Archives for November 2016

Emotional Trauma Commonly Faced By Teen Boys

Emotional Trauma Commonly Faced By Teen Boys

There is a serious problem in our society that is not addressed nearly often enough: emotional trauma in adolescent and teenage boys. Despite the silence, it is a rampant issue that can be seen in some startling statistics provided for by child protection service departments across the US:

  • 3 - 10 million children witness violence within their home, committed by family members, every year.
  • Of these cases, up to 60% of those children will be abused themselves.
  • 65% of cases reported to CPS involve severe neglect.

But some of the most telling facts are that as much as 43% of boys face trauma at least once in their lives. Of those boys, up to 6% will develop Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome as a result. Is it any wonder so many teenage boys are facing a crisis?

The Impact Of Trauma

In additional to PTSD, there are any number of negative results sparked by exposure to trauma. For one, it can be a major contributing factor to violent outbursts, and an inability to control impulses and behavior. Having been witnesses to violence, they may be more prone to reenacting it.

Another is academic performance and an ability to maintain a normal life. Difficulty maintaining grades and dropout rates are common results to emotional trauma, especially if left unaddressed.

What Constitutes Emotional Trauma

There is no singular definition of what constitutes emotional trauma. But there are some common forms that are faced by adolescents and teens, such as:

  • Being neglected by a parent or caregiver
  • Being abandoned by a parent or caregiver
  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal and emotional abuse
  • Withholding of affection and attention
  • Witnessing violence in or out of the home
  • Being placed in situations where the child feels intense fear or instability, such as with the incapacitation of a parent or caregiver

In some instances, a single traumatic event may be enough to cause severe emotional damage. For example, they may be the victim of a crime, where they are made to feel powerless, and as though their life is in danger. In these instances it may prove to be easier to overcome the event, than if they were exposed to repeated trauma.

The severity of trauma can depend on certain other factors, such as the reaction of those around them, the nature of the trauma, and the stability and support they receive at the end of the event.

To learn more about the impact of traumatic events on teens, visit Liahona Academy.

Finding Parenting Help Online From Parents That Have Been In Your Shoes

Finding Parenting Help Online From Parents That Have Been In Your Shoes

When you are struggling with a teen who is acting out, you can feel incredibly alone. The constant battle, the fights, the frustrations, the fear...others who have never faced the same are full of advice, but it just isn’t relevant. They don’t understand how difficult it can be, or how draining. You may even feel as though they are judging you for your teen’s problems, wondering where you went wrong as a parent. Little do they know how often you torture yourself with the same question.

The Struggles Of Parenting Troubled Teens

Your child could be facing any number of risks. Bullying, violence, illegal activity, sexual acting out, depression and substance abuse are only some of the distressingly common problems our youth are fighting today. It isn’t always easy to know how to handle such matters, especially when there has been a continued escalation. Where do you even begin?

Having someone in your corner, who has been through the same struggles with their own children, can be a relief. Which is why turning to parents with the same experiences offers you not only advice and support, but hope of overcoming it, can be so important to your own coping and healing. They may even help you to learn to better manage your teen’s issues.

Though these parents are by no means professionals or experts, they can have a lot of valuable things to say. Here are eight excellent places to hear from real life parents who have been in your shoes.

  • Circle Of Moms - You may have heard of the website Popsugar, which is a fitness, health, beauty and lifestyle web publication. They have a special forum for mothers to get and give advice, socialize, and just celebrate what it means to be a mother.
  • Today.com - The Today Show website offers a blog that features well written articles by both experts and non-experts alike, covering every facet of parenting you can imagine.
  • Parenting.com - Failing to get through to your teen about the importance of their grades? Worried that professional intervention may be necessary? Ask other parents here!
  • Mothering.com - Find moms in your local area, get or give advice, or just shoot the breeze. This is a highly active forum with a lot of users.
  • Syber Moms - This is a great site for advice, because it is more inclusive than many. You can get advice based around other extenuating circumstances, such as if you are a stay at home or working parent, if you have chronic conditions that impact your parenting, taking care of teens and children with special needs, and more.
  • Just Mommies - Another incredibly active mommy forum, this one is so thorough it is insane. There is every category you could think of, and some you never would have. Each has tens of thousands of posts.
  • Natural Parenting - This Australian blog has categories that cater specifically to raising teens.

Learn more about how to help you teen at Liahona Academy.

Improving 5 Common Issues Of Teen Behavior At Home

Improving 5 Common Issues Of Teen Behavior At Home

How much easier would life be if raising a teenage came with some kind of step by step manual? Or maybe a magic wand that makes all the challenges disappear? Between the surly attitude, increased secretive nature, and problems that can arise in troubled teens in particular, you may be at your wits end.

