A Guide to Teenage Behaviour Problems

Your angel has just entered the magical 13 and all of a sudden the equations between the two of you have undergone a sea change. You suddenly find your lovely daughter getting moody, irritable and she has stopped coming to you for advice. You feel she has started keeping secrets from you and you are no longer her best friend.

So what has changed all of a sudden? Why does she not spend as much time with you as she used to earlier? She has also started arguing more with your husband and is hardly on talking terms with her younger brother. She had always been a good student and all of a sudden you find her grades going down. She has her own peer group and tries to be with them most of the time. At times when you try talking to her she just shuts you out or walks out on you leaving you frustrated and tearing your hair in anger.
You had always heard horror stories from your friends and relatives regarding their teenage sons and daughters but were confident that you will never have to face such a situation yourself. You suddenly find all that confidence crumbling to pieces and like most parents throw up your arms in despair.

What are the sudden changes that you see in your teen? The rules around the house are not followed. Her room is suddenly out of bounds for you. If you do manage to sneak in when she is not around you will find it to be very dirty and shabby. Her diet has undergone dramatic changes. There are some signs of her experimenting with alcohol and drugs. There are constant complaints from school regarding her attendance, lack of concentration and grades going down. Most parents' worry that their teens might turn into drug addicts or try unprotected sex with disastrous consequences.

The immediate reaction of parents when they start encountering problems with their teens is to blame themselves. There are others who start blaming the raging hormones for everything. Well the problem is neither with you nor with the hormones. Teenage phase in one's life is the most interesting and most teens get confused as they are outgrowing their childhood years and making the first tentative steps into adulthood. They are in a dilemma and don't know whether to behave like a child or an adult. There are also a lot of physical changes that are taking place and all these things happen so fast that they are caught unawares.

You may also find your teenager getting into a depressed state of mind and this might happen on a frequent basis. At times the depression lasts for days and may well stretch into a week or more.

What are the symptoms of teenage behaviour problems that you as a parent need to look out for and how can you be of help? The most visible signs of trouble in your teen's life are restlessness, aggression, sadness, hopelessness, anger, frequent crying, fatigue, losing interest in studies, withdrawing from family, change in eating and sleeping patterns and in some extreme cases suicidal thoughts.

The reaction of most parents is extreme and your teenage son or daughter withdraws further into a shell and instead of seeking your help goes further away from you. So how does one go about turning the tide and getting things back in order without losing temper and build a relationship that will stand the test of time? First and foremost stop trying to be your teen's best friend. You are his or her parent and that is the role they expect you to play in life. You must lend unconditional support and there should be no strings attached. Learn to listen and control the urge to advise them on everything and encourage them to find solutions on their own. You need to be gentle yet firm. Try and teach them that there will be consequences to their reckless behaviour.

Let them express their feelings without fear and try to build trust. Don't start lecturing but try to talk to them in a polite way. If you fear that your teen might start experimenting with drugs or sex let them know the dangers associated with them. Find out about their peer group and invite them home. Appreciate and reward every good behaviour or act on the part of your teenager. Ensure that rules around the house are followed by seeking their cooperation. Teach them discipline and good habits. Be firm when required and don't give in to your teens tantrums. There may be times when they try to push you around but if you stand your ground they will eventually come to respect you. A parent requires a lot of love, tact, understanding and firmness to help restore normalcy. Don't give up on your loved one, all they need is a bit of guidance to help cross the sea of teenage and step into the ocean of adulthood.

In the book "Solving Teenage Problems", the causes and symptoms of teenage behaviour problems have been described in detail. The book also gives over 30 different tips to deal with teenage behavioural issues. Finally the book provides with 8 different models to prepare for better relationship with your teenager. Knowing all these techniques will be very crucial and would help you to navigate through this difficult phase with ease.

The author is a successful marketing executive in a large consumer goods company and a mother of two boys. She has had a rough ride in the past two years and has successfully saved her family from the brink of disaster by working on her parenting techniques. She specialises in parenting tips. You can access her free report "New Parenting Style" or buy her book "Solving Teenage Problems" on or check your "Parent Stress Intensity Quotient" on

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