Raising teenagers is a tough job. It’s during this time that their behavior gets impulsive, they begin to take many risks, and they want to break away rom their parents because they want to have more independence. For many parents, these years can be quite rocky because they have not done a good job of establishing structure and discipline. Moreover, a Troubled Teenager can tear the family apart when they are not well prepared for these types of situations.
Here are 10 ways you can support your Troubled Teenager with substance abuse:
1. If you discover that substance abuse is present via drugs or alcohol, it’s very crucial you have your teen taken to a professional that is very conversant with how to treat addiction (a lot of pediatricians and family doctors do have some insights. Also a teen psychologist that specializes in addiction or substance abuse would also be a good option too). A doctor would be able to assist in knowing the abuse level for it to determine if rehabilitation or detoxification would be necessary since they are able to perform blood tests and examine the level of toxicity.
2. You have to set limits and expectations with your child so that they have a clear understanding of what they can expect from you due to certain behaviors. Such as, if your child relapses due to more substance abuse, there should be a plan of action clearly in place such as taking medications that are prescribed, getting back to 12-step program, and so on. It’s also important to have certain punishments in place such as no cell phone or car or going out freely with your friends until there is a proof that your child is recovering.
3. Have a discussion with your child about consequences if curfews aren’t honored, usage of alcohol or drugs continue, skipping classes, and so on. Be certain the consequences are clear enough either by taking the cell phone, car, or internet away,
4. You should be a great role model too as they will follow your lead in many instances. You should never be seen driving and drinking let alone acting out from intoxication. If your teen sees verbal abuse and drinking, you should know your paving the road for your kid to follow suit. If you tell lies, your child would learn to lie.
5. Take the time to get involved in the life of your teen. Make enquires with regards to who your teen’s friends are. Get to know their interests. What’s the ir favorite type of music? What’s subject is their favorite in school? Which TV shows do they watch? What YouTube videos are they watching? By taking the time to learn their interests, they will see that you are involved in their life and care about them personally.
6. Encourage your kids to get more involved into activities that are structured like music or sports. When they pertain in musical learning or a sport, this helps in fostering self-esteem and building confidence. Your kids have too much time that is unstructured isn’t best for your kids. As the saying goes, “Idle hands are the Devil’s playground.”
7. When eating dinner, spend time as a family as this sends a cue to your child that we are a family unit. It’s important that your child feel your connection even through simple things like eating together.
8. Have talks with your teen in a calm and open way. It’s important that your child establish an open line of communication with you where they do not fear guilt, shame, or punishment. Lecturing or yelling at them will only make them shut down and not want to share with you what’s going on in their life.
9. If your teen does anything positive, make sure you praise them as this encourages more of this type of behavior. Your kid is seeking your approval even if they don’t admit it to you.
10. Be a parent to your teen, you aren’t their buddy. Your child has to be very consistent, but be firm in order to assist them through their emotional upheaval.
And if you need help during this process, do not feel insecure if you have to seek outside help. Having a coach or mentor can be very beneficial for both you and your child.
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