Dealing With Adolescent Behavioral Issues

If you have a teenager who has been displaying behavioral issues, you are most likely at a loss on how to handle the situation appropriately. Teen years are very difficult, and if the matter is ignored, the child having difficulty may lash out or become withdrawn. Here are some of the reasons why your teen may be behaving inappropriately and what you can do to help them stop undesired behavior.

Ignoring Family Members

If your teenager has been ignoring you and other members of your family, you may feel like rejecting the child yourself to show them what it feels like. This, however, is not the right approach. In most cases it is a normal phase teenagers go through where they are trying to separate themselves from the rest of the family. The are trying to find their own identity and might start hanging out with friends more than family members. 

The best approach to dealing with being ignored is to continue telling your teen you are there for them if they wish to talk. Keep your regular routine and make conversation as you usually do, even if you get no response. This phase will eventually pass and you will find your teen will let you back into their life and interests.

If your child couples ignoring everyone along with symptoms of being depressed, bring them to their general physician for a complete physical. Having professional counseling, from counselors like Lazaroff & Lazaroff - Beatrice S. Lazaroff, Ph.D./Jerry M. Lazaroff, Ph.D., will also help determine if there is a depression problem involved rather than normal teen separation behavior.

Acting With Aggression

No one enjoys being yelled at or treated as if they are inferior. If your teenager is using aggression with you or other members of the family, this is a situation where you would want to involve counseling services.

There may be underlying causes you are unaware of, such as bullying, resentment over a divorce or new marriage, disgust that you have decided to have another baby, or jealously over not being able to have your complete attention. Finding the source of the aggression is the first step in stopping it altogether. Bringing your teen to talk with a counselor can be beneficial to them and to other family members in finding a solution favorable to everyone.

Hanging With The Wrong Crowd

While you cannot pick your child's friends, you can certainly put restrictions on how much they see them if you have reason to worry. Make sure it is not fashion sense or music choices making you worry about the crowd your teen has selected to spend time with. Often teenagers will try making a statement with bold hair colors, piercings or clothing. Look past this, and you may find the kids are really decent overall. 

If your teenager has dropped their normal crowd for new friends who are involved in drugs or disrespectful behavior, make it known to your teenager that you are worried about the crowd they are involved with. Counseling is always an option if you feel there is more to the friend change than simply finding someone new to talk with.