Archives for February 2016

What It Took to Straighten Out a Hard-Headed Boy’s Behaviors

Your stubborn child refuses to respond to discipline and love, and you are not sure what tactics will help as you attempt to deal with his poor attitude. How can you deal with your hard-headed son’s behaviors? The following tips provide insight on how you can encourage him to become a responsible and productive adult.

Understand Transitions

As children transition from middle school into the teen years, they often exhibit the following negative behaviors:

  • Pouting
  • Talking back
  • Lying
  • Arguing
  • Swearing
  • Rebellion
  • And many more.

He is becoming more independent and trying out his wings. However, he hasn’t developed the emotional maturity that he needs when it comes to making good decisions. Part of this is biological – his brain is still developing. In addition, he lacks the basic life experience necessary to understand the value of making the right choices.

Establish Clear Boundaries

By setting concrete rules in your home, you will have specific guidelines that they know they need to follow. This helps them as they grow older. For example, drivers know the posted speed limit on the roads and know that if they exceed the speed limit, they might receive a ticket. Learning boundaries in the home prepares children for learning boundaries in life.

Write down the rules so that no one questions them. You can either draw up house rules or a behavior contract. You can help children feel that they have some control by letting them help you set up consequences. However, the final decision rests with you.

Instill Discipline

When your son breaks the rules, focus on his behavior, possible dangers and how it makes you feel. Address and model clear communication that includes speaking respectfully to others without name calling or yelling. Encourage asking questions without being rude. Express emotions without attacking the other person. For example, you can tell your child that you are really angry with his behavior and set appropriate consequences.

Stay Consistent

If your son doesn’t stick to the agreed guidelines, you have the list or contract in place to guide you. If you are married, make sure that you and your partner agree and that your child is not pitting you against each other. However, emergencies happen, so be willing to listen to your son if he provides a truly legitimate reason for breaking the rules.

Model Acceptable Behavior

Do not be hypocritical. In other words, do not expect children to abide by rules that you are not willing to follow. For example, if you do not want your son to swear, you should keep your language clean as well.

Stay Connected

Talk with your teens regularly about every day events and any issues that they might face. In this way, they will be more willing to work out disagreements with you and want to turn to you when problems arise. They will expect you to ask them questions about their day, lives, activities and friends and likely will enjoy talking with you about what they are doing.

Contributing Factors to Teen Boys with Violent Behavior

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Teen violence, which can include bullying, gang activities and aggression toward family and friends, is a problem for every community. Many teens are at risk of becoming violent, so parents need to be aware of the signs and markers that may mean their teenage boy is heading down a violent path.

So, who is at risk? There are several factors that contribute to teenage violence. Of course, the presence of some or all of these risk factors doesn’t mean that a teen will be violent. However, there are some common things that seem to push teen boys toward violence at home, school and in the community.

Here are 5 factors that can contribute to teen violence:

1. Mental Health Issues

Teens who respond with violence and harsh words may be struggling with any number of mental health issues. ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, bipolar, and more can trigger negative behavior that includes violence. If teen boys are not be getting any kind of emotional or mental health assistance from trained and licensed professional, the violent behavior usually escalates. Intensive group and individual therapy can help teens with any number of disorders and conditions that can leave teens feeling frustrated and unable to cope.

2. Trauma

It’s often difficult for teenagers to cope with trauma in their lives, such as physical or sexual abuse, adoption and abandonment issues, post-traumatic stress and similar events. Teens often aren’t able to process what has happened to them without counseling and professional therapy, and so they act out in violent ways to communicate their hurt, fear and anger.

3. Home Life

Teens that come from a dysfunctional home, where very harsh or very lax discipline practices are wielded by parents, are more likely to become violent themselves. Domestic abuse situations can further demonstrate to teens that the only way to handle conflict is through physical intimidation. Other family influences toward violence include poverty, low education, low community involvement and low parental involvement in the teenage boy's life.

4. Community Influence

Sometimes, where a teenager lives can have an impact on negative behavior. Socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods and cities can directly influence a community culture that accepts and even encourages violence. Many areas are full of crime and gang activity, which can heighten a teenage boy’s need to act violently. Poverty, neighborhood downturn, lots of unsupervised teens, increased presence in drugs and guns, and other conditions can lead to teens that are more violent.

