No matter how good you are as a parent, and how stable and wonderful your relationship is with your kids, you’re bound to run into parenting roadblocks when it comes to your children’s teen years, especially with your boys. In fact, behavior problems in teenagers are so common that they’ve become synonymous with this developmental stage. Most parents even come to expect our teenage sons to act out at some point.
From anger, violence, substance abuse and outright defiance, your son’s behavior can quickly spiral out of control. When this happens, it’s normal to ask where you went wrong and then go about looking for immediate solutions to correct the situation.
Consider The Source Of Your Teenage Son’s Misbehavior
Dealing with the issue might be difficult if you don’t first take time to understand the root cause of their behavior. Your son’s bad behavior might be the result of one—or perhaps a combination—of the following:
- Drug and alcohol abuse – Substance abuse can result in a host of changes in your teen and can often lead to all kinds of irresponsible behavior.
- Peer pressure – Your son could be under immense peer pressure, and the influence of toxic friends can cause his behavior to change for the worse.
- Depression or other mental health or behavioral disorders – Sometimes, changes in teen behavior can be traced to teen depression or other mental health issues and behavioral disorders like ADHD, ODD, etc.
- Problems at home – The loss of a loved one, divorce, parental abuse, stress or pressure from parental expectations might explain your teen’s bad behavior.
- Inability to deal with physical and emotional changes – The inability to cope with the changes brought about by adolescence might leave your son no choice but to act out as a way of seeking control.
Sometimes these factors are intertwined and can lead to the other, e.g., depression can lead to substance abuse or inability to deal with emotional changes can lead to depression.
Dealing With Your Son’s Bad Behavior
Unearthing the underlying cause of your son’s negative behavior is only one part of the battle, the other is to figure out how to deal with it. Here are some things that might help:
- Seeking professional help. Sometimes, your son’s behavior might be too much for you to cope with. In such instances, seeking help from professionals might be the best thing to do. Your son might benefit from a behavior modification program such as a therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment center.
- Developing a trusting relationship with your son. Having a strong father-son relationship based on trust and open communication might go a long way towards helping your son regulate his behavior. Knowing that you’re there for him might lead him to open up and share his problems with you.
- Establish boundaries, rules, and consequences. In addition to giving your son more responsibility, also involve him in setting rules and consequences for breaking them.
Helping your son change his bad behavior and overcome his negative habits takes time and calls for a great deal of patience and support. Along the way, always remind him of your unconditional love and support.
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