How to deal with troubled teens

How to deal with troubled teens

How to deal with troubled teens

Imagine this scenario – you are in your neighborhood, and you see a teenager arguing with his parents. You feel for the family. You think to yourself, this will never be you. Until you become a parent of teens, and then BAM! The teen angst hits you hard, and you don’t know what to do. Sounds familiar?

Are you at your wit’s end when it comes to dealing with your teenager’s less-than-ideal behavior? Do you feel your teen is indulging in out-of-control acts and needs help? If yes then you may find this article useful as it provides some tips to handle out-of-control teenagers.

Most of us have been rebellious teenagers ourselves. But there is a difference between a rebellious phase of late nights/weird behaviors and harmful practices and violent/abusive acts.

What is Out-of-Control Teenage Behavior?

As a parent of a teenager, you must often wonder what’s normal and what is out-of-control when it comes to your teen’s behavior. You may be right with this line of thinking as teenagers are a moody bunch. You never know when and why they react in a certain situation. [1] [2]

Out-of-control behavior is not a fine line. It is a clearly-seen demarcation. But still you may easily miss it or even dismiss it as normal. [3]

Normal Teen Behavior:

  • Rebellious acts
  • Mood swings
  • Spending more time with friends than with family
  • Angry outbursts
  • Being secretive

Out-of-Control Teen Behavior:

  • Falling/poor performance in school
  • Violent acts (fights at school/home), extreme aggression
  • Breaking laws
  • Drug/alcohol abuse
  • Self-destructive acts

Red Flags:

  • Changes in appearance/appetite/sleep patterns
  • Depression/emotional health issues
  • New set of friends that lead to negative behavioral patterns in your teen
  • Excessive isolation/aloofness
  • Repeatedly breaking laws

Possible Reasons For Out-of-Control Teenager’s Behavior:

There can be any number of reasons for out-of-control teen’s behavior. [4] But here are the major causes you need to be aware of:

  • Teenagers go through a lot of physical and mental changes. All the cognitive changes along with hormonal flux can make teenagers moody and anxious. Your teen can go through a state of confusion and succumb to peer pressure. These can lead your child to indulge in rebellious acts that can go out-of-control easily. Depression and other emotional changes can also lead your teen to experiment with drugs or alcohol. [5][6][7]
  • The adolescent brain goes through a lot of development. The cortex (the base of memories and thoughts) fully matures in the early 20s. The processes that help with impulse controls mature last. At this stage, teens are likely to experience tremendous mood swings that can lead to bad behavior on their part. [8]

Ways to Handle Your Out-of-Control Teenager:

You can deal with your out-of-control teenager with the help of several measures. [9]

1. Face the Mirror:

Is it you or is it your teen? Did you contribute to your teen’s troubled behavior? What makes your teen behave the way he does all of a sudden? You may also be in denial about your teenager out-of-control behavior. But this may not help anyone in similar situations. So, it may help you to observe and reflect on the whole situation. Your teen will not spring his out-of-control behavior on you all of a sudden. It happens over a period. A rebellious phase may turn into an out-of-control burst of anger that refuses to subside. You may have missed the signs, which are your teen’s cry for help. If you did, instead of wallowing in guilt, take action before your child does something that is life-threatening. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. A child’s teen years are tough on parents too. Take a deep breath, toughen up and take action. [10]

2. Find the Answers:

Have a heart-to-heart conversation with your troubled teenager. Even if he doesn’t share, chances are he is listening to you. Talk, not scold or patronize him. And if they share, listen without judgment. [11]

3. Know When To Act:

When to intervene and when to wait for any troubled behavior to phase out? Scenario A – Is your teen hanging out with friends who are loud/have poor hygiene but otherwise decent kids? Scenario B – Is your teen bunking school and hanging with kids who abuse alcohol/drugs/destruct properties? With scenario A, you can relax but may want to keep monitoring any changes in your teen. With B, you need to act fast and with some firm action. The trick is not to go by your preferences but what keeps your kid safe. [12]