5. Delinquent Friends

Teen boys who hang around delinquent social groups are also more likely to get involved in violence. Gang activity or other teen groups who regularly get in trouble with the law boost a teenage boy’s chances of becoming violent. Often, teenagers who join up with a group of friends that abuse drugs and alcohol regularly will likely increase in violent behavior.

Parents, teachers and community members should all take a look at the factors that contribute to teen violence and take the necessary steps to intervene in each teenage boy’s life and help them avoid or overcome violent behavior.

How To Help Your Boy Get Back On Track In School When Their Grades Are Suffering

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When your teen son’s grades are suffering, it can make you feel worried about his future, frustrated that he doesn’t seem to care about school, and concerned that he’s got some mental or physical health issues. Any or all of these reasons can result in a drop in academic performance, and it’s important to identify what’s happening as soon as possible so you and your son’s teachers can take action right away. As a parent, you need to do what it takes to help get your boy back on track in school.

Reasons For Academic Decline

There are a number of reasons for a teenage boy’s academic decline, and some are more serious than others. Identifying the root cause of the school struggles can help parents decide what course of action to take. Parents aren’t on their own either—school counselors, school administrators, therapists, doctors and others are ready and willing to work together to support the struggling teen.

Lack of Time and Skills

Poor study habits can be one reason why a teen boy’s grades are dropping. Often, teens simply don’t know how to study effectively once they hit harder classes in junior high and high school Some teenagers aren’t experienced in time management, asking for help from teachers or tackling bigger or in-depth projects. Other teens are overscheduled with extracurricular activities, hobbies and jobs and may simply not be able to put in the time they need to sustain grades.

The solution for parents is to tap into the vast amount of information available online, in books and at the school for tips on boosting study skills and setting and achieving goals. Inquire about tutors, after school programs and more to help teach teens how to do better in school. For overscheduled students, consider dropping a few activities to focus on school.

Emotional, Behavioral or Mental Health Issues

For many teens, their problems are more serious and affect their grades even more strongly. Teens often struggle with mental health issues that affect their emotional state and their behavior like ADD/ADHD, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, bipolar, mood disorders, substance abuse, addictions, abuse trauma, and many more. When these issues are not treated, they can affect the way a teen interacts at school with teachers and peers. It can skew their priorities and push academic efforts to the side.

The solution for emotional, behavioral or mental health issues in troubled teens is to get professional help. Licensed therapists can work with teens to get to the root of the issues. School counselors can help the teens with classes, teachers and individual education plans. In extreme cases, alternative schools like therapeutic boarding schools can help teens repair credit, get regular therapy and regain academic standing.

Support Teams for Troubled Teens

When teens are not doing well in school, parents must step in and help them get back on track. Instead of frustration and discouragement about school, teens will soon feel motivated, determined, committed and successful. Parents should also remember that teenage boys can be especially reluctant to communicate, and will often avoid anything that might be seen as critical of themselves and their academic failures. Communicating and taking action are the best things that parents can do to help their teenage son recover academically and move forward toward success.

Can Gaming Addiction Really Stop My Teenage Boy From Graduating

Can Gaming Addition Really Stop My Teenage Boy From Graduating

Gaming addictions in teens are a result of compulsive behavior that centers on technology, electronics, video games and other forms of online entertainment. When a teenage boy’s schoolwork is suffering, and graduation is in jeopardy, it is definitely time for parents to step in and take some action.

What is Gaming Addiction?

Most American teens are really into playing video games and connecting with friends on social media. In fact, many parents are puzzled about the attraction to online activities in teens. However, parents need to recognize the difference between a video game enthusiast and a gaming addict.

Gaming addiction is similar to other compulsive behavior problems and disorders. It’s part of a larger umbrella of addictive behaviors that medical experts are studying closely. Essentially, any activity that severely interferes with a teen’s normal life and compromises their decision-making abilities is a big problem. More and more, gaming addiction jeopardizes a teen’s future, especially where school is concerned. Without graduating, a teenager’s life and career goals may not be met.

