Being a teen can be an overwhelming phase in someone’s life. As teenagers, they are not children anymore, but they are still not adults as well. There’s a blurry line in defining the extent of their freedom and responsibilities. Hence, teens are most likely very vulnerable in adapting new behaviors. That is why it is still important to keep an eye on them.
Child No More: Learning More About My Growing Teen
Teenage years is a period of exploration for your teen. It is a time when they are discovering more about themselves and forming lifelong connections with their peers. Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist says “This is what it boils down to and it extrapolates to any social situation, It can be specific to certain social situations, it can be generalized to all social situations, but the anxiety is about judgment, and ultimately not being approved of and not being liked.” It is unavoidable that they may be influenced by their peers. Worse, your teens may develop delinquent behaviors especially if their peers are negative influences. You don’t want to restrict them from building new friendships, but you also don’t want their lives to be put at risk. How can you be that protective parent to your teen while not making them hostile towards you?
Here are some few tips that can help you to reach out to your delinquent teens:
- Voice out your concern
This is the first thing that you can do to express your concerns to your teen. You are still their parent so you have the authority to voice out your concerns to them. Parents want the best for their children. Hence, being open about what you think on how your teen is becoming will save them from future destruction. as Ben Martin, Psy.D. used to say, “People with low self-esteem, who consistently view themselves and the world with pessimism, or who are readily overwhelmed by stress, may be prone to depression.”
- Try a friendlier attitude
It’s not a good idea to approach an attacking dog by also attacking it. Same goes with your teen. You may want to use a friendlier attitude towards your teen so that he/she would feel comfortable opening up with you. Instead of being secretive, your teen will be able to deepen their trust towards you. Earning their trust would give you an upper hand to make them understand that not all of their peers would be a good influence on them.
- Reach out to a counselor
“Sadly, only a small percentage of people actively seek professional help for their mental health problems,” says Sal Raichbach, PsyD. If you think that trying to manage your teen is getting out of hand, do not hesitate to reach out to a professional counselor or therapist. Don’t ever think that reaching out for help will make you a bad parent. Remember that being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in this world. Hence, asking for help is actually a responsible thing to do.
Next time you observed delinquent behaviors from your teens, keep in mind the three tips above. They may save you from everyday headaches.