Category: For Parents

When Your Teen Is Using

 

 

Source:interventionservice.org

Raising an adolescent can be an extremely challenging time for both parent and teen. With added stressors like drugs and alcohol involved, it can be all the more harrowing. Every parent’s worst nightmare is for their teen to be abusing substances and alcohol. Not only do you fear for your teen’s health, their safety and who they might be associating with to get these substances, there is also the added terror because teenagers normally conceal this behavior from their parents. Once you even suspect your teen is using, the panic tends to set in and your head swims with questions. Hopefully this article can help you sort through some of these worries and give some guidance on where to from here.

Who’s to blame?

The most important thing to recognize is that these things happen. Particularly during the teen years. This is a time where your child starts to test the boundaries and work out their own limits. This means engaging in some risk taking behaviors and no one in particular is to blame for this. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have done anything wrong in raising them and you certainly shouldn’t blame yourself (or anyone else for that matter). Substance is not as straight forward as some might believe. There are a variety of things that contribute to substance use and if anything, it has been found that family factors are generally more positive in fighting substance abuse as opposed to negative. There may be a genetic component, but even so, blaming yourselves for this will get you nowhere. What you can do though is work with your teen in fighting their substance abuse.

How do you know they are using?

It is not always a definite indicator that they have a substance abuse disorder, but generally if your adolescent goes through a drastic change in behavior without a known cause, it could e a sign that something is going on. These changes in behavior could involve withdrawing from their friends, acting hostile or particularly moody, a dramatic drop in their school performance, disinterest in grooming and hygiene, lack of interest in things they previously enjoyed, changes in eating and sleeping habits and a breakdown of relationships.

Now I suspect, what do I do?

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Drug and alcohol is a serious concern and can have many health concerns if not treated correctly. For this reason, the best first step is to seek professional help. Book an appointment with your doctor and they can screen for signs of drug use. It may be helpful to speak with them beforehand to ensure they are comfortable with this. If they aren’t, ask for a referral to a drug and alcohol specialist. This can take a lot of courage on both your part and also your child’s part. It is important that you discuss this with your child and let them know that you will be there to support them through this. Be aware that treatment will likely mean having to put other tasks aside such as schoolwork and any other hobbies and interests for your child. However, right now it is most important that your teen receives this treatment as soon as possible and anything else can come after they are back on their feet.

What if they don’t want to go for treatment?

Addiction is a horrible disease and can cause people to change fundamentally. Most addicts have an intense fear of what will happen to them if they can no longer use their vice. This can make getting them to treatment quite difficult. However, focus on giving them incentives for small goals (rather than trying to strong hand them) to encourage them to comply. If they are fearful, explain to them what is involved in treatment and assure them that professionals will keep them safe and comfortable through this time. Most of all, let them know you will be with them every step of the way to support their recovery journey.

What can I do at home to help?

Source:teenlifeline.org

To begin with, talk to your teenager. Try an ensure that you are able to do this in a calm and non-judgmental approach. This does not mean agreeing that the substance use is okay, it means trying to keep emotions out of it (other than care and love). Choose a quiet and calm time in a private space. Start with showing interest and concern, asking questions rather than accusing and encourage them to problem solve themselves around this. Acknowledge their opinions about the subject but be aware that they may be censoring what they tell you in fear of losing access to the substance. Finally, set clear boundaries. These can include:

  • Obviously no substances in the house and making it clear to them that using is unacceptable.
  • Confiscating their driver’s license to ensure they are safe. This may cause big arguments but it is much better than the alternative of them driving under the influence of a substance.
  • Giving an earlier curfew time or only allowing them out for school and family related tasks. This will reduce their access to the substance and likely the peers who were providing it.

Helping someone through a substance use problem can be a very difficult task. It takes a toll on your relationship and on your own mental health. It is most important to involve a professional in these matters and ensure you are taking care of yourself also.

 

 

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5 Signs Of Pushover Parents (You May Need Online Therapy For This!)

 

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Parenting can be challenging when it comes to “training” your child to become a better individual. You want to practice discipline since your child’s behavior will reflect on you as a parent. But did you know that there are two faces of disciplining your child? You can be too strict, or you are too permissive.

