Got Teenager Trouble?
Is your teenager driving you nuts? Did you have good parenting skills til your kid hit the teen years, and then found yourself on shaky ground? Read on, for you are not alone in the battle of parenting teenagers.
Support for parents of teens is a HUGE need, one not very well met by our society in the USA. The 'answers' are as complicated as the teens themselves. This was created for the weary parents of teens. Support is offered in a gesture that includes both humor and compassion for those challenged with parenting teenagers.
Teenager Poll - Usually the issues are a broad mix, but which would you consider to be the biggest issue when faced with raising teenagers?
What's the primary biggest issue with teenagers today?
Got a Teenager Bringing Tears?
Parenting teenagers is TOUGH!
Teenagers can wreak such havoc on their family. Maybe you know of a teenager who has moved you to tears. I often wonder why there aren't support groups for parents of teens on every street corner. These families need support desperately. Maybe even a 12-step program... you know like AA? If alcoholics can get so much support, then WHY not parents of teens? Teenager Parent Anonymous - why NOT? Parents of teenagers need a serenity prayer too, for crying out loud.
What do you think about this dad's reaction to his teenage daughter?
Poll: The Teenager, the Dad & Facebook? - Hear about the dad in Texas who shot holes in his daughter's laptop?
The controversial video that went viral has now been removed from YouTube, and maybe that's a good thing.
Here's the story: A young teenage girl in Texas posted some very negative stuff on facebook about her parent. Dad found it and was furious!
So then dad posted a video on facebook about her, discussed his perspectives about her lies and behavior, and then at the end of the video he laid her laptop on the ground, grabbed a gun and shot holes into it!
What's your take about this parent's behavior? Once you vote you can also comment if you like. If that were your teenager who did that, what might be your response?
The Nightmare of Teenagers
While we may crack jokes about it, there really is nothing at funny about these behaviors.
Teenagers camping out in your home posing as terrorists? Maybe hiding out in their room? Maybe the same room the was once decorated with Thomas the Tank Engine or Tinkerbell? Remember THAT? Who'd have thought back in those sweet days that our lives would be so transformed?
Teenage Terrorists are secretive, surly and sneaky. They will ONLY 'communicate' with other teen terrorists, usually by text or secret facebook accounts. They'll eat you out of house and home, fill your airwaves with roars of crazed music vibes, and expect you to be their personal ATM machine. Maybe they've expressed opinions that felt 'entitled' beyond belief! In many cases, they are bigger and stronger than you. They sometimes behave as if you have never loved them, and then ... they move out!
Serious Support for Parents of Teenagers - Is some kind of intervention called for?
Many families found valuable support in dealing with troubled teens at the links below.
- Parenting Troubled Teens Just Ask
Excellent articles and resources about dealing with different aspects of troubled teens, including quizzes for the parent and helpfu suggestions for many situations.
- Teenager Boot Camp
A serious intervention, yet these boot camps tend to get dramatic results. All across the USA, boot camps exists that profess the ability to take a teenager who has violated the law, or struggles with their behavior at home or school and transform li
- Help My Teen
A networking organization with over 20 years experience in counseling and connecting families with appropriate situations for their troubled teens, offering a wide variety of resources including boarding schools and counseling resources.
- Troubled Teen Help
Supported by Horizon Family Solutions, this site has a listing of educational consultants that are recommended as also being dedicated to putting the needs of the child and the family first. The site also offers recommended reading, info about missin
- Help Your Teens
Parent's Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.) is an organization that has assisted families with valuable information and resources for their children and teens that are at risk. Find referrals for: Boarding Schools, Therapeutic Boarding Schoo
- The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP)
NATSAP was created in January of 1999 to serve as a national resource for programs and professionals assisting young people affected by emotional and behavioral difficulties. On this site one can search a wide variety of treatment programs in the US
- Got a Teenager?
This one is a favorite social networking and advice site giving parents of teenagers a space to support each other through the challenges and successes of bringing up teens. Includes forums, videos, interviews with experts and more!
- Teen Central
his link is for teens and totally anonymous. Offers a supportive listening ear and MUCH more, highly recommended.
- Earthwatch - Teen Team Expeditions
Great summer opportunity for teens, ages 15 - 18.
- Inside the Teenage Brain - Parade Magazine
Insight about the teenage brain about variables that effect their behavior.
Similar to the similar title written by his dad, Stephen Covey's son Sean writes in his own unique style. That style includes cartoons, clever ideas, quotes, and amazing stories about real teens from all over the world. Open this book to any page and become instantly absorbed. Step-by-step guides to shifting paradigms, building "relationship bank accounts," creating action plans, and many real life stories of teens overcoming obstacles.
