I have spent many years treating and counseling teens and their families. Teens with ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD, serious self-harm issues and LGBTQ teens and teens on probation. I have spent hours talking to youth from all types of families, and what I have come to appreciate, is that no matter what the situation, teens benefit from fully engaged parents Parents that can instill values and allows their child to take responsibility for their actions.
As a mother of four adult children, I can tell you that I know first hand, how hard it is to raise teens today. There are so many distractions for our teens to manage and cope with: peer pressure, hormonal changes, educational stress, identity discovery, and social media interference, just to name a few. Some of these distractions can be in direct odds with family values and can cause of many disagreements between parents and teens.
The psychological and physical development of an adolescent can be effected up family dynamics such as: spousal conflict, sibling conflict, divorce, financial strain, and educational challenges can place additional stress on your teen. This additional stress can cause a teen to act out, some acting out is perfectly normal and healthy, but it is important for parents to know when it might be time to see professional help.
Signs to seek professional guidance:
- Signs of depression
- Running away
- Participating in illegal activities
- Drug use
- Failing school - If this is the only problem, tutoring is a start but talk to the guidance office as well. If there are other problems and this is just a symptom, seek counseling for your teen.
- Sexual acting out
- Self-harm /cutting
- Changes in friends or activities - especially if the friends are into drugs or other illicit activities.
- Eating problems - have you noticed your teen not eating, overeating or have they shown signs of purging after a meal?
- Inappropriate anger - aiming angry feelings towards you or exhibiting violent behavior is cause for great concern.
- Increasing defiance
- Significant changes in mood or behavior
Early intervention is the best way to remedy problematic and distressing teenage behaviors. If you are concerned with your teen’s behavior, or your relationship with your teen, please call to discuss the ways counseling may help you support your teen.