Being a teenager today poses more challenges than in years past. With the sudden increase in technology, teens are more connected than ever. That connection has changed the way they communicate with their friends, family, and the world. There are no longer separate times for going to school, hanging out with friends, or staying home with the family, it has all blended together with smart phones, social media updates, and a constant barrage of texts. It can be hard for a parent to know how to support their child in this completely different environment. When teens struggle with handling their emotions it is important to know the right time to seek professional assistance for your child.
Take the story of Jason, he was a good kid, and was liked by those he came in contact with. He liked going to school, did well in math and history, and even played on the football team. Then slowly, his parents started to notice some changes in his behavior. He didn’t care to watch sports with the family anymore, he was spending a lot more time alone in his room, but he wasn’t doing homework because he grades started slipping. He didn’t take much of an interest in anything and if questioned about his behavior he would erupt in a fit of rage yelling that “it was none of their business,” and then slam his bedroom door. His parents just wished they could help but didn’t know what the problem was, was he using drugs, was he being bullied at school, or was he struggling with the loss of someone close to him. They needed to know if this was a phase he was going through or they needed to get professional counseling. Here are some things to look for when deciding to get help.
Behavior or mood swings
All teens go through mood swings and behavior changes, and as a parent it’s important to know when your teenager is just being emotional and when it is becoming a problem. Look for signs of depression, anxiety, violent behavior towards themselves or others, or severe mood swings.
Sudden drop in school performance
Children of all ages at some point struggle with not wanting to go to school because of either boredom, being bullied, or awkward social interactions. It’s important to watch for sudden changes in your child’s behavior towards their education to notice if there is a bigger problem that needs professional help.
Trying to cope with stress, filling a void in their life, or wanting to fit in with their peers are all reasons teens struggle with substance abuse. Look for warning signs such as aggression, theft, lying, and a detachment from those around them. Although people believe they can overcome addiction by themselves, the problem is usually bigger than anyone can fix on their own.
It can be hard as a parent to know when to step in and support. Are your teens just experiencing the changes of life or are there real problems? If your child were experiencing a major physical illness, you would not hesitate to get the professional help from a medical doctor. This is no different; it is important to seek the help of a trained professional who has the experience and can help you and your family get through this challenging time. To learn more about how treatment can help your troubled teen call Triangle Cross Ranch at 866-471-6695.