When parenting troubled teens, remember to pay close attention to the behavior the teen is exhibiting, give encouragement to your teenager's positive behaviors, stick to the rules you set, compensate responsible behavior, and your decisions must be consistent.
Parenting is a challenging responsibility and even more in the case of rearing troubled teenagers. Troubled teens may exhibit rebellious, withdrawn and even violent behavior, and this can be overwhelming for their families, especially their parents. As the parent of a troubled teen, you might already know how challenging it is to raise your child. The following are tools that can help in parenting troubled youth:
Analyze your child’s behavior
In order to have a better understanding of your teen’s situation, the first step you should take is analyzing the unpleasant behaviors that your teen exhibits. Go over what happens when your teen exhibits the said behavior and what the outcome is. Observe anything that might have caused the outburst. The observable facts you take into consideration may lead to a possible cause as to why your child exhibits difficult behavior. When you complete this step, you might be able to find a solution for your teen’s negative behavior and some positive behaviors that you can replace the negative behavior with.
Be supportive of your teenager’s good behaviors
By providing your teen with encouragement and support, you can help him or her develop good behaviors. Simple acts like thanking or praising your teen for helping do chores could mean a lot to your child. As tempting as it might be to nag your teen when they grumble while working, try a different approach such as thanking them. Try explaining why these good habits are important and how they can help them become more responsible and independent.
Be consistent in enforcing rules
If you are consistent when imposing rules, your teenager will know that you are serious with your guidelines. Otherwise, your teenager will not respect your word and find it easy to disobey. One way of effectively enforcing a rule is to implement a consequence for a violation. Strictly follow through on the consequence but also let your teen know the principle behind the disciplinary measure by explaining it.
Compensate responsible behavior
Do not just dwell on disciplinary measures, but make sure you also reward your teen if he or she complies with the rules you have set. For example, if your teen followed the curfew that you set, you can reward him or her by giving him longer curfew on Friday night or on weekends. By doing this, you are showing your teen that you notice both their positive and negative habits.
Remain constant in your decisions
Being consistent with your decisions is just as important as being firm with the rules you set. Keep calm if your teenager argues with you and don't yield to unreasonable arguments. This will only make your teenager feel as if arguing with you is a good way of getting the things they want.
Being the parents of troubled teens can be stressful, but there are ways to handle the situation properly. However, in cases where your teen’s negative behavior has become extreme, it might be wise to seek professional help.