About Children & Adolescents
Children and adolescents (teenagers) are difficult to deal with and it’s not just the influence of the modern culture that affects their behavior, but also the changing hormones and puberty that can make them oversensitive and want to lash out on you on even the trivial things. You may notice that they’re changing from the lovable and agreeable 6 – 8 years old that they use to be and are becoming assertive to the point of being disrespectful to you. If you’re a first time parent, then you can ask any longtime parent and they’ll tell you that parenting has never been easy, especially during the teenage years of their kids.
But if you’ll establish communication with them and allow them to open up to you, then you can guide them to be the good and well-behaved teen that they ought to be. Of course, a little help from a child/adolescent therapist would make a big difference too!
Anger, Violence, Delinquency, and Other Teen Behavior Problems
Parents often gets surprised to find out one day that their teenage son or daughter start to assert their independence as soon as they also start finding their own identity. This erratic changes in their behavior make them seemingly bizarre and unpredictable as you realize that your once sweet, adorable and obedient little child has grown aloof and seems to get irritated to almost everything to say to him/her. You may find this difficult as a parent, especially when you remember how they used to have separation anxiety and would cry the moment you leave their sight, but it’s as if they don’t even want you around.
When you observe these changes in your child, then try to be vigilant as these typical teen behaviors can become troubled teen behavior.
Here are 5 noticeable changes to be keen on:
1. Changing appearance – do not try to prevent or protest your child’s decision to wear provocative or attention-seeking clothing, or get a nose, lip, tongue or belly piercings, dye their hair, etc. It’s just a fashion trend so there’s no need to go ballistic over it, but you do need to talk to them when their change in appearance also causes them to have recurring bad behavior, especially at school or if such behavior affects their health.
2. Becomes increasingly assertive and develop a rebellious behavior – your teenager may engage in a heated argument with you from time to time, but if in the end you come to an agreement of some kind, then it should be fine. What’s not alright is if he or she starts fights at school, gets in trouble with the law or skipping school to be with delinquent friends. You need to take your son/daughter to teen counseling right away and get professional help.
3. Mood swings – you can expect your kids to act weird at their teenage years as changing hormones has a big influence on their behavior. The other factor that influences them is their environment and it can play a big role in their development; however, if they’re starting to behave badly (both at home and in public), their grades are plunging, they become depressed and anxious, or have sleep problems, then these aren’t good signs and you should find teenage counseling services right away.
4. Starts to drink a troubling amount of alcohol and tries illegal drugs – the temptation to do something that you’ve forbidden them to do will always have a stronger drive in them as they do not understand or value your warnings on certain things that you, as a parent, have experienced firsthand and knows full well the consequences of such actions. But if it’s just alcohol, cigarettes and/or maybe pot (marijuana), then try to be a bit more lenient to them; however, do step in and stop them if they venture too far into illegal drugs and get therapeutic interventions for teenagers.
5. They hold their friends’ advice higher than their own parents – your kids are just beginning to understand the concept of brotherhood and camaraderie and due to their raging hormones at this stage in their life they may take offense at the slightest of your rebukes. Soon they will feel that their friends are better company than their own family and will forget all the sacrifices you’ve made for them since they were conceived and favor their friends more than you. When this happens contact a child therapist and get advice on cognitive behavioral therapy for children as your kids may need it.
Tips on How to Handle Difficult Kids and Teens
1. Avoid giving your power away.
2. Establish clear boundaries.
3. Utilize assertive and effective communication.
4. When dealing with a group of difficult teens, focus on the leader.
5. In mild situations, maintain humor and show empathy.
6. Give them a chance to help solve problems (whenever appropriate).
7. In serious situations, deploy consequence(s) to lower resistance, and compel respect and cooperation.
8. In worse case scenarios, enroll your kids to child counseling or teen therapy to help them recover from their current corrupted state of mind.