The teen years pose some of the most difficult challenges for families. Teenagers, dealing with hormone changes and an ever-complex world, may feel that no one can understand their feelings, especially parents. As a result, the teen may feel angry, alone and confused while facing complicated issues about identity, peers, sexual behavior, drinking and drugs.
Parents may be frustrated and angry that the teen seems to no longer respond to parental authority. Methods of discipline that worked well in earlier years may no longer have an effect. And, parents may feel frightened and helpless about the choices their teen is making.
As a result, the teen years are ripe for producing conflict in the family. Typical areas of parent-teen conflict may include:
- the teen's choice of friends
- spending time with the family versus with peers
- school and work performance
- cars and driving privileges
- dating and sexuality
- clothing, hair styles and makeup
- self destructive behaviors such as smoking, drinking and using drugs
Dealing with the issues of adolescence can be trying for all concerned. But families are generally successful at helping their children accomplish the developmental goals of the teen years -- reducing dependence on parents, while becoming increasingly responsible and independent.
Our Adolescent Therapy Services Can Help You And Your Teen!
However, there are a number of warning signs that things are not going well and that the family may want to seek outside help. These include aggressive behavior or violence by the teen, drug or alcohol abuse, promiscuity, school truancy, brushes with the law or runaway behavior. Likewise, if a parent is resorting to hitting or other violent behavior in an attempt to maintain discipline, this is a strong danger sign.
This entire article was borrowed from the American Psychological Association.
The above article published by the APA is valuable in helping parents consider the challenges of the adolescent years. The decision to seek treatment can be a challenging one for parents. Adolescents are often resistant to psychological intervention, feeling that help reflect weakness on their part. They may inwardly wish for help despite their protests. Often, the only way that an adolescent can "allow" themselves to attend sessions is by "protesting" or insisting that they have come at the insistence of their parents. This is quite normal and should be expected by parents. If you have questions about how to approach the topic with your adolescent, it can be helpful to set up a consultation meeting with a therapist to discuss options for addressing the topic.