4. Make Rules:

Establish order in your house by implementing tough rules about schoolwork, household chores, dinner time, bad behavior, spending, etc. Add consequences to each action that doesn’t comply with these rules. Don’t become lax thinking your teen will hate you for it. Teens hate their parents in any case. So, if your teenager breaks a rule then let him know there are consequences he must face. For instance, overspending equals earning his next month’s pocket money through extra chores around the house. [13]

5. Seek Help:

If sessions with a counselor or a therapist can benefit your kid then by all means, go for it. Teens may be more willing to open up to a stranger than their parents. Also, don’t discount seeking help from family members. Teenagers are likely to be more open with an older sibling or even grandparents. Try all avenues for help. [14]

As a parent of an out-of-control teen, you may feel an utter sense of helplessness looming over you. But instead of thinking that there is nothing else you can do for your child, look into tiny crevices of hopes that may provide you solutions to your problem. There is no downward spiral from which your teen can’t come out and face the light.

But timely intervention, tailor-made solutions and with a whole lot of patience you can help your troubled teen out of any trouble. There is always a way to find ways to help your troubled teen.

What to do when your teenager is out of control? How do you deal with your kid’s out-of-control behavior? Please share some tips with other readers.

Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She’s also a psychotherapist, international bestselling author and host of the The Verywell Mind Podcast.

Raising a teen isn’t easy. Raising a troubled teen is even more difficult. Whether your teen has substance use problems, behavioral issues, or mental health problems, intervention is necessary. There are several things you can do to help guide your teen onto the right path before she becomes an adult. Here are six parenting tips for raising a troubled teen.

How to deal with troubled teens

Connect With Your Teen

In parenting a troubled teen it’s normal to be tempted to turn away from your teen as problems become more serious. But keeping a strong connection with your teen is important. Work on effective communication and strive to maintain the best relationship possible.

Your relationship with a troubled teen won’t be perfect. But, spending quality time together and showing your teen you care can go a long way toward helping your teen get better.

Try Reframing Your Teens’ Situation

An approach often used by therapists is to view a situation or teen behavior differently from what you have been doing, a technique known as reframing. By shifting perspective, reframing offers insight into what is triggering your teens’ behavior often comes into focus.  

Sometimes parents and teens can get unstuck simply by looking at a situation with new eyes; which is usually followed by acting or thinking about things differently. And here’s the really good news—when a parent responds in different ways there is no choice for the teen but to act differently too.

Seek Professional Help

Most troubled teens benefit from some type of professional help in identifying the underlying reasons for their problems and assistance in dealing with them. Getting help for a troubled teen when they first start having difficulties is usually far more successful than waiting until problems get worse.

For some parents, this can be a difficult step to take. Some fear that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness but nothing could be further from the truth.

Keep in mind that the police don’t provide treatment. Threatening to call the cops if your teen doesn’t straighten out won’t inspire your teen to behave better. Seek help from a mental health professional.

The advantages of seeking professional help for a troubled teen include experienced help in figuring out the reasons your teen is acting out, expertise in identifying what clinical interventions are most likely to be effective and support in helping your teen, yourself and your family get through this difficult time.

Recognize When Your Teen Is in Trouble

Knowing when your teen is in trouble is an essential key to unlocking the factors contributing to the disturbing changes in your teen. Professionals who work with teens describe troubling teen behavior as acting out, meaning this behavior is the outward expression of underlying issues that need attention.

Troubled behavior in teens takes many forms. Often, underlying mental health issues such as depression, defiance, and risky behavior. Sometimes, teens turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to numb their pain.

Underneath your teen’s angry or oppositional behavior is likely a lot of pain. Recognizing this can help you empathize with your teen’s needs.

When to Take Action

Parents of troubled teens are often filled with fear. Many parents wonder if they will know what to do if the situation spirals out of control, putting the teen, or others in danger.