 

Being too strict or too permissive is not good. Both instances have its consequences. (You can read a blog published on this site about controlling parents.) Now on this article, pushover parents and what happens to their child are featured. With this, it is best that you know the signs if you are a pushover or not and know the consequences of this kind of parenting.

 

  1. No Routine Or Limits

 

It is very common for parents who are busy all the time. Because of their demanding schedules, they tend to neglect their kids. Chores are left undone, and your child misses his extra-curricular activities. No one is checking up on them. This lack of monitoring can result in raising irresponsible and lazy kids.

 

  1. Avoiding Conflict

 

Working parents are always too tired to check on their kids. More so, to avoid further discussions on a particular topic, they tend to agree or give in to the child’s wishes. As a result, the child wins, and in the long run, he will have that thinking that he can get what he wants. On the parents’ side, they choose to be lenient to avoid conflict with their children which is a future disaster.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

 

  1. Making School As An Excuse

 

One of the signs that you are indeed a pushover parent is when your child uses school or schoolwork to avoid doing a chore at home. It only shows that you have no power over your child and that he does whatever he pleases to do. You cannot make him do something because he has this thinking that you don’t have a say on any matter when he uses school as a reason to get away.

 

  1. Trying To Be Friends With Your Teens

 

It is a fact that teenagers are challenging to handle. But pushover parents who think that they can win their teenagers by being “bff’s” with them is downright wrong. In this situation, parents tend to pull down the boundaries in an attempt to reach out. They become friends with their teenager and even give in to whatever he wants. It may lead to having open communication with your child which in a way is a good thing, but your teenager will not take you seriously. As a result, your kid will not obey you if he finds that a rule is an inconvenience to him.

 

  1. Rewarding Kids With Technology

 

Gadgets can offer a lot of conveniences, but it can do no good to your child if used without limits. Permissive parents are too busy or preoccupied, and they tend to give in to whatever their kid wants so that he won’t act out. One of the favorite choices of kids these days is the smartphone and parents reward these gadgets to their kids to keep them busy so that they can proceed with whatever they have to do.

 

Doing this will indeed keep the kids occupied for quite some time. But then studies show that overuse of gadgets is harmful to kids and adults alike. It can affect one’s behavior, attention span and even their perception of a lot of things. No smartphone can substitute for the benefits of parents’ time with their kids – always remember that.

 

 

Source: pinterest.com

 

Are you a pushover parent? If you are, then why are you still wondering why your kid is violating curfew? If they can’t take you seriously, then curfew violation is a possible consequence of being a pushover parent. You have to set limits; you can’t be best friends with your child especially your defiant teenager. You have to give them responsibilities at home, find solutions to conflict by addressing it head-on and not avoiding it, and limit gadget use. These may sound simple, but at least you’re doing something to correct your child’s behavior.

 

Also, your behavior needs curbing. Speak with an online therapist on ways to help you with being a pushover parent. During online therapy, these counselors have specific techniques to assist you in working out the issues.

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Overly Strict Parents Can Lead To Rebellious Kids – A Psychiatrist Agrees

 

Knowing The Red Flags Of Being Too Stern And Controlling

  

Source: pinterest.com

 

There is nothing wrong with disciplining your child. However, it also has its limits. You can either be too controlling or be too relaxed. But in most cases, the problem is the former – some parents practice too much control or dominance on their children.

 

Being overly strict has its long-term negative impacts on the child. It could lead to behavioral issues and habit problems, according to a psychiatrist and experts in University College London led by Dr. Mai Stafford. With this, it is also helpful to know the red flags of being too stern before it’s too late.

 

Source: pinterest.com

 

You Choose Your Kid’s Clothes For Him All The Time, And He’s 10 Years Old

 

If you are not allowing your child to act according to his age, and do the things he is supposed to do such as dress himself, then you have a problem with control. You should allow your child to move freely and one of those things is for him to have a choice – what to wear and what not to wear, for example. He needs to learn about independence, and this is one way of helping him.