These are the five most common issues teens have with their behavior at home, and what you can do about them.

“I Hate You!”

The first time they say it feels like a shard of glass in your heart. But now you are growing accustomed to the venom, and the constant disdain that seems to drip from them every time they are in the same room.

Don’t worry, they don’t actually hate you. Part of this is a normal response to their attempt to separate themselves from you and become their own person. The rest is likely a result of their hormones, stresses, and the tumultuous emotions of growing up. Try and remain calm; remember that it will pass.

Curfew Crasher

It is the third night in a row that your teen is late for curfew, and you are steaming mad. They know they are supposed to be home at 9:00 PM sharp, an hour less than before thanks to a punishment due to their last curfew break. When they walk through the door you are ready for a screaming match, and they are on the defensive.

This is one case where it might be more reasonable to compromise. Extending the curfew a bit with their promise to be responsible, and giving them a little leeway could help solve many problems, simply by making them feel like they have more control.

Screen Trance

Every time you see your teen these days, their eyes are on a screen. It may be their phone, their tablet, their computer, or a gaming console. You feel they are losing touch with their environment, including with you and the rest of their family.

Your best course of action is to set reasonable boundaries on screen time. Don’t allow them to use their phone during meal times. Require that they finish all homework every night. Set a time at night where phones have to go off, and enforce it.

Bad Influences

Your teens friend group has been bothering you for awhile. You know they are engaging in risky behaviors, getting into trouble, and perhaps even doing drugs. But any time you bring it up, your child reacts so strongly that there is no getting through.

Forbidding your child from hanging out with certain kids will only lead to trouble. Have an open and calm conversation instead.

Mountains Out of Molehills

A tiny thing goes wrong, and it turns into crying and screaming hysterics. Every little issue becomes a massive drama, and nothing you say or do helps.

This is perfectly normal. What might seem like nothing for you could feel like everything for your teen. Try and be understanding, don’t minimize their feelings, and don’t offer solutions. Just listen and extend your support.

To learn more visit Liahona Academy.

When You Know Its Time to Send Your Troubled Teen to a Boys Boarding School

When You Know Its Time to Send Your Troubled Teen to a Boys Boarding School

If you’re considering whether it’s time to send your troubled teen to a boys boarding school, it’s likely time. You’ve probably read books on parenting troubled boys, talked to experts, and tried every behavior change strategy there is to get your boy to start acting like the sweet, lovable child you once knew.

So, why is it you haven’t made the move yet? Well, it’s probably because you’re still wondering if it’s the best course of action for your child and your family. It might also be because you’re ashamed. “For a parent, taking this step can be like admitting they are an alcoholic,” says Dr. Ron Glick, a clinical psychologist. “They are admitting they’ve failed as parents.”

What’s important to know is that you are NOT failing as a parent, you are actually doing the opposite – you’re succeeding as one because you are doing what it takes to save your child from a life of turmoil and trouble. It’s likely you just need a little more information on whether it’s the right time.

Glick says, “If we’ve exhausted all other resources – behavioral changes, testing, helping the parents change their parenting approach – when everything else doesn’t work, we ask, ‘OK, can you effectively manage and keep the child safe?’ And if the answer is no, then they go to these programs.”

Does this sound like what you’ve done?

Virginia Gilbert, MFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) offers these signs it’s time to send a child to a troubled boys boarding school.

  • You’ve read all of the troubled child/teen parenting books and tried all of the tips they provide with no change in behavior.
  • Your child has received many psychiatric diagnoses, but none of them really fit him. Medications help, but only temporarily.
  • The home is a war zone with constant arguing with family members. The stress has taken a toll on all of the relationships in your family.
  • Your child is suicidal, homicidal, or harms himself intentionally.
  • Your child has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, but it didn’t help.

Other Signs of a Child Needing Boarding School

  • There’s been a change in friends. Peer pressure is strong and your child is giving in to using drugs, alcohol, and engaging in illegal or dangerous behavior.
  • Your child has become aggressive towards peers and adults.
  • Your child disregards the feelings, possessions, and space of others. He’s become extremely self-centered.
  • He may sleep and/or eat too much or too little.
  • He’s unresponsive to all interventions.

One mother interviewed for a LATimes article offered this as a way to feel better about enrolling a troubled child into boarding school, “You constantly question yourself, even after you’ve seen success. There is still a part of you, me, that would like him home, and yet I still realize we do not have the resources he needs. I can provide all the love in this, but I don’t have the skills to treat my son.”

If you can see yourself saying the same thing, it’s time to try our troubled boys boarding school. We can save your child from continuing on a path of self-destruction. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.