Crisis situations are not uncommon in dealing with a teen who is emotionally unstable or unable to cope well with stressful situations. It’s important to take action if your teen is in crisis. Taking steps to know in advance how to deal with these potentially dangerous makes it easier to respond effectively if you ever need to do so.

If your teen is having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

Take Care of Yourself

If you’re stressed out and overwhelmed, you won’t be much help to your teen. It’s important to make sure you take steps to gain support and take care of yourself.

The healthier you are, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with your troubled teen. Take time for yourself and devote some of your energy into ensuring you’re staying emotionally and physically healthy.

Parenting is a tough job. You are responsible for helping your child grow and become the most wonderful version of themselves that they can be. However, not everything goes off without a hitch, especially when you’re raising a teenager. According to a recent study in Developmental Science, teens today are more stressed than ever before. Whether it is because they’re growing up in an overly-interconnected world, feeling the constant pressure to be perfect, or dealing with the crazy political and world climate of today, no wonder these teens are feeling troubled.

With all these challenges presented to your troubled teen, you probably feel desperate to help them feel happy and at peace as a parent. You are not alone in helping your teen get through challenging times. There are plenty of psychologists and other professionals dedicated to helping adolescents grow their self-esteem and understand the limits of their own health and happiness. As you are working to help your teen feel better, here are a few things you should know about parenting a troubled teen.

They need you to listen with an empathetic ear.

If you have a teenager at home, you’ve probably heard the phrase “you’ll never understand me” once or twice. It’s true, you’ll never completely understand what your teen is going through. But if you look at the 5 tips for helping your troubled teenager, the number one suggestion is treating their problems with empathy and compassion. Offer them that listening ear, get them the help they need without judgment, and give them space and the tools they need to get through their trials. Your teen’s life is different than your own and you may need to do some research just for informational purposes to try and understand their perspectives. But by taking the time to hear them and give them a space to vent and talk things out, you’re taking positive steps to help them through their teenage years and to grow into adulthood.

A need for professional help is not unreasonable.

More and more young people are at higher risk of being diagnosed with mental health disorders. Seeking medical treatment is not an unrealistic or unreasonable step forward. Depending on your age, you may feel there is some sort of taboo on seeing a healthcare provider for mental health care. That is no longer the case. Seek professional medical advice for your adolescents to help them get through the difficulties in their daily life.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on medications.

If your teen ends up needing medication for certain anxiety or depression disorders, you do not have to spend an insane amount getting them the medical care they need from the pharmacy. Check out for a discounted drug cost or price comparisons. This is the best way to get your teen the care they need without spending a fortune to do it.

It’s okay if you aren’t perfect, as long as you’re trying.

When you have a troubled teen, you can feel like you failed as a parent. You wonder where you went wrong or what you could have done to help ease this burden from your adolescents. The biggest thing to remember is that as long as you are trying and giving them love, you are succeeding as a parent. It is not your job to fix every single problem and you need to give yourself some comfortable boundaries as well. Sometimes giving that space is the most important thing and can help them grow and succeed on their own. Give yourself grace and remember that parenting is hard enough without blaming yourself for any issues facing your teenagers.

Being a teacher is no easy task. I have been teaching children for the last 6 years. I have been associated with students of the secondary and higher secondary section. Most of these students are teenagers.

Teenage, ah the confused times! Remember being a teenager? The raging hormones, the never ending crushes, the anger, the emotions, all of them at extreme levels.

Parenting teenagers is a tricky process. There is a never ending war that erupts every now and then between parents and teens. Teenagers demand freedom for everything. Teens break away from their parents and if this has happened to you, remember, this is totally natural. This may be good and bad at the same time. T his emotional separation allows them to become well-adjusted adults .

During parents teachers meetings, I have parents coming up to me and complaining about how their child is become impossible to control and never listens to a word they say. They think that families become less important to children as they move into the teenage years. But that is not the case.