 

Punishments Or Penalties Seem Like Forever

 

There is a reason why you set a period when your child misbehaves, depending upon his error. But when parents don’t have that particular disciplining tool in mind, it can be disastrous. Think about the impact of the punishment on your child when he is grounded for more than a month (because you forgot) for misbehavior that could have been “served” for a week.

 

You Give Orders With No Feedback

 

You impose the rules without explanation and force the child to follow it. This thing smells “rebellion” on the kid’s part, very soon.

 

It’s Your Way Or The Highway

 

You don’t allow your child to have options with the rules you’ve imposed. That’s not good at all. Let him speak.

 

The Consequences Are Too Big

 

Imposing a punishment not par to what the child has done is a red flag indeed. Over punishing the kid is a sign of being too strict and that can cause future problems.

 

There’s An Absence Of Fun At Home

 

No laughter, no praising and no fun around the house is a sign that you are too much of a disciplinarian. You’ll lose your child’s love in no time if you continue to be like that.

 

 

You Never Let Your Child Go Anywhere With Other Kids His Age

 

Not allowing your child to interact with other kids can hinder his social development. He may develop social anxiety over time if you continue to do that to your kid.

 

Unrealistic Expectations Are Set For The Child To Follow

 

You set expectations that are way beyond your child’s age and capacity. He will feel bad about himself with your unrealistic expectations, and that can affect his mental state.

 

He Is Afraid To Show His Report Card

 

When your kid hides his report card from you, it means that he is scared of how you will react and the punishment that comes along with it. The fear is too much.

 

Source: pinterest.com

 

Your Child Threatens To Run Away

 

A child who threatens to run away is already resisting parental authority.

 

You Never Engage In A Healthy Conversation With Your Child

 

When you don’t share your past experiences with your child, he will never learn from you. Don’t fear that your child will use it against you.

 

 

 

Forcing Your Child To Play The Same Sport That You Also Did

 

You are controlling the child and not allowing him to make his own decisions about sports. Forcing him to play the same sport is not a good sign.

 

Constant Nagging

 

Reprimanding and continuously reminding or nagging your child is genuinely overwhelming.

 

Your Child Withdraws From You

 

When your child chooses to stay away from you, this is a sign of withdrawal.

 

No Downtime

 

If you have your child’s every day activity planned out to the last detail, then you are controlling him. Kids also need time for themselves.

 

Ice Cold Parent

 

Kids will feel unloved if parents are too cold due to strictness.

 

These are some of the most concrete reasons as to why your children may become rebellious. When they are controlled too much at home, they want to break free. Rebelling can give them that feeling and with rebellion comes staying out late and violating curfew.

 

You want the best for your child. All parents aim for that, but if you are too stern, you will get the opposite. There must be balance, or else you will lose your child in the process of disciplining him too much.

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Fun Things To Do With Your Teen (Along With Your Spouse Which Will Improve Your Bond) Part 2

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In my earlier blog post, I suggested activities and ways to have fun with your child and spouse. As a parent myself, I always want to feel that my teen and I are in the same boat. My husband and I have always been involved with our kids and being a close-knit family makes me complete. Experiencing beautiful things with them and knowing that they’re happy brings me great joy. I hope it is the same for you.

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Fun Things To Do With Your Teen (Along With Your Spouse Which Will Improve Your Bond) Part 1

Resilient, unpredictable, and adventurous – these are just some of the many adjectives that can be associated with teenagers. When you are a teenager, you are at a stage of life where you just can’t stay put – always eager to explore the world. It is one of the reasons why teens are rebelling against curfew and for that, things must change at home.

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Effects Of Teenage Rebellion (Parents Must Help Out To Minimize The Problems)

Every teenager goes through rebellion stage and overcomes it eventually. The intensity of rebellion will depend on the environment the teenager is exposed to, the factors that have triggered it and the involvement of the parents through the process. In this light, parents must never show their marital problems to their child. If ever you have issues, it must be discussed behind closed doors.

