If you have a troubled adolescent dealing with behavioral, social, and educational issues, be encouraged that there is hope and help for your teenage son, and he can learn life-changing skills that will put him on a path to success. Overcoming past problems starts with developing a new mindset and learning new habits. Many life-skills development programs can not only modify your child’s behavior but change his attitude, build self-esteem and instill discipline. He can then replace the old behaviors of disrespect, lack of motivation, rebellion, apathy and defiance with respect, positive choices, obedience and the will to succeed.
Breaking Destructive Patterns
Most often, life skills are taught through real-life situations, but sometimes a teen needs outside help or intervention in a controlled setting. For this reason, many parents choose to send their at-risk sons to a therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment center. In order to change their teen’s present course of destruction, parents must alter the current environment until he has the proper skills set to handle outside, damaging influences, such as negative family interactions, unsuitable media choices and inappropriate peer relationships. A troubled, young man who has a weak sense of identity may end up giving into peer pressure and dabble in alcohol and drugs. Removing him from the harmful setting and teaching him the valuable life skills of setting moral standards, choosing friends wisely, defining personal goals and controlling his impulses can deter him from making damaging decisions in the future. A student who has been abused, neglected or dealt with past trauma needs time away from the situation for restoration to occur. Developing skills to deal with grief, hurt and anger in a healthy way encourages for healing.
Examples of New Life Skills
Distressed youth usually display poor emotional and social behavior. Instead, they need to learn the following skills:
- Effective communication
- Anger management
- Coping with disappointment
- Cooperating with others in a group
- Properly expressing feelings and
- Conflict resolution techniques.
By putting these skills into practice on a regular basis during their teen years, they can internalize these lifelong skills. Boarding schools offer frequent opportunities for practice through planned social interactions, peer activities and group therapy. Since troubled teens are looking for continuity between adults’ words and lifestyles, modeling consistency demonstrates integrity. Adolescent boys need to learn to escape a victim mentality and to take responsibility for their decisions, choices and reactions, which is an ongoing training process. Authority figures can break an entitlement mindset and teach accountability, hard work and integrity through meaningful work and mentoring. They can also promote success by spending quality time with him passing on valuable, enduring life skills.
Character Qualities for a Productive Future
Boys should also develop the following character qualities in order to become strong citizens:
- Displaying empathy toward others and
- Standing up for the less fortunate.
Troubled youth, who often have an entitlement mentality, need to be taught that the world does not revolve around them, but that they can contribute to the community and are responsible to leave the world a brighter place than they found it.