Parenting - Teen With Behavioural Problems

Often times it's hard for parents to know if their teen has a behavioural problem because many of the teen's behaviours can be attributed to rebellious teenage behaviour. To know if your teen has behavioural issues, consider if your teen's behaviours are a normal, everyday occurrence. If your teen is frequently defiant and disobedient and continuously violates rules, your teen may have a behavioural problem. Signs to look for include:

- Not following rules

- Arguing with adults and peers

- Not taking responsibility for his or her own actions

- Regularly loses his or her temper

- Easily annoyed or angered

- Purposely annoys other people

To make matters worse, teens with behavioural problems often use such behaviours as using drugs and alcohol, sex or violence to deal with their emotions. So while you may be dealing with a teen who has a behavioural problem, you may also be trying to overcome a drug or alcohol addiction.

How to Deal With a Teen Who Has Behavioural Issues

Remember that your teen's behavioural issues do not have to be a permanent problem. You must overcome this as a family and the first step is to determine what is causing your teen to have these behavioural issues. Perhaps it's conflict within the family or problems at school that are causing your teen to act out. It's possible that even your teen may not know what's really bothering her.

That is why family and individual counselling is the first step in dealing with your teen's behaviours. Through counselling, your teen can work out his inner feelings, while taking the time to explore what it is that's causing him to act out. Family therapy also allows for the family to reconnect and work through some of their problems as a group.

It is also important to bond with your teen by being an active listener; remember to ask questions, meet her circle of friends and know what's going on in her day-to-day world. Listening is not sharing your own experiences or advice, instead it is sitting down with your teen and giving your full attention and support.

Even if you disagree with some of your teen's beliefs, you need to learn to accept your teen for the person he is becoming. Arguing over a disagreement will only add to the stress and tension of the relationship, causing your teen to further his behavioural issues. If there is a problem at hand, wait until you and your teen have taken some time away from each other and then readdress the topic under neutral grounds.

Also keep in mind that although you want to share your support and love with your teen, it's important that you stand firm and set boundaries. You need to show your teen what is expected from her and that following rules is a valuable step in becoming an adult.

What if My Teen Continues to Break the Rules?

For most teens with behavioural issues, a combination of group and individual counselling, as well as taking an active part in their life, proves to be successful tools in reducing and eliminating behavioural problems. However, there are still many teens that struggle with behavioural issues long after counselling and ongoing parent interaction.

If your teen continues to be defiant and break the rules without having regard for others, you will have to encourage others to form the same structured and firm environment that you are providing at home. Speak with your teen's teachers or coaches to ensure that they hold the same expectations for your teen as you do. Be sure that you are consistent in your rules and hold consequences in place for when the rules are disregarded.

Also consider empowering yourself as a parent by taking parenting classes or joining a parenting support group. You will learn effective parenting strategies and techniques when dealing with your defiant teen, as well as gain the confidence to stand your ground when making and executing rules. Keep positive and offer your teen love, without giving in to your teen's demands.

Most importantly, try to find something enjoyable that you and your teen can do together. Perhaps a pottery class or seeing a movie once a week will give the two of you time to reconnect and take pleasure in being with each other. The goal is to get your teen to see that disregarding rules only leads to a series of unnecessary and negative consequences.

This article is provided by Maame Sarpong who runs

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