Has your teen started acting out? Behaving in a manner that seems uncharacteristic? Perhaps your teen has started running with the wrong crowd or seems to have lost interest in things he once loved to participate in. Some behavior and attitude changes are considered developmentally normal and expected for teens. After all, the teen years are very much about young people learning more about themselves and what the world has to offer them.
That said, everyday teen rebellion and angst can often take a sharp turn to something parents were not expecting. You may not yet be ready to send your teen to a residential treatment facility. This is very understandable. Many parents prefer to see if there are other options they can pursue with their teen still living at home.
Let’s explore some of the options you may have available to help you and your troubled teen.
Outpatient therapy options
When your teen is struggling, therapy can prove beneficial. There are several choices when it comes to outpatient therapy. The one that works best for your teen and family depends on the needs of your troubled teen and the dynamics of your family.
It can be tempting to think that only your troubled teen needs therapy. In truth, every family member can benefit from at least one type of therapy, whether it’s talk therapy, play therapy, equine therapy, or something else.
One type of therapy or therapist may not resonate with your teen. That doesn’t mean that treatment is not going to help. It simply means that you have not yet found the type of therapy that will help your teen. The key is finding the right therapeutic solution to address the individual’s needs.
You won’t necessarily hit upon the proper treatment right away. It could take a bit of time to work with therapists and psychiatrists. Your teen may also benefit from certain medications that are good for addressing the issues he’s struggling with. Not all teens respond well to medications, so you must work with a team of mental health professionals to keep your teen as healthy as possible in all ways.
It’s a good idea to remember that each therapeutic option you pursue to help your troubled teen will need your full support. You will need to do more than just drive your teen to appointments. Your support will play an integral role in his ability to recover and heal. Your teen may be combative, but this is an expected reaction for someone struggling with mental wellness.
Your therapists will be able to offer suggestions for how you can work with your teen and cope healthily.
Group options and peer support
Something that cannot be overlooked is the value of peer support for a troubled teen. You may often reinforce that you’ll always listen and be the support that your teen needs. But, our teens don’t always want to talk to us. Some may find better comfort in opening up to peers who understand what they’re going through. But, our teens don’t always want to talk to us.
There are often group support options where your teen can meet with peers to get the support he’s looking for. His therapist can provide you with a list of options that might work well for him.
While looking into group and peer support for your teen, consider exploring options that may provide you with the help you need.
Parenting a troubled teen can be difficult. If you can find a support group of other parents who’ve gone through what you’re going through, you may just find this to be an easier journey as you tackle it.
How is school contributing or helping?
How does your teen get along with his teachers and peers at school? Very often, teens are struggling with one or more situations at school. Indeed, school can help many teens get the right type of support that they need, particularly from peers and activities they love.
But band or theatre can only do so much for a teen who is being bullied or is struggling with the stress of trying to keep up with his schoolwork.
If your teen is being bullied, how does the school handle it? Schools aren’t always the best at helping students who are the target of other students. This type of environment will not be the right one for your teen to get his mental health and behavior back on track.
If your teen has been struggling at school and you’ve noticed his grades dropping, you may need to step in and speak with his school counselor, teachers, and other administrators who can offer insight and help. You may be able to get him on a modified program of some type, or you may be able to temporarily have him moved to a homeschool program that allows him to work on his mental wellness without losing out on valuable education time. Most schools are willing to work with students who are struggling so that they can get back on track.
You know your teen better than anyone else. You know what he may and may not respond to in terms of therapy and offered help. Even now, when he’s displaying behaviors that seem entirely foreign and out of character. The most crucial part of getting him the help that he needs is that you approach it with patience and zero judgment.
Whether you’re just not ready to explore residential treatment options or you’re interested in learning more about the choices available to you, HelpYourTeenNow can prove to be a valuable resource. We take great pride in our ability to partner parents and troubled teens with the resources they need to get their lives and a sense of normalcy back on track.