Many parents struggle with wayward teens. As children grow up and become young adults, they begin to spend more time with friends, away from home. They may become rebellious, and some may experiment with drugs or alcohol.
Teens often begin to hide their feelings from their parents as they pull away and make the natural transition to being an adult. This is normal, but parents should not completely let their teen make the break away from the family. Teens still need their parents for guidance, for support, and for love. This world is not easy, and teens still need the care and concern that parents and other loving adults can provide.
Parents, Don’t Hover!
As adolescents turn into teens and young adults, parents should give their child space, but still keep an eye on them from a distance. Teens need to have the opportunity to try things on their own and make their own decisions. They even need to be allowed to fall once in a while, so that they can learn from their mistakes and discover what it takes to succeed. Adolescence is one of the most difficult stages of a child’s (and their parents’) life, but it is during this time that a young person’s future really begins to take shape.
Parents, Be Active!
Because teens still don’t know everything, parents must remain active in their lives to serve as a guide and a source of advice. Being a teen is tough, and parents should be a shoulder to cry on when necessary. When their teens make bad decisions, parents should be prepared to be a disciplinarian.
A parent who finds out their child has been messing around with drugs or alcohol should be quick to stop the activity. Parents who take a sit-and-wait approach often find out just how quickly an addiction or bad behavior can take over. Parents should be ready to enforce consequences for drug and alcohol use, and continue to warn their teen about the dangers of substance abuse.
Many parents find themselves overwhelmed and unable to control their teen. In these cases, families may need professional help to get their teen on the right track and provide the parents with solutions for creating a happy family once again.