In fact, you might think that your teen’s defiance and mood swings are the results of an “alien takeover.” However, it only seems like your teen is a different person because his or her brain is still in development.
Since adolescent brains are still growing, teens process information differently than mature adult brains. The frontal cortex manages decision-making, emotions, inhibitions, and reasoning. During adolescence, it quickly restructures and forms new synapses. The brain doesn’t reach maturity until adults hit their mid-20s.
As a result, teenagers can’t think through situations on the same level as an adult. On top of that, the physical transformation that occurs from hormone changes makes things more complex. Although these elements explain the behaviors of troubled teens, they aren’t an excuse.
The Differences Between Normal and Troubled Behaviors
In order to determine the severity of teen behavior, you need to know the difference between normal and troubled actions. For example, many teens change their appearance to keep up with fashion trends. These changes are only a red flag when they also exhibit negative behavioral changes, such as problems in school. They might also harm themselves or either lose or gain a lot of weight.
Most teens also argue more and can become rebellious. However, troubled teens often skip school, become violent, get into fights and have run-ins with the law too. Similarly, mood swings are part of the developmental and hormonal changes during adolescence. They become a problem when teens are always sad or anxious, bully others or go through rapid personality changes.
Another indication of trouble is substance abuse. Although many teens experiment with cigarettes, alcohol or marijuana, habitual use is a red flag. In addition, friends often influence teens’ choices. However, a sudden change in friends and refusing to abide by reasonable rules may indicate a problem.
How to Deal With Troubled Teens
With the knowledge that your teen thinks differently than you, look at the situation from his or her perspective. Avoid only looking at the situation from your standpoint. When you do that, you gain insight into his or her behavior. Then, you can respond in a way that encourages your teen to act better.
Another strategy is to connect with your teen as best as possible. Maintain effective communication and a healthy relationship rather than turn away from serious problems. The relationship will likely have ups and downs, but showing your teen that you care goes a long way.
Also, getting professional help for your teen can provide many benefits. He or she may suffer an underlying mental illness that requires treatment. Seeking treatment early can prevent the problem from getting worse.
Find a Treatment Center Today
Many mental and behavioral health clinics across the country treat teens. However, it’s important that you find an adolescent treatment center that meets your teen’s unique needs. Some programs and services that you should look for include:
Don’t write off your teen as too troubled to save because you’ve been unsuccessful at helping. Search for a behavioral and mental health clinic that treats troubled teens. Contact the treatment center at 866.300.5275 to learn about its specific programs and services.