3 Warning Signs to Detect a Troubled Teen

Being a parent is quite possibly one of the hardest jobs that you will ever do. After all, you are responsible for a human being. If you don’t do your job right, the child and society both will pay the price.  Learn how to detect the signs of a troubled teen before they get out of control.

If you’re the parent of a troubled teen or one whom you’re concerned might be heading down the wrong path, the question that you have to ask yourself is whether or not you can identify red flags before it’s too late.

One of the main concerns of parents is that they’re children are experiment or flat-out abusing drugs and alcohol.  Studies have shown that early use of marijuana can put your child at risk for conditions such as psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.  What’s more is that marijuana is often thought to be a gateway drug for even more serious street drug use.

As a loving and caring parent, you want to give your child every opportunity to succeed in this difficult world in which we live.  Part of heading down the path to success later in life involves not taking too many steps in downward spiral–those leading to drug abuse, school truancy, and criminal activity.  In this blog post, we’re going to look at simple red flags that you can use to help identify signs of trouble.

1. Behavior

Pay close attention to your teenager. If you notice that they are withdrawing from you, it may be time to step in and find out what the problem is. It’s normal for teenagers to want to spend time alone in their bedroom. However, if they are not talking to you about their problems, it may be time to start searching for some extra information to help them to be happy.

Why is your child withdrawing?  There can be many reasons to attribute for this behaviour ranging from depression to substance abuse.  If you’re child’s speech seems slurred, they’re eyes are bloodshot or they seem intoxicated, it’s probably more likely that they’re abusing substances.  Pay attention to strange smelling odours, congested sinuses, and whether they’re up all night–these are not signs of depression. If you’re really concerned you can have them take an at home drug screening test.


2. Peers

If you notice that they are running around with a new group of kids, pay attention to these new kids. If they seem to be bad news, you may have a problem on your hands. Forbidding your child from hanging out with a certain group of people should be a last resort since it could make matters worse, and you may not have control over their behavior once they leave the house. Instead, try to encourage them in other ways.

Get them involved in community activities, like sports, arts, and other events that will help them socialize with peers who can have a positive impact on them. Sometimes moving locations, or changing schools can also help separate them from negative peers, but only if they, themselves, are ready for change.

3. School Performance

If your child has had excellent grades in the past and you notice a steep decline in school performance, that can be a huge indicator of trouble. Talk with your teenager and find out what you can do to help them. If they are in trouble, they probably aren’t going to tell you. Don’t get discouraged if they have a bad attitude towards you. Instead, love them anyway.

It’s important to remember that even if they seem to be angry with you, they are probably just taking it out on you because they know that you are their safety net. They know that you are going to be there for them no matter what. This is why they feel as if they can blame you for their problems.

What can be done?

According to author and expert Stanley Martinson, “Don’t be afraid to check into counseling for your child if you are really worried about them.” Chances are that they are going through some things that they are not quite sure how to handle. If you think that your child is involved with drugs or alcohol, get them the extra information and help they need immediately. Otherwise, they could be in for a life of problems. Eventually, your child will turn out to be a respectful citizen that you can be proud of.

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Annabelle Smyth

Annabelle is currently a loving and caring mother of two children. She lives outside of Milwaukee, WI and loves cheering for the Bucks and Badgers. She is a blog enthusiast and loves writing, if she is not writing she is cleaning up after her two lovely angels.

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