Address your reactions and needsParenting can challenge you in the best of times. When your teen is out-of-control, it can leave you feeling beyond overwhelmed. Most teens struggle with hormonal changes, increasing pressure at school, and troubles with friends. Emotions can run high, and as the parent, you are often the first to get blamed or dumped on when your teen is not feeling their best. It’s not fair, but it does often indicate that you are your teen’s safe person and safe space. Even knowing that you may find that your reactions are quite strong when you’re confronted with a teen who is acting out. Learning how to address your actions, and learn how to address your own needs, can help you to better cope with your teen. It can also help you to learn how to better parent difficult teens.
- Don’t meet your teen on his level when he’s acting out. His anger and yelling, and even swearing is not something you need to reciprocate.
- Separate yourself from the situation before it is allowed to escalate. Go to another room, step outside. Whatever it takes to give yourself some breathing room so that you can calm down and regroup.
- Get the right type of help and resources for yourself. This could include going to support groups for parents of out-of-control teens, getting into individual therapy, or exploring other options that can meet your mental wellness needs.
How is your teen acting out?There are many issues that your out-of-control teen could be struggling with. Each needs to be addressed in a way that addresses the specific needs of your teen in crisis. Examples of teen behavior categorized as “acting out” includes:
- Running away, even after being brought back home by law enforcement.
- Stealing from parents, siblings, strangers, friends, and shoplifting.
- Making threats towards others and carrying out some of the threats.
- Being violent towards family and others.
- Using and abusing drugs or alcohol.
- Finding themselves in legal trouble.