Continuing with our series on raising teens today, enclosed are guidelines for behaviors that will require a parent’s immediate attention. Parents should also keep in mind the importance of reminding children that they are indeed loved, valued, and have a real purpose in life.
The following are guidelines of behaviors that will require your immediate attention: (Provided by author, Sr. Mary Rose McGeady, “Sometimes God has a Kid’s Face”)
- Suicidal talk of any kind. A suicidal teen may also give away valued possessions make a will, talk about death or dying or say his family would be better off without him.
- Recent changes in sleeping or eating habits, thinking patterns, personality, friendships, study habits, activities. A sudden unexplained end to a long depression often precedes a suicide attempt. Major weight loss can be a sign of bulimia or anorexia-dangerous problems.
- Drug or alcohol use. Irrational or irresponsible behavior, lying, secretiveness, severe mood swings, a sudden increase in accidents. A teen with a problem may have diluted pupils or wear sunglasses indoors, or complain about not sleeping or not feeling well. Valuables may disappear. You may find drug paraphernalia or alcohol containers around the house.
- A recent change in friends who you feel may be involved with drugs or alcohol may indicate that your child is involved or be a sign that your child is having other problems.
- Poor self-image. Doubts are normal. But persistently low self-esteem is a problem.
- Serious depression. Listlessness, loneliness, withdrawal, difficulty making friends.
- Problems at school, including class-cutting, absenteeism, and a sudden drop in grades.
- Law-breaking behavior, even if the police and courts aren’t involved. You might notice new possessions and money not accounted for.
- Rebelliousness to the point of total, continual defiance.
- Fears or anxieties that interfere with everyday activities. Problems between family members that aren’t solved by listening and discussing. In fact, family changes such as a death, divorce or remarriage are times when teens often need some outside help.
By being aware of these possible red flags, parents can determine, address, and resolve whether outside help is needed or may be required. After all, knowledge is power and body language never lies.
I hope that this series on raising teens has been helpful and look forward to addressing your future concerns and challenges. -Champion Parenting, Inc.