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Activities For Rebellious Teens: How Parents Can Help

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Though it is a fact that rebellion is quite typical in teens, still, it shouldn’t be tolerated nor taken for granted by parents. Rebellion usually takes place when your teenager transitions into the young adult phase. Such phenomenon can cause, most of the time, conflict and chaos within the household. However, instead of going head-to-head with your teenager, it is best that you find ways to connect with him and help him out through the transition.

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Teaching Your Teen How To Cope With Anger

 

Source: pexels.com

 

Teenage anger – don’t take it for granted. It can be confusing and terrifying at times. The behavior, if not curbed, can also lead to something serious – deviance, criminal acts, chemical dependency, and more. With this, you should learn some ways to help them handle it.

 

  1. Be A Role Model.

 

First, you should be a model for your teenager. Handle your anger peacefully and at the same time, find a solution to what triggered your feelings. Openly talk to your teenager about how to manage anger healthily so as not to cause regrettable problems in the future.

 

  1. Help Teenagers To Redirect Anger Properly.

 

You have to find the means where your teenager can belt out his anger. Teach them to redirect their frustrations on a punching bag, doing physical exercises or sports, art, dancing, martial arts, and so many more. Point out the importance of expressing their anger on those as mentioned earlier rather than blowing it up on people.

 

Source: pexels.com

 

  1. Be Mindful Of External Impacts.

 

Understand that your teenager’s anger issues may have something to do with your parenting. “Some teen aggression is expected,” says John Mayer, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Chicago who treats violent and acting-out teens and their families. Instead of going against it, proceed with total self-control and don’t blow up. Your teenager will surely follow your lead. If there is a problem, it should be taken seriously but not personally as well. Therapists can’t stress on this enough.

 

  1. Establish Strict Rules, Rewards System And Consequences For Intentional Errors.

 

You have to set out strict rules and standards in your household. For every action, there will be an equivalent consequence – either a reward or a punishment. Stick to it no matter what so that your teenager will understand the significance of the rules that you have imposed. “Teens can become so aggressive and out of control that they can sometimes miss out on important developmental steps they need to become successful adults,” says John Mayer, Ph.D.

 

  1. Practice Discipline With Rewards.

 

A reward can motivate your teenager to follow and embrace your rules. Set your rewards as something that your teenager will like. For example, an extra 30 minutes for gadgets, going out with friends, and the likes. It will help them do what you want them to do without troubles. The tactic is usually very effective.

 

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

 

  1. Understand The Pressure That Your Teenager Is Undergoing.

 

“Young people are typically unable to see beyond their acute and immediate struggles, which may be related to being victimized by a bully, being a survivor of sexual assault or violence, being uncertain about their sexual orientation, or medical and/or psychological disorders,” said Krystle Herbert, LMFT, PsyD. Understand that your teenager may have issues with her peers, classmates, friends, school work and many more. They may be young people, but they are also susceptible to strained relationships, peer pressure, and stress. And remember, teen hormones are volatile – be considerate of them.

 

  1. Talk To Your Teen About Their Issues.

 

Being a teenager is hard. They have unrealistic standards wherein they need to keep up with others, and that causes tension and pressure. With that, you have to make her feel that you are open to talks and your teen is welcome to approach you anytime. Sometimes, their anger is something that they cannot express openly. Help them release it through conversations.

 

  1. Learn To Listen And Spend Time With Your Teen.

 

Allot some time for your family, especially the angry teenager. Learn to listen to their issues and bond with them by talking. It will help your teenager feel secure and loved. It will also make your teen think that he can handle situations because he has parents who are supportive.

 

  1. Be Open To Negotiations.

 

If your teenager has concerns regarding your rules, hear them out. You can also negotiate with them and give them a chance to explain their side. It’s about democracy. Ignoring your teen or not giving him the opportunity to speak their minds can lead to compressed anger which may worsen over time.

 

  1. Encourage Your Teen To Talk About His Bad Feelings.

 

Allow your teenager to talk about his feelings. Don’t post your parental judgment and wisdom by dominating the conversation. Allow them to express their opinions first. After the teen has calmed down, you can make some suggestions or comments. Don’t criticize, not even constructively, if you want your teen to digest your talks.

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