Parenting a troubled teen is challenging, even more so when the teen doesn't appear to respond to efforts to help, refuses to participate in treatment or seems to be getting worse. When a troubled teen is going nowhere, or doesn't seem to care what happens to them it's tempting to believe your efforts are in vain and to wonder whether to keep trying. As tough as things may get it's far better to hang in with your teen, here are 10 reasons not to give up on your troubled teen:
1. Parents have more influence on a teen than anyone else. It may not seem like it at times but parents are the people most likely to have a positive impact in a young person's life.
2. Troubled teens are in pain. Continue to keep trying to help so that your teen doesn't have to suffer longer or more than necessary.
3. The sooner a teen agrees to accept help the better they'll feel. Research shows that the least amount of time spent in destructive patterns the easier it is to make positive changes.
4. What your teen does now impacts the rest of their life. Teens usually don't have the maturity to understand the significance of their adolescent years, but parents know that what happens now shapes the future for their teen.
5. Show your teen how to take action to heal and make positive changes. In not giving up parents have the opportunity to model the necessity of dealing with difficult problems or situations. Teach that certain behaviors aren't acceptable but can be successfully dealt with.
6. You are your teen's strongest and most intuitive advocate. Your troubled teen depends on you to know when they're in trouble and to take action to turn the situation around.
7. Now is the time to teach your teen how to be an adult. The adolescent years are a very impressionable age, a time during which teens learn the skills and lessons needed to be adult. What a teen learns in struggling to grow up can make huge difference in terms of their future success.
8. If at first they don't succeed it's still critical to try, try again. Some troubled teens just take longer to 'get it' than others. Often there is no obvious reason for this - one day a teen makes a connection with a mental health professional, grows weary of getting into trouble or just becomes fed up with their life. This moment, this possibility is well worth waiting for.
9. Teens are resilient. Adolescents are wired to be constantly taking in new, valuable information and therefore have an excellent chance of making positive changes.
10. Your teen can't go it alone. In spite of their protests or seeming lack of progress, troubled teens are unlikely to have the resources or motivation to find ways to get better on their own.