Parenting a Difficult Teen

When You first become parents, you usually can’t even imagine that your little bundle of joy might give even a moment of trouble.  After all, you are going to parent them perfectly just so that you can avoid the horror stories that you’ve heard from other parents, right?  It’s a great intention and you may even come close to doing everything right, but that doesn’t guarantee that you aren’t going to have a difficult teen.

The pure and simple truth of the matter is that teens can be influenced by their parents, but they can’t truly be controlled by them.  They are at an age where they are struggling to find their own independence and a part of that process involves pulling away from what mom and dad might always want for them, or know is good for them. 

Sometimes, the road to independence can make a teen very difficult to live with and deal with from day to day.  You love your teen, but you may find yourself counting the days until they are full-fledged adults.

There are certainly different levels of difficulty among teens.  Some will only push the limits a bit and challenge you in minor ways.  Although this is still aggravating for most parents, it is not anything to worry much about.  However, if you have a teen that is doing things regularly which could be harmful to his or her well-being or are becoming disruptive to the family, you are going to need to address the situation and get things back under control.

You may have to take serious measures if things have gotten very far out of your control, and especially if your teen is engaging in dangerous or illegal behaviors.  When these types of activities have started, it can be very difficult to rein your teen back in on your own.  You may very well need to involve some other support people, such as therapists, law enforcement, rehabilitation facilities, or other professionals that are trained in dealing with these teen behaviors. 

While that can be a difficult decision to make, it could save your teen.  It doesn’t mean that you have failed as a parent, either.  It means that you care enough to take action if and/or when it is necessary for the benefit of your son or daughter. 

There are usually causes for the difficulty you are going through with your teen.  It may have nothing to do with you as parents.  Or, it may have to do with a family situation that couldn’t be avoided or was a mistake that, unfortunately, can’t be undone. 

There are times that school and peer situations are involved, or a self-esteem problem that is causing problems.  Finding the root cause for your difficult teen’s behavior is important because without doing that, you aren’t going to be able to effectively deal with the problem in a way that will benefit him or her for the long term.

Dealing with a difficult teen is not fun for any parent, but it happens to many parents of teens.  You aren’t alone and it can be very helpful to talk with other parents who are dealing with the same types of issues that you are.  No matter how difficult your teen is, he or she still needs love from you, even if that love is in a form that they won’t appreciate until later in life. 

You can’t give up on the teen and you can’t just let them go on a destructive path.  You have to parent them in the best way that you can, even if it’s tough for a time.  Later in life, you will almost always see the rewards of it.