Why Some Teens Can’t Stop

No matter how hard they try, many teens with gaming addiction cannot control themselves on their own. Compulsive behavior is often part of bigger emotional, mental health or behavioral issues like depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and others. Video games can stimulate part of the brain that releases endorphins, those pleasure hormones that flood the body with good feelings. Sometimes, teenagers who have real-life struggles turn to gaming to help them cope better, and the compulsive behavior begins.Teens who cannot control their behavior and are unable to regulate their game time need professional help in managing their habits. With gaming addiction, teens often put off doing homework, projects and participating in school activities in favor of gaming. Friends, hobbies, and other aspects of normal teen life are pushed aside so they can keep playing. They are distracted and thinking of gaming when they are in school, and rearrange their lives in order to maximize playing time. When schoolwork suffers and graduation is in jeopardy, it’s time for parents to find some help for their troubled teen son.

What Can Parents Do?

There are a number of things that parents can do to help curb their teenager’s gaming addiction. As with any teenage behavior, strong boundaries are a key part of keeping any negative behavior at bay. The first thing to do is set limits to how often and how long the teenage boy can use the gaming system. In a worst case scenario, parents may need to get rid of the system altogether.

Parents should also encourage teen boys to participate in other activities, such as sports, hanging with friends, hobbies and volunteer work. Setting school as a priority is important, and meeting with counselors, teachers and tutors can bring the troubled teen boy back up to grade level and help repair credits. Summer school, therapeutic boarding school and other supplemental measures may need to be implemented depending on the severity.

It’s never too late for parents to seek out professional help for their teenage son who is in danger of not graduating because of a gaming addiction. When everyone in the teen’s support group works together to help him change the direction of his life, school success is sure to follow.

Try Cutting Back in These Areas To Relieve Violent Teen Behavior

Try Cutting Back in These Areas To Relieve Violent Teen Behavior

When teens struggle with mental illness, behavioral issues or emotional challenges, it can be very frustrating for them to deal with stressful situations as well as authority figures. Often, troubled teens feel that there is no other way to resolve a problem than by violence and aggression. If you are the parent of an aggressive teenager and are worried about escalating violence against you and other family members, it’s time to master some of the tools you need to relieve violent teen behavior.

Why Teens Get Violent

When most people get frustrated, they utilize a range of coping skills to deal with the stress, anger and disappointment they feel. Some of the more common coping mechanisms include telling a friend or family member about the stress, exercise, a change of scenery or even screaming into a pillow.

Troubled teens do not use common coping strategies and resort to violence instead. That’s because when people are stressed, they have a lot of energy building up and need to release it. In

troubled teenagers, that release comes through violence. They don’t even need to be exposed to others who are violent to turn toward these tendencies when they are frustrated. As a parent, you need to look at the reasons behind the aggression and realize that your teen is often reacting out of fear, worry, frustration and an inability to solve problems. It’s at that point when teens turn to threats, aggressive body language, and sometimes physical violence.

What Can Parents Do?

Helping your violent teen to scale back their behavior is no easy task, but there are several things that you can do to help. Whether it is cutting back in some areas or standing your ground in others, here are 5 tips on relieving a teen's violent behavior:

1. Model appropriate behavior in stressful situations. Teens learn about coping from trusted authority figures like parents, relatives and teachers. Showing proper conflict resolution behavior will help them take more positive steps.

2. Provide appropriate outlets for frustration. Encourage your teen to take out his frustration in other ways. Suggest exercise like sit-ups, running, lifting weights or hitting a punching bag. Other outlets include taking a walk, playing with a pet, listening to music or just isolating themselves until they calm down.

3. Don’t engage in power struggles. Sometimes, parents and teens argue because they want to win or control the other. As the adult, parents can choose to walk away and not engage. If there is nobody to argue with, your troubled teen’s feelings and aggression won’t escalate. It doesn’t mean there are no consequences for your teen, but instead it gives both parties a small break before re-engaging.

4. Set consequences and follow through. During a relatively calm time, discuss consequences of violence with your teen. Explain that physical violence between family members is, in fact, domestic violence and is a crime. Explain that if your teen ever gets violent, you will call the police. Then, if and when teen violence actually happens, make the phone call.

5. Seek out professional help. There are plenty of licensed therapists and therapeutic boarding schools that work with troubled teens who have violent tendencies. Resolving any behavioral disorders, mental health issues or emotional trauma will go a long way toward reducing and even eliminating your teen’s aggression.

When parents get involved in their troubled teen’s life and try to work out ways to help them reduce their frustrations and cope better, it makes a big difference in their behavior and their future. Cutting back in certain areas of confrontation and escalation really will help curb a violent teen's behavior.