Troubled Teens: How To Approach Your Son About His Struggles
How To Approach Troubled Teens About Their Problems
As a parent, one of the toughest obstacles in your relationship with your children is getting them to open up to you and trust you with their struggles. Each kid is different and unique, so their reasoning might vary, but it is true of most teenagers. This is especially true of young men, who tend to internalize their struggles and keep them muzzled. For troubled teens, externalizing their problems and opening up is a key factor in the recovery process, especially for troubled teens who have experienced some sort of abuse, whether that be from someone else or of illicit substances. To solve a problem you have to know what the problem is. In today’s blog post, Mid-American Teen Challenge
will look at some ways for you to connect with your son and help walk him through his struggles.
Be A Great Listener
One of the most common errors made by parents trying to get their troubled teen to open up is talking too much. In an effort to get their teen to talk, or perhaps even in struggling with awkward silences, parents tend to talk a lot in these conversations, which can come off as lecturing to a teenager already struggling to voice their problems.
It is important for parents to be excellent listeners, which doesn’t just mean nodding your head as you prepare to give your two-cents, but actually listening. Kids lose trust in people who don’t seem interested in what they have to say and just because you are giving off the perception of listening doesn’t mean your son actually thinks you are listening.
Another common error with parents of troubled teens is timing. While your son’s struggles may be weighing on your psyche, constantly bringing it up when the teen clearly doesn’t want to talk about it will only serve to drive them further into isolation and silence. For parents, it’s important not to force the conversation, but to be opportunistic, listening and waiting for opportunities to talk to your son when he is ready to talk.
This may mean being forced to talk at a time that is inconvenient. The emotional stability of adolescents is not always there, which means that their behavior can be erratic. If your son wants to talk, talk to him, even if it is really late or if it is in the middle of a big game. Make time and make the most out of the opportunity.
Always Be Loving
As always, our counseling and our relationships should be Gospel-centered. Too often we get frustrated with our troubled teen rather than continuing to show grace, even through repetitive struggle. While it’s okay to be frustrated, never attack or be on the offensive, and always be gracious.
Let Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge Help With Your Troubled Teen
At Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge, we understand the emotional toll that troubled teens have on parents. You want what is best for your son and when that isn’t happening, it’s easy to get off track. We have several programs that can help your troubled teen
get back on the right track. Contact us today
at (757) 244-3733 or visit our website for more information.