Is Your Teenager A Difficult Teen?
How do you know if your teenager fits in to the troubled or difficult teen category?
If you have a teenager that fits in to this category, what can you do to sort them out before they turn into an out of control young adult?
Here are some of the signs of whether your teenager fits in to the ‘difficult teen’ category:
1. Your teenager doesn’t abide by your family or household rules.
2. Your teenager has been suspended or expelled from school or had a drop in grades.
3. Your teenager can be verbally abusive.
4. Your teenager socialises with a bad crowd.
5. Your teenager no longer participates in his favourite sports and activities.
6. You cannot get your teenager to do homework or chores around the house.
7. Your teenager has had problems with the law.
8. You have to be very careful with how you speak to your teenager to avoid a verbal attack from him.
9. Your teenager wants to drop out of school.
10. Your teenager has become withdrawn and may even seem depressed.
11. Your teenager no longer takes care of his/her personal appearance
12. Your teenager shows sign of violent behaviour
13. Your teenager is manipulative and deceitful
14. Your teenager has no motivation
15. Your teenager is becoming dishonest
16. Your teenager has become sexually promiscuous
17. Your teenager has shown evidence of suicidal behaviour
18. You suspect your teenager has been stealing from your home
19. You are concerned of your teenager’s safety
20. Your teenager seems angry and often has temper outbursts
21. Your teenager seems to have no self esteem
22. You have lost all trust in your teenager
23. Your teenager has no respect for authority
24. Your teenager is involved in activities you do not approve of
25. You suspect or know your teenager is involved with drugs, or is associating with people that are involved with drugs.
26. You are concerned about your teenager’s future
27. Your teenager is constantly opposing your family values
28. Your teenager will constantly defy all rules no matter what the consequence
29. You are exhausted and becoming run down from your teenager’s behaviour
30. You feel you have no power over your teenager
If your teenager falls into 18 or more of the above points then your teenager is in the high risk difficult teenager category. You may be at a point where your parenting is not enough and will need to seek help. You may be able to seek help from their school and if their school cannot help you it may be time to change to a school that can.
If your teenager falls into between 9 and 17 of the above points then your teenager is a borderline risk of becoming a difficult teen. By tightening the family rules and structure and by showing your child lots of praise for their positive points, you may be able to resolve the situation. If you are still having problems then you may need to consider outside help.
If your teenager falls below 8 of the above points then there is a low to moderate risk of becoming a difficult teen. Enforce the family rules and structure, spend quality time with your teen and really focus on and praise them for their positive behaviours.
Motivating Your Teen
Some teenagers will be harder to motivate than others and it can often depend on their general lifestyle and upbringing. Probably the most important factor in having an influence in your teenager’s life is how close a relationship you have with him/her. When parents have a strong relationship with their teenager then that teenager is more likely to have a healthy view on life and will greatly appreciate any advice that you give them.
A parent who does not have a close bond or strong relationship with their teenager will have a much lower chance of being able to influence their teenager in which direction their life may take.
Lecturing your child in which direction to take in life, whether in regard to academic goals or lifestyle choices, will not lead your child in the right direction and in fact may undermine any efforts that you have made to influence him/her.
Likewise, to be condescending of the choices that they do make themselves can actually make them continue with their choice out of despite rather than listen to any advice you have to give.
Children seem to have a need to grow up fast and even as a teenager often wish to be treated as an adult. By treating your teenager as a young child and making all their decisions for them, will make them feel like they are not getting the respect they deserve.
It is more effective to treat your teenager with respect and talk together with your teenager and work out a solution that will suit both you and him/her.
Having a positive outlook on life yourself, can help your child to develop into a positive thinking teenager with a healthy outlook on life. A child with a positive attitude will have a higher degree of motivation in life and be more likely to value their eduction and lifestyle.
Spending quality family time with your teenagers will help you to know them and not lose site of who they are as they mature. Asking questions and having regular discussions as a family will give you a close bond and they will share with you their goals and desires.
Remember children will not always follow in the footsteps of their parents and you need to be prepared to accept that if they make a choice to go in a different direction. Offer them the support they need in whatever they choose to do. It can make the world of difference to your teenager knowing that they have the support of their parents in whatever path they choose to take.
Always be there for your child if they need help and need to talk to you. Putting them off because you are busy will stop them coming to you for advice or help, so always make sure to spare the time for them when they need it.
When they discuss their goals with you, discuss with them what they may need to do to meet those goals. Discuss the consequences with things like not doing homework or not practising sporting skills, etc depending on the goal they are aiming for.
To ensure that your teenager stays motivated toward their goals in life make sure they know that you are always there for them to offer your help and encouragement.
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