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From Algonquin and Huntley, IL: How Counseling Can Eliminate your Teenagers Behavior Problems

Feb 25, 2008
You may be finding that your teenager is getting into trouble. There are mountains of pressures for kids to cope with today. They include, school, peer problems, adhd, family discord, drugs, alcohol and sex. Also, many kids have problems dealing with past traumas, like abuse, expulsion from school or family alcoholism.

You are probably struggling between granting the increased independence your teen wants and your need to provide appropriate parental guidance.

The problems with your teen may involve shoplifting, resistance to your authority, fighting in school, poor grades, raging or drug or alcohol abuse. More frustrating, is that when you inquire, often your kids can not easily explain the reasons for their actions. In fact, they may appear almost more confused than you are, or, worse yet, they may even view acting-out as appropriate.

You and your spouse may feel frightened, angry, frustrated or at your wits end. You even may question yourselves and worry about where you went wrong. The good news, however, is that there is help available for you and your troubled kid.


Keep your eyes and ears open and look for help at important signs of trouble? It is normal for most adolescents to get into trouble or act-out sometimes. A crucial question for you, though, is how to distinguish when your kid is headed for more serious problems from when his or her bad behavior is just being a normal kid.

One way to do this is to focus on patterns of behavior rather than isolated events. In other words, is your kids acting-out serious and does it take place repeatedly despite your efforts to modify it; or is it relatively minor and only happen sporadically?

Some red flags signaling your need for help may include not only your kids acting-out itself, but also, the existence of other problems or tensions in your family that appear to be degrading the emotional quality of life at home. For example, your kids acting-out may be significantly influenced by any marital problems, including frequent arguing and tension among you, your spouse, and various family members.

Remember, your teens problems and other issues in your marriage and family can interact with each other in a synergistic way, so that it is hard to tell which is the cause and which is the effect.
The obvious signs that signal you need help immediately include, violence against other people, violence or abuse of animals, dangerous fascination or acting-out with fire, frequent rages or loss of temper or your discovery that his friends are involved in crime, abuse or the use of mind-altering substances.

On the other hand, you may just have a gut feeling that something is just not right with your kid.

First, talk with your spouse, and then approach your kid about what is happening. It can also be helpful to talk with those who know him or her too, like teachers, coaches or caregivers. They may be able to provide information about your teen's mood and behavior outside of the family setting .

Many factors can put your teenagers at risk for problems. Some of them include attention deficit and hyperactivity problems, learning disorders, raging or temper problems, and sometimes, even the premature onset of puberty. All of these factors can affect how your teens peers and social contacts view him or her.

Also, you and your spouses' problems can exacerbate and intensify any troubles your son or daughter may be having. These problems frequently include depression, excessive anger, substance abuse and domestic abuse.

These issues often interact very negatively with your kid's temperament, personality and school performance.
Rather than being causative in themselves, they place your kids at heightened risk, accelerate the downward cascading of his or her problems and increase your difficulty in improving his or her behavior and emotional state.


Research suggests that the most effective therapies, even with very difficult adolescents, are those that are family-centered and also address other aspects of their lives. This might include the school environment, peers, jobs, athletics, recreational issues and even your kids employers.

It is a treatment method that focuses on the multiple elements of your kid's life that shapes his or her outlook. However, the centerpiece of this treatment is the use of individual and family counseling.

Family therapy can also be useful in helping you and your spouse improve your parenting skills, cope more productively with the stress involved and improve your marriage. Psychologists and family therapists can help you and your adolescent improve your understanding of the relevant issues and help you devise solutions that work.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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