Teenagers go through a lot of physical as well as mental changes. Life is already being hard on them, or at least that’s what they feel. They need you to be there for them, even if they don’t openly admit it. How you deal with your teenage kids shapes your relationship with them!

I remember, when I was a teen, my friend was kind of a trouble. Her mother had initially granted her unrestricted freedom. But things later got out of hand. The mother-daughter duo had a fight regarding some issue and this caused bitterness in their relationship. She is all grown up now but she is yet not in very good terms with her mother.

Troubled teenagers are very difficult to be dealt with. In my experience, if troubled teens are not handled with care, it can cause eternal damage. Here is what you can do if your child is a troubled teen-

1.) Identify If Your Child Is A Troubled Teen
Not all teenagers are trouble. Simple fights, slamming the door, rolling the eyes are all normal behaviour. But if your child inflicts self harm, distances themselves from events, starts acting violent, adopts dangerous habits, depression, anxiety, eating disorders etc., there is some serious problem. As the parent of a troubled teen, you’re faced with even greater challenges. Your child will obviously not smoke or drink front of you but you can easily make out if they have indulged in such activities through their behaviour. For e.g., I have noticed that after smoking, a teen usually starts chewing gum to get rid of the smell, but you can still faintly smell the smoke. Also keep a track of their weekly spending.

2.) Stay calm
If your child is angry and is arguing with you, you need to stay calm. Not all teenagers will be rude or disrespectful, but some disrespect is a normal part of teenage growth and development. Your child may be rude but remember they are learning to express their independent views. Don’t lose your patience instantly. If you’re angry or upset, it is not the time to try to communicate with your teen. Wait till you’re calm and composed before starting a conversation. Having a conversation when you’re angry is just like adding fuel to the fire, lots of it.

3.) Be a friend to your child
Teenagers usually tend to make their friends the centre of their lives. They are easily influenced by their friends. This is OK if your kid’s friends have a good nature. But that’s not the case most of the time. Most of your child’s friends are teenagers themselves. And the advice they provide may make things worse. This is just like one blind person leading another. Many people think that families become less important to children as they move into the teenage years. But this is not the case.

A teen needs their family and the support it offers just as much as they needed it when they were a child. You have to be a friend to them. A friendly parent-child relationship can be very beneficial in dealing with teenagers. Be a best friend to your child to make him a confident, secure person and this will help them share their problems with you. This way you can be aware of what is going on in their lives and guide them. Keep a track of their behaviour. If they skip meals or seem lost, have a one to one chat with them.

There are a lot of issues that children do not talk to parents about. This is because they are scared that the parent will get angry and scold them. By being friends with your child, it is not only his problems that he will share with you but also his most special secrets. Spend time with your child. Go out on family outings, have a meal together every day, laugh and share stories to help your child feel connected. This translates into many happy moments spent together as a family.

4.) Find the Balance
Too much discipline or too much freedom, both are bad. It’s about finding a balance between obedience and freedom. There are thousands of parenting books out there written by great authors. But the problem is all these books adopt a different method of parenting. Books become a problem when parents use them to replace their own instinctive skills. It’s not that parenting books are bad but each child is different. A parent must know that they should have a balance between disciplining their child and giving them freedom. Don’t put them in chains. Let them explore the world a little. Trust them. Give them a little freedom. Don’t say, “No!” everytime. But too much freedom is also dangerous. Set family rules in such way that it is beneficial for both, you and your teenage child.

5.) Don’t involve others
The biggest mistake a parent does is involving an outsider. I have seen many parents complaining and comparing their child with others front of their friends and teachers. They tell their child’s complaints to other parents. They also end up telling something personal or talking about an embarrassing event that must have occurred to their child. If the child has committed a mistake, they involve their relatives to solve the issue. This one small spark can turn into a wildfire very soon that may consume your child. NEVER involve outsiders, even your close relatives, in your family matters.

If you feel helpless, consult a professional. The internet is filled with answers to various questions. Even if you are asking advice from your child’s class teacher, don’t do it front of ten people. Do it personally and keep the conversation confidential.