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" - Book written by the teenage son of Stephen Covey
Comments about this book about teenagers, written by a teenager:
*"A true gift for the teenage soul." -- Jack Canfield, author
*"An intensive training program for youth to grow and become winners in the competition of life." --Kristi Yamaguchi, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist
*"Unlike my book on the 7 Habits, this book by my son Sean speaks directly to teens in an entertaining and visually appealing style (and Sean, I never thought you listened to a word I said). As prejudiced as this may sound, this is a remarkable book, a must-read! --Stephen R. Covey author of The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
*"This book is a touchdown." --Steve Young, Quarterback, San Francisco 49'ers
One couple found a good local
support group for parents of
The dad calls the group...
AA for Abused Parents
Your Method of Dealing with Teenagers?
Yelling at Teenagers
...does more harm than good.
Teenagers tend to get on our last nerve, so temper explosions now and then are understandable. Just know that whenever a parent gives in and yells, a mistake has been made. Forgive yourself quickly, stay calm and carry on.
Try this...seriously. Lean in really close and WHISPER! Then walk away quietly. This strategy may not change your world overnight, but WILL me much more effective than yelling ever could be.
"I've told my kids that every time I give them something that I didn't have, I take away from them something that I did have. Every time we prevent some challenge from coming in front of the people that we love, we prevent them from learning from those challenges. We should be very careful about how we use the influence in our lives to make life too easy for those around us."— Doctor OZ
What's YOUR best method for dealing with teen terrorists?
POLL: Teenager Terrorists...Concern Level?
What is your view of teenagers these days?
Why worry about typical teen behavior? They'll grow out of it.
Why Such Teenager Rebellion?
Why do teenagers act OUT?
Our society has created a world dripping with sex, drugs, and violence - and we have plunked our temporarily insane children right smack in the middle of it. We tend to treat our teens as though they can handle it, and on the surface that's how they'll act - like they CAN handle it with a 'leave me alone' attitude.
Yet teens left on their own as small adults will not only make serious mistakes, but also can become very depressed and angry. The greatly increased exposure to these influences (sex, drugs, violence, immorality, etc.) on television, at home, in school, and with friends is apparent. Teenagers have a much more toxic environment than they can handle.
Dysfunction at home of many kinds often adds to that toxic environment, such as: overly permissive parent(s), divorce/broken home, parents who 'buy' affection, and parents who are unable or unwilling to be firm nor consistent with teen, to provide supervision or even to require basic self-responsibility or contributions to the household where the teen lives.
The result? Teens who feel entitled, who are selfish and uncaring, disrespectful and even abusive in some cases.
Yes, Your Teen is Crazy! - a different perspective...
If your teenager had a serious case of the flu, you would most likely be sympathetic. Yet when the same teenager acts in ways you disagree with, are you inclined to be unsympathetic and challenging? Dr. Bradley suggests in this intriguing book that teen behavior can actually be similar to mental illness and offers support for parents to help them through the madness, without losing their own sanity.
Teenagers and Mental Illness
Is your teen mentally ill?
In some cases, teenagers do have a diagnosed mental illness, such as depression or even bipolar or psychizophrenia or ODD (Opposition Defiance Disorder). Yet teens without any of those conditions will often exhibit behaviors that indicate they might be at the very least, delusional. This makes what we'd consider to be normal communication with them to be nearly impossible...and also absolutely maddening!
Let's say that you had a job in a psych ward, and a paranoid schizophrenic came up to you one day and said something like maybe, "God has spoken to me and said I should ...teach the world the benefits of illegal drugs...run through Central Park naked?".....or whatever.
You'd likely roll your eyes and smile. Would you blame yourself? Take it personally? Anguish over these crazy statements? NO, of course not. You'd consider the source, ie. this person is a paranoid schizophrenic, therefore not surprising to that known state of mind of being mentally OFF. Yet when our teenagers act out in ways that are totally irrational...many of us then tend to wonder 'where did I go wrong?'
What if you reacted in a very aloof and impersonal manner, and simply reminded this teenager about the consequences of such behaviors? Consider reacting more in the role of 'consultant' than in the role of 'parent'. In the big picture, when we KNOW that we have done way more right than wrong, that we're lost in trying to play armchair psychiatrist in the WHY of these crazy behaviors...then we STOP! Refuse to engage in personal feeling, only consequences... and also you might consider reading the book below.
"I wish to be only half as smart as my child thought I was when he was small,
and half as stupid as my teenager thinks I am now."— YOU?
The Teenager, the Hip Grandpa and the Peacock
Funny true story... the teenager and the old man.
One day I took my dad to the mall to buy some new shoes (he is 66). We decided to grab a bite at the food court. I noticed he was watching a teenager sitting next to him. The teenager had spiked hair in all different colors - green, red, orange, and blue.
My dad kept staring at him. The teenager kept looking and would find my dad staring every time.
