5 Things to Do When Your Teenage Son’s Behavior Becomes Out-of-Hand

The teenage years are when children start to flex their independence and figure out who they are outside of their families. Unfortunately, this process often brings teens into conflict with their parents and guardians, though in many cases, this conflict can be resolved with some work to help teenagers grow safely.

However, not all teens respond well to being told they can’t behave as outrageously as they want. Teenage boys particularly can get out-of-hand as they are full of hormones, and their developing brains are rewarding them for risky behavior.

If you have been struggling with an out-of-control teenage boy, then here are five things you can try to reign in his poor behavior.

1. Stick To Effective Communication

It is possible to have effective communication with an out-of-control teenage boy. However, it will require you to carry a lot of the conversational maturity. While you can—and should—expect your misbehaving teen will push back against most attempts at communication, it is important that you stay in control of your feelings and not take the things they say personally as you communicate with your teen.

When your teen lashes out verbally, it can be tough to stay calm, especially if they say something particularly hurtful—i.e., criticize your parenting, appearance, intelligence, etc. But, by not rising to your teen’s verbal baiting and sticking to clear and calm communication, you are far more likely to have your teen really hear what you are saying.

2. Avoid Getting Sucked Into Conflict

Teenage boys who are acting out will often try to egg you on into a fight—usually a verbal argument, but some teen boys will try to engage in a physical fight. As a parent, you need to avoid getting sucked into a conflict with your teen. Not only will a verbal slug-fest with your teen be pointless, but it also drags you down to your teen’s developmental level.

For instance, say your son comes stomping through the front door, passes you without acknowledgment, then goes to his room and slams the door. It may be tempting to go and tell them not to slam the door, or reprimand him for not even saying hi.

The problem with this approach is that it is clear that your son is in a foul mood and looking for a fight. Your son already knows this behavior is unacceptable. So, instead of getting sucked into the argument that your teenager clearly wants to start, ignore the poor manners and let him stew in his own thoughts.

3. Make Boundaries Clear And Consequences Transparent

Avoiding pointless conflict doesn’t mean that all rules and consequences go out the window. It is important that family rules and consequences are clear to your out-of-control teenage son.

When it comes to setting down rules, try to keep in mind that increasing restrictions can often trigger already struggling teens to act out more. It may help to work with a family counselor to get perspective on the situation and plan out effective boundaries and consequences.

The important part is to stick to the boundaries and consequences. If smartphones aren’t allowed after a certain time and are never allowed in the bedroom, stick to the boundaries. If the consequence of breaking this smartphone rule is the loss of the phone for a week, stick to that consequence.

Some parents will let it slide, which tells teens that rules don’t really apply, while a handful of parents will overreact and destroy a teen’s phone in front of them. Neither response is good for your teen, and it is best that you give your teen consistent rules and discipline.

4. Look Into Therapeutic Behavior Modification Programs

Sometimes, for teenage boys who refuse to respond to your efforts and are escalating their poor behaviors, it may be time to look into behavior modification programs. These programs are designed to help troubled teens to overcome poor behavior that is likely used as a coping mechanism.

Instead of acting out, teens work with therapists and in group therapy to learn more effective ways to communicate their internal thoughts and feelings. These teenagers are also provided with tools to handle their emotions that are healthy and appropriate.

5. Stop Beating Yourself Up For Your Teen’s Behavior

Parents often blame themselves when their teenagers are out-of-hand and poorly behaved. Whether or not there is some responsibility on your end for your teen’s behavior, beating yourself up for past mistakes doesn’t help you or your teen right now.

Rather than blame yourself, focus on what you can do now to make things better. That may include apologizing to your teen for past issues, but it is important that you have plans to move forward beyond that. In some cases, having your teen attend a residential treatment center for behavior modification can give both you and your teenage son the time and space to grow and move forward with the relationship again.

Should you like to learn more about your options when it comes to behavior modification and our therapeutic program here at Liahona Treatment Center, you can contact us by email or phone. We are more than happy to talk about our program with you and see if your teenage son can be helped by attending our treatment center.

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