It’s normal for teenagers to be moody or seem uncommunicative, but they still need you. Your child still loves you and wants you to be involved in her life, even though at times her attitude, behaviour or body language might seem to say she doesn’t. The key to successfully dealing with teenagers, especially troubled ones is knowing what efforts are worth it, and which ones backfire. All the best! Happy Parenting.

Felicia N. is professionally a teacher but a blogger by choice. She blogs at Wedding Maniac and Confused Mango where, she blogs about her life’s journey and her passions. She has been teaching kids for the last 6 years and has also been involved in counselling activities. You can check out her blog to know more about her.

Though issues in troubled teens today are very real and treatable, many refuse to engage, to participate, or even communicate with counselors. Here are some reasons why they may be unwilling to become involved in treatment: Misconceptions About Therapy Sometimes our teens and young adults resist the opportunity to open up and fully dive into …

  • Yvette Slagle
  • |
  • January 28, 2016

Though issues in troubled teens today are very real and treatable, many refuse to engage, to participate, or even communicate with counselors. Here are some reasons why they may be unwilling to become involved in treatment:

Misconceptions About Therapy

Sometimes our teens and young adults resist the opportunity to open up and fully dive into treatment out of negative stigma or apathy. Unfortunately, the true cause of disengagement from treatment often lies in the treatment or methods being used.

Teens don’t want to tell a therapist how something makes them feel; they want a trusting relationship, and the ability to open up on their own time. Some counselors struggle to find a balance between empathy and accountability. If teens are getting the proper treatment, they will open up because they feel safe and secure.

Feeling Unworthy or Embarrassed

Troubled teens need help navigating tumultuous transitions. They are dealing with their emerging sense of self. This makes for a personal nature that is protective of independence and intellect. Their sense of dignity is vulnerable. Patronizing speech and condescension (intended or otherwise) leads to detachment from addressing the issue at hand. The time has come to to start listening to what teens are saying on an earnest level, and sometimes more importantly, what they aren’t saying.

Recovery begins by building a rapport with a struggling teen. That rapport is built through mutual growth, not intellectual or emotional assertion. This may seem self-explanatory to some readers, but most people do this without knowing it’s happening. Janet Sasson Edgette, Psy.D says, “Because teenage clients are legally underage, we tend to treat them as if they weren’t fully capable of making their own decisions. But no matter what we want for them or can see in them, the choice of whether to accept our help is always theirs.” Fostering an affiliative environment moves treatment forward in leaps and bounds.

Defiance and Social Stigma

There are mental health disorders such as ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) that make teens naturally more irritable and argumentative. These areas call attention to the need for professional treatment. Authenticity goes a long way for troubled teens. Knowing how to communicate in a way that will come across plainly validates a teen’s willingness to be forthright. Unfortunately, this is a reason many therapies today fail. The inability of a counselor to pinpoint poor habitual behavior and, so to say, speak the same language is often a hallmark of a defiant teen personality.

Many teens do not want their peers to know they are going through therapy. The sheer admission of the necessity for counseling or spending time at wilderness camps for troubled teens is a troublesome feat to accomplish. Toss in the possibility that their classmates and friends might catch wind of their participation, and the idea of treatment becomes doubly daunting.

What’s the Solution?

Counselors must stop focusing on immediate end results in short-term bursts, and begin focusing on small interpersonal interactions taking place, letting change take place naturally over time. To create a sustainable lifestyle, troubled teens must be taught the mechanisms to deal with sporadically occurring negative episodes on their own. All of the quandaries mentioned throughout this post have been addressed and solved by the program instituted at Pacific Quest.

Our clinicians and program guides are trained in a neurodevelopmental approach that stimulates the human capacity to self-regulate and problem solve. Through Horticultural Therapy, students grow internally in parallel with the growth they foster in the garden. Pacific Quest’s clinical model is a unique approach among wilderness camps for troubled teens—combining therapeutic techniques in a sustainable and scientific way. Students not only address the issues they may be facing during difficult transitions, they are also given the tools they need to grow through any future adversity.

