It seems like every time you turn on the news, they are reporting on another school shooting. Everyone always talks about the warning signs and how people should have investigated further or reported unusual or scary behavior. Every teen gets moody from time to time – it’s just the nature of their hormones at that age. Every teen is different but you know your teen. You know their behavior. If you are unsure if your teen is simply “being a teen” or if they are showing signs that intervention may be needed, please continue to read this article.
Parenting a teen can sometimes leave you at your wits end, but if they exhibit the signs below, you may be faced with a troubled teen that needs additional help beyond what you can give.
As we mentioned, teens are moody creatures. Their bodies are full of raging hormones and changing moods is part of the package deal during the teen years. However, if your teen has extreme changes in moods (extreme anger, extreme sadness, and hatred towards family members or others), this may be a sign something deeper is going on. Try to determine what the triggers are for their mood swings. If the moods continue despite the removal of those triggers, it may be time to seek help from a counselor or psychiatrist. They can meet with your teen and dig deeper to find the root of their problem.
Obsessions with new friends
Whenever your teen totally switches up friends, it could be a sign that something has changed in their life. They are bound to make new friends throughout their life, but when they completely cut off their old friends and start changing their appearance to fit in with new friends they made, that could be a signal that trouble is looming. Make sure that those new friends are not into dangerous or reckless behavior.
Have you noticed that your teen is suddenly hiding parts of their body? Are they insisting on wearing long sleeve shirts even on warm days? If you notice that your teen is mutilating their body in any fashion, get help immediately. This behavior commonly exhibits itself before other violent or suicidal behavior. Definitely don’t push this behavior aside because it’s very serious.
If your teen suddenly seems to have money that has appeared out of nowhere, it’s time to do some digging. If they are all of a sudden coming home with new electronics, clothes, or jewelry and are showing signs of being withdrawn, something bigger is going on. They could be into the selling of drugs or are stealing. Both are unsafe situations that need to be dealt with.
Do you feel like your teen is lying to you? Small white lies are one thing, but lying all the time about their whereabouts or who they are with is another. They obviously don’t want you to know where they are or who they are with, and that’s a warning sign they are up to no good. Try to get to the bottom of what they are hiding.
If your teen lets you down, gets caught doing something they shouldn’t, or makes a mistake, do they show remorse? Teens that show no remorse when they are caught doing something they shouldn’t be is playing with fire. If your teen has no respect for you or others and is constantly defying you and showing no remorse, it’s time for some action.
Is Your Teen at Risk?
Some teens have certain factors that may put them at higher risk for developing the dangerous behaviors we discussed. Risk factors include teens that have been:
- Sexually or physically abused.
- Victims of bullying.
- Dealing with a stressful life at home.
- Exhibiting a past of violence and anger.
- Abusing substances.
If you feel that your teen is a threat to themselves or others, please seek help. Your local mental health offices help teens on a daily basis and could work with you to help yours too. Please don’t take the warning signs lightly and get your teen the help they need.
Looking for more helpful information on various things that may affect your teen’s behavior? Check out our recent post on positive role models for teens.
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