For some young people, the usual challenges of growing up may be compounded by difficult family situations, school and social pressures, mental health problems or exposure to drugs and alchohol or violence and abuse. While there are no easy answers in parenting, the following strategies may help you support and understand your child a little better.
What Went Wrong? Why?
Parents often feel guilty about things that have happened, which may have caused their child to have problems. Yet there are many things that may contribute to a young person having difficulties. Some of these factors are within parents' control and others are not.
Many of the behaviours that cause so much anguish for parents during their child's teenage years are actually fairly normal and healthy behaviours for that developmental stage. Understanding the changes that your child is going through may help reduce some of the anxiety that you may be experiencing and may help you to respond to your child's behaviour in a more affirming way.
Parenting an Adolescent
The challenges of parenting an adolescent can be distressing. You may struggle to know how to adjust your parenting to suit this stage of your child's development. Tactics that worked with young children will not work with teenagers.
Each family has its own patterns of relating to each other. Understanding the dynamics of your family may help you identify factors that are influencing the way a young person and others in the family are behaving.
Every parent and child, without exception, has a way of interacting with each other. Sometimes those interactions are highly positive and affirming; at other times they are volatile and couterproductive. How you parent - your parenting style - is influenced by your own parents, your personality, what you learn from people around you, the stresses you face in your life, and your child's personality and behaviour.
Many families find the process of trying to get help for their child overwhelming, confusing, frustrating and disheartening. Visit our service directory for an explanation of the different types of help available.