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Resources for Dealing with a Troubled Child

Updated on July 10, 2009

Dealing with troubled children is becoming increasingly challenging in today’s world. With iPhones, Facebook, MySpace, and other media kids are hooked into, often direct communication with your child can be difficult. If your child is troubled, there are a few strategies you can use help alleviate your child’s stress and strengthen your relationship.

Seek Resources

First, do not ignore the problem, as this can allow your child’s problems to grow until help is more difficult to give. Face the fact that your child is troubled head-on, and consider the possibility that your past or current parenting tactics might be contributing to the problem. If the way you approach your relationship with your child is not helping his problems, think of ways you can change your approach to better reach your child.

Whether you have past experience in dealing with a troubled child or not, other resources can be a great help to you. Do some research in books, on the Internet, or ask close friends for advice. These resources can give you new insights into your parenting techniques and the dynamics of your relationship with your child as he grows older. Join parenting support groups offered through churches, schools, or other organizations. Learning about other parents’ struggles with their children and methods of parenting can help you learn about your own practices and can assist you in making needed adjustments.

Communicate with Your Teen

Communication with your child should be your main focus. Troubled children are reacting to various problems in their lives, and you need to find out if you or something else is causing your child angst. Do not go on the offensive with your child; accept what he says and talk to your child like you are equals. Giving credibility to your child’s feelings can establish trust between the two of you. Finally, do not be discouraged if your child takes a while to open up to you. Just keep trying, justify your child’s feelings, and make sure your child knows that you are willing to help in any way possible.

Follow Your Instincts

Although you want to establish trust with your child, do not ignore signs that your child may be in physical or emotional danger. If you suspect that your child—particularly your teenager—may be using drugs or abusing alcohol, confront your child directly, in as calm a manner as possible. Building trust with your teen using the above techniques will make your confrontation feel less accusatory.

Image Credit: joe-h, Flickr

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