Common Problems That May Occur in Teenage
1. My Teen Is Obsessed with Electronic Devices.
Teens will commonly focus on cell phones, texting, or instant messaging as a way to stay in touch with their friends. While it’s essential for teens to stay in contact and develop a strong network, this should not get in the way of other aspects of their life such as schoolwork or chores. Some parents keep computers in a common area of the house, so it’s easy to supervise activity; others will set limits on when electronic devices can be used so that texting does not get in the way of a good sleep schedule. Parental control programs can help to limit your teen’s access to inappropriate content if necessary. You can also put your teen in charge of his own phone bill to help him learn responsibility.
2. My Teen Is Hostile to Me.
Your child may go through moments when they seem sweet a minute ago, but then suddenly they start to act very disrespectfully, talking back, rolling their eyes, or ignoring instructions. A big part of adolescence for the youth is learning to create their own sense of identity, and part of this is separating their identity from their parents. While the idea of focusing on friends more than family is normal, this behavior can be hurtful. Much of this will pass, but it is important to step up and establish basic standards for behavior such as ensuring that your child does not swear at you. Let your child know you are there for them but do not tolerate behavior that is inexcusable.
3. My Teen Makes a Big Deal out of Everything.
Everything you say seems to send your teen into a rage, causing them to shout, cry, or stomp into another room. In many cases, this is simply a result of the intense emotional and physical changes your child is going through, but it can be hard to deal with. Teens often feel as though their parents are trivializing their problems, which can make them stop sharing their thoughts with you. You want to make a point of listening to your teen and taking his concerns seriously. Try to offer sympathy rather than advice unless your teen asks for it. This will help him see that you are on the same page.
4. My Teen Tells Lies.
There are a lot of reasons why you might find that your teen is not telling you the truth. This can be a way to hide things from parents or a way to seek more independence. The idea that your child is concealing parts of his lives is worrisome simply because it allows his to be a dishonest person and creates an environment where your teen will not come to you when he needs help. If you catch your teen lying, it’s important to raise concerns. If this is a noticeable habit, it might be helpful to talk to a professional to see if other issues might be promoting this behavior.
5. My Teen Stays out Late.
Teens will often test limits, and part of this will usually be to purposely break curfews that have been set. Do a bit of research before you jump all over your child and determine if his other friends really do have a much later curfew. A ten minute grace period can also be helpful in avoiding conflict over curfews. If you are worried that your teen is sneaking out or doing dangerous activities when he stays out late, then make sure you set consequences and enforce them to break the bad habit before the situation gets serious.
6. My Teen Chooses Bad Friends.
You may think that some of your teen’s friends dress inappropriately or are a bad influence on your child, but this is not always a cause for alarm. A teen can be very attached to his friends, so criticizing his friends can be like criticizing your teen personal. Thus, in many cases, it’s best to keep your opinions quiet. If you are worried about your teen taking drugs or doing other dangerous behaviors under the influence of his friends, however, it is important to step in. Family therapy is often helpful in finding positive solutions for eliminating the influence of poor friend choices.
7. My Teen Experiments with Sex.
It is very normal for teens to be interested in sex due to the increased attraction and hormonal changes occurring at this time. What is important for parents is to make sure that their children understand sex and the values that should be associated with it. In addition to whatever religious or moral lessons you feel are appropriate to teach, you want to ensure your teen that you are there for him emotionally and are concerned about the consequences that sex can bring. If you find your teen is already sexually active, try not to be judgmental but find a way to address the emotional and health concerns that can be associated with this.
8. My Teen Is Using Drugs.
Teens may be curious about drugs, so it’s important to ensure that your lessons about the dangers override this curiosity. You want to create an environment where your teen feels comfortable talking to you about his curiosity or concerns, but still hold a firm stance that using drugs is dangerous so that you can point him toward life choices that are more positive. Try to determine why your teen seems to want to use drugs. His friends may be using substances or he could have a problem he is trying to hide from. Addressing these issues head-on can help you find more positive solutions for dealing with drug-related problems.
When to Seek Professional Help
There are some signs such as violence or sex addiction that could raise the need for professional intervention. If you and your loved one feel as though you need to bring in a professional to assist your teenager, it is important to take action. There are a variety of therapists and other professionals available that can help you better understand your family dynamics and other issues that could be impacting your teen’s behavior and help you come up with a potential solution.