When the teenager had had enough, he sarcastically asked, "What's the matter old man, never done anything wild in your life?"
Knowing my Dad, I quickly swallowed my food so that I would not choke on his response; I knew he would have a good one!
In classic style he responded without batting an eyelid "Got stoned once and f*cked a peacock. I was just wondering if you were my son!"
When Faced with an Angry Teenager...
What to do and what NOT to do:
Traditional counseling and therapy focus on getting a child to talk about his "feelings" and building his self-esteem to change his behavior. Self-esteem IS important, yet what parents and teens need is TOOLS! They need effective strategies they can use daily once away from the counselor's office and are facing day-to-day, real-world challenges.
Both teens & their parents often lack the skills to solve the problems they encounter every day. The primary need is more effective ways to problem-solve rather than engage in fighting and defiant behaviors.
In the Face of an Angry Teenager...
*Above all...REMAIN CALM! Take deep breaths, count to 10, do whatever it takes NOT to engage when the teen explodes in a hissy fit.
*Say as little as possible. No lectures and no threats. Say only what you mean and say it without anger or judgment.
*Use a soft voice. Yelling will only escalate the situation. A whisper can be surprisingly effective.
*Be FIRM! Make your expectations reasonable and make them crystal clear. If you give in to an angry teen, then you have encouraged that behavior, a guarantee the angry outbursts will return again and again. While choosing your battles and being flexible is a good thing, some things are simply NOT negotiable.
Teenagers and Drugs
Is your teenager using drugs? alcohol? It's likely.
Think your teenager is not doing drugs? At the very least, odds are that your teen has smoked pot. Got prescription drugs in the house, of ANY kind? Where ARE they? Have you locked them up? A few facts to know...
*Drugs prescribed for ADD/ADHD like Ritalin, Focaline, Metadate and others sell at high schools for $5 per pill and UP!
*Some teens have been known to steal drugs from parents for parties, then throwing them into a bowl and taking handfuls at random, sometimes called Chex Mix.
*Anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax are popular among teens for a high.
What Teenagers NEED...
Teens need respect, but also responsibility and fair consequences for their actions.
1) RESPECT from adults, and yes that includes unconditional love...meaning we may not love their behaviors but we DO love THEM no matter what!
2) To take responsibility for themselves, to be held accountable for their actions. Parents: Bail your teen out of a troubling situation and you might as well encourage them to do the same again and again.
3) To share beliefs and opinions and form their OWN values.
4) To experiment and take healthy risks. Parents must be alert to warning signs that indicate a teenager has moved from healthy into harmful risk-taking, but also need to choose battles about when to intervene carefully.
5) To interact with their peers, to be social and interact with others.
6) Positive adult role models. When it come to influencing teenagers, the things you say probably aren't as important as the things you DO.
Teenagers and Tuition
Why the expectation that parents will pay for their kid's college tuition?
I mean, I can see helping a teenager with college tuition if the family is able to do so - assuming the teen does keep grades up and treat that opportunity responsibly. Ever notice how many do just the opposite?
Where's the requirement of some actual vested interest to hold a student accountible? Parents who pay college costs freely without doing so might be delivering the wrong message. Think?
About Teenagers - Go Figure!
A teenager is often a paradox, a case study in opposites.
A Teenager is...
*A whiz who can operate the latest computer but can't make a bed.
*A student who spends 12 minutes studying for a history exam and 12 hours for a driver's license.
*Well informed & knows-it-all about anything she/he doesn't have to study.
*A connoisseur of two kinds of fine music: Loud and Very Loud.
*A romantic who never falls in love more than once a week.
*An original thinker who sure of the fact that - mom and dad were never teenagers.
*An individual who expects to be treated like an adult while refusing to BE one.
Serenity Prayer for Parents of Teenagers
God grant me the SERENITY...
to remain CALM in spite of my teenager
the PEACE to refrain from locking the teen in a cage
and the WISDOM to retain my OWN life in spite of teenagers.
Once upon a time...
I was a mom of two sweet little blonde boys. We laughed and giggled, hugged and played games, made messes and built crazy stuff together.
I watched them grow with fascination at each development.
Then one day they developed into beings completely beyond my imagination!
They became TEENAGERS!
"Kevin Becomes a Teenager" - Hysterical Video
“When a child turns 12, he should be kept in a barrel and fed through the bung hole, until he reaches 16 ... at which time you plug the bung hole.”— Mark Twain
Gift Ideas for College Kids - A selection of gifts under $100. that college kids do like!
- Best Gifts for College Kids Under $100.
Having a couple of college kids, I've come up with a list of some gifts they are sure to love. Appreciation not guanteed.
What's YOUR take on this page and parenting teenagers?
Join the discussion below.