Dealing with troubled teenage girls is often very different than handling troubled teenage boys. Because girls often face family, peers, school and society with a different perspective than boys, it may not be enough for you to apply the same parenting techniques to your daughter that worked for your son. When you are attentive to your troubled teenage girls’ needs, it can help enormously with family relations and smoothing out defiant behavior.

The first behavioral issues most parents notice is a change in attitude, falling grades, disinterest in hobbies and activities that the teen once loved, suspicious activities, all new friends and more. As the negative behavior increases, you may be wondering what you can do to effectively deal with your troubled teenage girl.

Here are 3 things that you can do to keep in mind as you deal with your troubled teenage girl

Be Aware of What Your Teen Faces

Troubled teen girls are faced with a range of outside influences that can trigger negative behavior, ranging from peer pressure, a perfectionist drive, body image issues, depression, anxiety, disabilities, divorced parents, sexual exploration and even sexual abuse. These impact your daughter’s behavior greatly, and cause her to act in a range of ways, motivated by fear, desire to please, low self-esteem and more. As a parent, if you are going to try to help your troubled teen, you must be willing to walk a mile in her shoes and gain an in-depth understanding of what her environment is like.

Understand Typical Behavior vs. Troubled Behavior

As a parent of a teenage girl, it’s important to recognize when a teenager is trying to learn, grow and exercise independence. Although you are slowly loosening up the control of your child’s life, she still needs guidance, advice and even discipline. Identify what is normal teen behavior, like mood swings, obsessing over friends and even minimal drug or alcohol experimentation. Then, be aware of when teen behavior moves to a more troubled zone, like skipping school, increased aggression and substance abuse. When dealing with your teenage daughter, keep emotion out of it, be available for communication from your teen and set clear, fair house rules with clear, fair consequences if broken.

Express Love and Concern Frequently

As teenage girls grow, they often don’t act like they care what their parents think or feel. However, teens who are troubled are subconsciously checking to see if their behavior causes their parents to give up on them, abandon them or stop loving them. You must communicate with your teenage girl, letting her know that you are interested in her life and that you care about her. Every person, young or old, wants to feel loved, and even though teen girls may seem opposed to parental expression, they will still feel the benefits of positive, loving expressions and actions.

As a parent, you know your teen girl best and know when it’s time to turn to professional help. Your neighbors, parents, peers and school guidance counselors are good places to start when it comes to getting advice. They can often share their own experiences, recommend therapists or provide other resources. Help Your Teen Now is another resources for professional help and as a parent advocate group, we’re standing by to help you out in dealing with your troubled teenage girl.

How to deal with troubled teens

Are you worried about your teen as the world returns back to normal? Does it seem like the recent changes, while welcome, have led your teen to feel discomforted and anxious? That’s perfectly understandable. After all, very few people lived through what we’ve all just lived through. Going through months (and more) of online learning, all that time on social media, cooped up at home – it’s impossible to overstate how difficult that could be on kids. Our counseling for troubled teens professionals has some advice about how to prepare for a world that’s recently expanded.

Making Schedules and Sticking to Them

It may seem obvious, it may seem onerous, but we strongly recommend strategizing your family’s schedules. That means having a personal schedule for teen(s) as well as your family. That doesn’t mean that you have to have everything down to the minute, of course, but it can go a long way towards helping to keep everyone on track. Moreover, keep the lines of communication open. Adjustments will need to be made, as they always do. But, having a schedule and keeping to it can pay real dividends for everyone in the family.

Opening Up to the More Difficult Questions

After going through the pandemic, it makes sense to want to shy away from hard questions. If your teen has questions about struggling (even with the concept of opening up), just feeling really depressed, or even suicidal ideation, it’s understandable to want to talk to them about, well, anything else. However, don’t shy away from it. Your teen has real questions that deserve real answers. A strong predictor of kids’ resilience is whether their parents are available – and keeping it together. Answering your teen’s questions honestly can do a world of good for your teen as well as for your family.

