Young people are especially vulnerable to a number of emotional, behavioral, and learning difficulties. Depression, anxiety, ADHD, and substance abuse, while all too common, can easily fall outside the range of routine teenage problems.
This can affect the dynamic of your family in a dramatic way. If a serious problem that falls outside of the scope of normal teenage problems is occurring with your teen, it has almost certainly tarnished your relationship with him or her. Troubled teens who are not only-children are most likely affecting their siblings as well, particularly younger siblings. Additionally, this takes a toll on a marriage or parenting partnership.
The first step is to identify what is really going on with your child from a diagnostic perspective. Most problematic behaviors are symptoms of an underlying emotional issue that goes beyond the scope of normal teenage problems. This needs to be addressed so that healing and progress can begin. There are a couple of ways to go about this:
This approach involves modifying problematic behaviors by interrupting them, often by removing your teen from their current environment and placing them in a setting where external factors can be controlled. This allows for clearer cause-and-effect understanding by your child. The focus is on natural and logical consequences, rather than imposed, arbitrary consequences.
This entails troubled teens being assessed by a mental health professional in order to evaluate what is driving problematic behavior in order to improve their mental and emotional health. Residential treatment will typically be recommended and will follow established guidelines, providing tools so that your teen may start maintaining progress independent of therapy.
The course of treatment for either (or in some cases, both) of these options will depend on exactly what issues your teen is struggling with. In either case, seeking professional care is the best way to obtain the help your teen needs. Speak to your family physician about what’s going on with your child. They will be able to refer you to an appropriate mental health professional. If necessary, they can help you select a treatment program out of the many available programs for troubled teens.
Actively intervening on your child’s behalf when you notice them spiraling downward is an act of love. It may be extremely difficult at the time, and your child may not understand at first, but doing the right thing for your child is more important than making them happy in the moment.There will come a time when he or she will thank you for getting them the support they needed. It is important to find the right treatment for your child, and for you and your family to believe in what you are doing. While there are a number of safe and effective programs for troubled teens, it is important to do your research and pick the right placement for your child.
To learn more about how you can help your teen in crisis, download our free white paper.