Teenagers of today face multiple problems that are completely different from teenagers of early times. This may be because these troubled teenagers have more exposure than the old timers. Unfortunately, as a parent, you may not be knowing when you should intervene and guide them suitably.
Teenagers of today try to express their emotions, pains, sadness and distress in varied ways. But, you can not construe that whatever ways they adopt are healthy ones. You should be able to identify the difference between their normal behavior or their self-destructive and different behavior. Some of the symptoms you can see in troubled teenagers are their insistence to have more privacy than usual, frequent angry outbursts, hostile behavior, extreme and unusual mood swings including depression, attitudinal change, their tendency to break the rules and speak unnecessary lies, stealing, being with a gang, excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages or use of drugs, sleeping for unusual lengths of time, sudden dip in grades, being uninterested in normal activities, etc.
Depression is an extremely unhealthy way with which troubled teenagers express their distress or emotions. Sometimes, you may not be able to control the situation and so, you may have to consult a doctor for treating your teenager. The doctor may prescribe medications and suggest appropriate therapies for bringing back normalcy to your teenager. You should attend to this problem immediately because it may lead to violence, self-injury or even suicide, if left untreated.
Another unhealthy way with which troubled teenagers express their emotions is to have eating disorders. If you find that your teenager has this problem, you can not afford to take it lightly. If your son or daughter is changing their food habits, you should inquire and find out if they are doing it for losing weight or for any other reason. If they do it for losing weight, you should help them with useful and healthy tips. If the eating disorder is due to some other emotional problem, you should try to find it out.
Excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages, excessive smoking or use of drugs can have disastrous consequences. In general, peer pressure makes them cultivate these habits. You should keep a close watch on the behavior of your teenager to find out if they have these habits.
Similarly, you should know your teenager’s friends. Troubled teenagers willingly join gangs. If you take this issue lightly, they may get trapped and get involved in criminal activities. You should seek professional help, if you feel it is necessary.
As a parent, you should not compare your teenagers with other children nor should you be criticizing them very often. There should not be excessive insistence on rules also. There should be only a few important rules. Excessive disciplining or policing may spoil the teenagers.
Parents should set an example to their teenagers. By doing so, they can motivate them to behave well. Troubled teenagers need help and so, parents should make all efforts to put them back on the right track. These young people may deviate from their goals and therefore, parents should patiently deal with them, give them professional help, if needed, and motivate them to take charge of their lives.
Amy Jackson is a journalist who writes for several business and personal development magazines.