Agency and Reframing for the World Ahead

That said, not all of this period is going to be “gloom and doom.” Praising your child (as well as yourself) for being able to keep it together through this time, for adapting, for being flexible, for bouncing back, is critically important. So much of the time to come is going to be about reframing what we’ve all been through. Helping your teen to find their sense of agency isn’t just important for the pandemic. It’s also important for their lives going forward.

Counseling for Troubled Teens and More at Insight How to deal with troubled teens

Remember: your child doesn’t have to struggle with drugs and alcohol to be welcome at Insight Treatment. Indeed, so many of the teens who come here do so due to depression and other mental health concerns. Here, they’ll find a welcoming community of teens going through very similar struggles (as well as mental health professionals who can help your teens to find the underlying causes for their mental health concerns). We’re always glad to schedule a free initial consultation with our Clinical Director. You can do that through our site or by calling (888) 295-9995.

How to deal with troubled teens

Difficult teenagers can make you feel as if you are really at the end of your rope. It’s hard enough to raise teens, but when your son or daughter starts behaving badly, disrespecting family members, struggling in school and otherwise jeopardizing a bright future, it’s time to take serious action. Parents who are dealing with difficult teenagers can use these 10 tips to manage the relationship better and make rational decisions.

1. Control Emotions

It’s easy for your emotions to build up as tensions with your teenager escalate, but that is the completely opposite thing to do. To neutralize the drama and take away the battle for control, remain calm and don’t raise your voice.

2. It’s Nothing Personal

When teens are lashing out and trying to deal with their frustrations, they may say or do things that are hurtful to you. These attacks can feel very personal and may hit on some areas where you have low self-esteem. If you can ignore them and don’t let them distract you, you can have a more productive interaction with your difficult teen.

3. Know the Source

It’s easy to feel like your difficult teenager is picking on you all the time, but step back and realize that they are speaking and acting from a place of pain. Remember they are not really focusing on you, but you are a convenient target. Knowing the source of their frustration isn’t you can help to discard their verbal attacks and get to the heart of the issues.

4. Step Away

Sometimes the best thing to do when you are in the middle of a confrontation with a difficult teen is to just walk away. This doesn’t mean you are conceding defeat or even admitting your teenager “wins.” Instead, it removes the biggest target of your teen’s anger, you, and let’s them have some time and space to calm down.

5. Stay Positive

Refusing to descend into a negative mental and emotional state when things are stressful is a great way to model positive behavior for your teen. Remember that even in times of stress to leave the negativity behind and act how you would want your teen to act in the same situation. Teens watch how the adults in their lives behave and it influences their own actions.

6. Set Boundaries

Teens that are being difficult cannot be allowed to do whatever they want. It’s a good idea to set up boundaries about your expectations for behavior at home and school. Discuss them during a period of calm, and outline consequences. That way, when negative things start to happen, you can both refer to those boundaries, then enforce the consequences.

7. Protect Other Family Members

Your teenager should never be allowed to pick fights, bully or otherwise harass other family members, especially younger siblings. It’s important to monitor the interaction between the troubled teen and siblings to ensure that they are not inflicting emotional harm on children.

8. Care For Yourself

Dealing with a difficult teen all the time can leave you feeling depleted and stressed out. Take time whenever you can to take care of your own needs, such as a healthy diet, exercise or meditation. When you get the chance to step away from the situation, you’ll really recharge emotionally and mentally before dealing with your teen again.

9. Get Professional Help

There are plenty of behavioral, emotional and mental health conditions that can contribute to how a difficult teenager acts and thinks. Sometimes, the only way for teens to start healing is for them to get therapy. As a parent, you need to make sure your teenager is getting counseling appropriate for their needs.