How To Help A Troubled Teenager
It's no secret that the teen years can be difficult ones. However, if you feel that your own son or daughter is having an extra hard time, there are definitely ways you can step in to help. Here are some ideas that might inspire you to help your teenager feel happier.
Evaluate The Problem - Nobody knows your child as well as you do. Obviously, if you and your child are still able to communicate well, this will be a very important key in determining the severity of the problem.
Problems You Can Handle By Yourself - Trust yourself to know when you and other trusted adults can step in to help.
After talking to your child, you may feel that your child is simply stressed with too many activities and goals that are unrealistic to reach. For example, if your son has football practice early in the morning, a lawn mowing job during the day, and a girlfriend who demands attention in the evening, he might be physically and mentally worn out. It may be time for a trip out of town, perhaps to loving grandparents or a family vacation to the beach. You might find that the change in scenery takes care of the problem by itself.
Another example of a situation you can handle yourself might involve a son or daughter who is not feeling self-confident. Sometimes getting contact lenses instead of glasses, a trip to the dermatologist for acne problems, or a shopping trip for new clothes might be just what the doctor ordered. Another idea would be to fulfill the wish of learning to play a musical instrument or learning a new skill or a new language. Anything that makes your child feel stronger and of great worth will be fabulous.
Getting Professional Help - Be realistic in what you can do and be open to getting help.
Look for warning signs in your teenager that show you there is a greater problem than you can deal with. Has your child given up great friends for new questionable ones? What about school performance? Are grades declining? Do you notice mood swings? Is your teenager telling lies that cover activities you would not approve? If you are missing valuables, there might be the danger that your child is stealing to buy drugs or trade for drugs.
When you have come to the realization that your child needs professional help, you have many options. Your priest,rabbi, minister or another ecclesiastic leader is often trained to do counseling. If not, he or she will be able to give you the name of a licensed psychologist, like Carol Vinson PhD. If you are not a church attender, your family physician can also make recommendations. As long as your child is under eighteen years old, you have the legal right to get him or her the help that is needed. Even though it might not be what your child wants at this time, later the benefits will speak for themselves.
Best wishes as you work through a difficult time.