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6 Tips for Parenting Troubled Teens

Advice for Dealing With Defiant and Struggling Teens

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Parenting troubled teens tips and advice

There are parenting resources and advice that will help you and your teen see eye to eye.

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Quick Links: Troubled Teens | Quiz: Is Your Teen At-Risk?

Being the parent of a teen with emotional or behavioral problems adds new challenges to the already difficult task of raising a child through the adolescent years. Teens become troubled for a number of reasons and when this happens parents are forced to learn new strategies for daily survival, while at the same time figuring out how to navigate solutions for helping their teen heal.

Parents of troubled teens need expert advice and support. Read the information below to help you stay on the right track. And keep in mind - troubled teens do get better.

Parenting Troubled Teens Tip #1: Learn how to connect with your teen. In parenting a troubled teen it's normal to be tempted to turn away from your teen as problems become more serious or if solutions don't seem to work. Yet parents have more power over their teen and the situation than most give themselves credit for. Keeping a strong connection with your teen, including effective communication isn't always possible but it's a goal worth striving for.

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Parenting Troubled Teens Tip #2: Look at your teens' situation from a different perspective. An approach often used by therapists is to view a situation or teen behavior differently from what you have been doing, a technique known as reframing. In this shift of perspective answers are often revealed and insight into what is triggering your teens' behavior comes into focus. Sometimes parents and teens can get unstuck simply by looking at a situation with new eyes; which is usually followed by acting or thinking about things differently. And here's the really good news- when a parent responds in different ways there is no choice for the teen but to act differently too.

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Parenting Troubled Teens Tip #3: Understand when professional help is needed. Most troubled teens benefit from some type of professional help in identifying the underlying reasons for their problems and assistance in dealing with them. Getting help for a troubled teen when they first start having difficulties is usually far more successful than waiting until problems get worse. For some parents this can be a difficult step to take. Some fear that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness but nothing could be further from the truth. The advantages of seeking professional help for a troubled teen include: experienced help in figuring out the reasons your teen is acting out, expertise in identifying what clinical interventions are most likely to be effective and support in helping your teen, yourself and your family get through this difficult time.

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Parenting Troubled Teens Tip #4: Recognize when your teen is in trouble. Knowing when your teen is in trouble is an essential key to unlocking the factors contributing to the disturbing changes in your teen. Professionals who work with teens describe troubling teen behavior as acting out, meaning this behavior is the outward expression of underlying issues that need attention. Troubled behavior in teens takes many forms to include teens with underlying mental health issues such as depression, defiant teens constantly challenging your authority, and teens turning to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to numb their pain. What these teens all have in common is that their troubles exceed the growing pains associated with normal adolescent development. Accepting you have a teen who needs extra attention and care is an important step in getting the situation under control.

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Parenting Troubled Teens Tip #5: Know What Action to Take if There is a Crisis With Your Teen. For many parents struggling to raise a troubled teen fear often lingers in the back of their mind, wondering if they will know what to do if the situation spirals out of control, putting the teen, or others in danger. Crisis situations are not uncommon in dealing with a teen who is emotionally unstable or not able to cope well with stressful situations. Taking steps to know in advance how to deal with these potentially dangerous makes it easier to respond effectively if you ever need to do so.

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Parenting Troubled Teens Tip #6: Take good care of yourself. It sounds like a paradox but when dealing with a troubled teen the focus can't be on them all the time. Yes they need your help, concern and attention but in order to provide this day after day it's important for parents to factor themselves into the equation. Do this by keeping in mind that you're human and need to get your own needs met. Doing so will require sometimes giving yourself time to re-energize, re-group and take care of you. It's also important to give yourself credit for all the hard work you're doing to help your teen, whether or not it's working.

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Quick Links: Troubled Teens | Quiz: Is Your Teen At-Risk?

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