Many adolescents today have problems and are getting into trouble. There are many pressures for them to deal with among friends and family. For some youth, pressures include poverty, violence, parental problems, and gangs. Adolescents may also be having difficulty dealing with past traumas or abuse.
Sometimes, adolescents cannot easily explain why they act the way they do. They may be just as confused about it as the adults, or they simply see delinquent behaviors as appropriate ways to deal with what they experience.
Parents and loved ones may feel scared, angry, frustrated, or hopeless. They may feel guilty and wonder where they went wrong. All these feelings are normal, but it is important to understand that there is help available to troubled kids and their families.
Here are potential signs that help may be needed:
- Violence against people or animals
- Destruction of Property
- Running Away
- Sudden changes in grades or attitude towards school
- Defiance towards Authority
- Attention and Hyperactivity problems
- Learning Disorders
Research indicates that the most effective treatments, even with very difficult youth, are programs and treatments that are family-based and multi-systemic. That means treatment that involves the adolescent and his or her family, and that also addresses other aspects of their lives, such as the school system, the neighborhood, peers, juvenile justice system, and even employers. Helping parents develop parenting skills focused on limit setting, developing consequences and stress management has also been shown to be helpful.
Please call if you feel like you and your child would benefit from this assistance.