Adolescence is widely considered to be one of the most difficult times in life. It is often believed that if you can make it through adolescence well you stand a great chance of successfully navigating through the rest of life as well. But successfully ushering your teens through adolescence can be a challenge for parents and sometimes it seems like your teens just took a wrong turn somewhere and you don't know how to get them back on track. If you are having difficulties getting your troubled teen back on the right track, here are three solutions.
1. Change their school
Adolescence is a time when parental influence begins to diminish and peer influence - or peer pressure - begins to increase. Peers can exert a tremendous influence on your teen, so sometimes, simply encouraging them to find better friends can be enough. In other cases, it will not. Sometimes, their friends and peers can simply pressure them into a misstep here or there, but in other cases, their influence can lead your teen down a much darker path. As hard as it may be for them, sometimes the only answer is to change their environment completely. This doesn't always mean, however, that they won't continue to reach out to their old friends or even maintain strong ties. Depending on how close you live to their old friends, changing their school may or may not completely change their course.
In some cases, just changing their school alone may not be enough. While moving may seem like an extreme solution - and it can be - sometimes, you just need to get your troubled teen away from their familiar environment completely and entirely. In addition, sometimes moving can actually be good for the whole family. In many cases, there may be dynamics at play that contribute to your teen's behavior that you don't even realize. Maybe you end up moving farther away from work and have to work out some type of telecommuting option which ends up allowing you to be home more. In other cases, your teen may have been being bullied or even being subjected to another kind of abuse. Very often, adolescent problems are actually family problems, so while moving alone doesn't solve everything, sometimes it can better expose the full problem.
3. Get professional help
They say it takes a village to raise a child and that doesn't just include caring and compassionate friends, neighbors and relatives. In some cases, you may actually need professional intervention to help a wayward teen course correct. In some cases, it might be as simple as seeing a therapist once a week, but other times, it may require more intensive intervention. While teenagers can sometimes make a mountain out of a molehill, that doesn't mean they don't also struggle with real, serious and legitimate issues. They may be struggling with sexual assault or molestation that you may know nothing about or some other type of severe trauma. That trauma may have even led to developing an addiction that you know nothing about. If you do know about a developing - or full blown - addiction, you may skip therapy and get them directly into some kind of residential treatment center for teens. The sooner you get help for your teen, however, the better the chance you give them of overcoming their issue early on and moving on to a successful adulthood.
Adolescence can be a trying time for even the most well-adjusted teens from the most stable families. When there are additional issues, such as unemployment, divorce, financial difficulties or an unstable home life, this can just make adolescence all the harder. The most important part of raising a teen, however, is to simply be involved - even if that sometimes means calling in outside help. One way or another, you are the best shot your teen has of making it to a healthy well-adjusted adulthood, so do what you need to do to make that happen.