It's perfectly normal for teenagers to want to break away from their parents in some form or fashion. The fact that your children are struggling for their own independence is not an indication that they are "at risk" or in trouble but quite the opposite. The desire to want to be their own person and make decisions for themselves is a sign that they are growing up and preparing for adulthood. The problem comes when your teens' attempts at independence escalate to the point where they are self-destructive or it puts them or someone else in harm's way. When that happens it's important for parents to seek out some practical advice for troubled teens and parents.
Identify The Root Cause
The first thing you'll want to do is to find out what the real problem is. If your teens have made some major changes in their personality or behavior in a very short period of time, the real problem is not the changes but what caused them. It may take some digging or seeking out help from a counselor at school or a medical professional but you can't help your children if you don't know what the real problem is. Treating the symptom (the switch) is not the solution.
Sometimes The Problem Has Been There For Some Time
Sometimes your children won't even know what the problem is themselves. More often than not, the problem began when they were very small and has built up inside of them for years. When children are young they don't really know how to act on their emotions or even how to express them so they tend to bottle these feelings up inside. When they reach their teen years, they have finally learned how to act on certain negative feelings even when they are unaware that they are doing so. Uncovering these negative things in the past can be a real help when it's time to seek treatment for your teens.
Don't Be Afraid To Be A Parent
The most practical advice for troubled teens and parents is to be a parent. If you see that your children are heading down the wrong road, don't be afraid to be a parent. That means making decisions that your children won't like, understand, or even agree with. Remember, you are the parent and not the child's friend or buddy. Your main purpose is to make sure that they get whatever they need to have a successful life. Getting help when they need it, talking when they need it, and laying down rules when they need it are some of the most important things you can do for them. While they may not like your decision for the moment they will appreciate it and thank you for it later.
Being a parent is a difficult path to take and when your teens are in trouble you'll need to be stronger than ever. If you're unsure of what to do to protect your children and help them on the right path, don't hesitate to seek solid advice for troubled teens and parents to get things going straight again. Always remember that while decisions at this point may be tough, your focus is to do what's right for your child no matter who agrees or thinks differently, even if it means your children will resent you for a certain time.