Article by Danica Reynes
When dealing with troubled teens you should analyze the teen’s behavior, encourage the teen’s positive habits and behaviors, be consistent in enforcing rules, reward obedient and responsible behavior, and be consistent in your decisions.
Parenting is never an easy responsibility and more so in the case of raising troubled teenagers. Families, particularly parents, can sometimes feel overwhelmed when a teenager’s behavior becomes withdrawn, disrespectful or violent. You might already be well aware of the challenges involved in raising a problematic child if you have one yourself. The following are tools that can help in parenting troubled youth:
Analyze your child’s behavior
Step one in understanding your teen’s situation is to analyze the disruptive behaviors that your child exhibits. Evaluate the things that happen when he or she exhibits negative behavior and possible consequences of their actions. Keep a close eye on your troubled youth to be able to identify anything that may have triggered the event. When you gather observable facts that are relevant to your child’s behavior, you might be able to identify a reason behind it. After this, you might be able to find a way to counter your teen’s negative behavior and maybe even replace it with a positive one.
Support your teenager’s good habits and behaviors
You can help your teen develop good habits and behaviors by showing them your encouragement. It could be very meaningful for your child if you do simple things like thanking your teen if he or she helps at home. Rather than criticize your teen if he or she complains while working, show them appreciation. It is also a good idea to explain the importance of good habits and how these can teach to become responsible and obedient.
Stick to the rules you set
Your teenager will feel that you are indeed serious with the things you say if you stick to the rules you set. Otherwise, they will not have a high regard for your word and simply choose to disobey. One way of implementing a rule better is by setting a consequence if your teenager breaks it. Make sure you follow through on the consequence and also explain to your teen the principle behind the disciplinary measure.
Responsible behavior should be rewarded
Don’t stick to just disciplining your child, you also have to reward your teenager for being obedient with the rules you set. For instance, as an incentive for obeying curfew rules, you can reward your child with an extended curfew on Friday or on weekends. This is also one way of showing your teen that you are paying attention to what they are doing, both the positive and the negative.
Remain constant in your decisions
You should also be resolute in upholding your decisions, not just in the rules you enforce. Keep calm if your teenager argues with you and don’t yield to unreasonable arguments. Doing such will only make them feel that it is good to argue with you to get what they want.
Being the parents of troubled teens can be stressful, but there are ways to handle the situation properly. However, in extreme cases, it is wise to get professional help for your teen’s negative behavior.
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