There isn’t a parent in the world who doesn’t hope that their children will grow into secure, happy adults – and who doesn’t panic if they sense there is trouble brewing. It can be almost impossible to separate genuine issues from the usual problems of standard (and mentally healthy) teen rebellion, which can leave many parents in the dark about what’s happening with their child.
If you find yourself in such a situation, sometimes, the best thing you can do is to stop worrying. Whether it’s normal teenage behavior or a harbinger of something more is largely irrelevant; you’re witnessing behaviors and troublesome signs, so you need to do something about them. The ‘why’ is nowhere near as important as the ‘what’ – for your own sake, as well as theirs.
Getting through to teenagers can be tough, given it’s a life phase which is defined by its ornery nature. Nevertheless, if you want to add a course correction into your teen’s life, there are a few things you can encourage them to do that could make all the difference in the world.
- Spend A Little Time In Their Own Company
Humans are social animals; we tend to flock in groups and want to be around people. If you fear that there is someone in your teen’s social circle who is a poor influence, you’re fighting against the tide to try and prevent the problems you seen on the horizon.
Perhaps the best solution to this is not to ban your teen from seeing their potentially problematic friends, but to insist they spend a little time with their own thoughts every once in awhile. They can do small tasks – such as weeding the garden – but nothing too thought-intensive. No music; no TV; no distractions – just them and their thoughts. The teenage mind can often be so busy, so filled with the noise of other people, they don’t have much time to think. Insisting they do this on a regular basis could be hugely beneficial.
- Help Others
Sometimes, all it takes is time spent with those less fortunate to offer a perspective and sense of clarity to a troubled teen. There are countless teen missions opportunities that can combine this need to give back along with some time away from home, which can help provide a much-needed break from any potential trouble.
It also helps to encourage your teen to give their time to those in need. They could help at a homeless shelter or help with charity fundraising events; just a regular activity you insist they do in exchange for an activity they consider to be fun. It’s not bribery; it’s encouragement and reward for doing something good, so don’t be afraid to incentivize good deeds.
- See A Therapist
How honest were you with your parents? The answer is probably not very. Teenagers are very secretive, freshly aware of their own privacy after the open-doors policy of childhood. There might be something they need to talk about, but they don’t feel they want to share with you. And that’s okay.
Nevertheless, they might need to talk to someone, so arranging a few sessions with a therapist could provide them with the space they need to unburden themselves.