Are You Worried About Your Daughter, But Unsure How Bad Her Issues Are?
Mentally put a checkmark next to the sentences below that describe your teenager today, then add up the number of checkmarks to score the results.
What are the Signs of a Troubled Teenager?
- EXPLOSIVE BEHAVIOR: Your teen refuses to abide by anything you say or request, and her resulting behaviors or bad tempers put you, her, or your family in danger or risk, leading to constant fear or stress in the home. It is as if you walk on pins and needles when your teen is home.
- MARKEDLY CHANGED BEHAVIOR: Your teen is displaying behavior that is a marked change from what has been expected for the child in the past, such as sleeping too little or too long, forgetfulness (actual or convenient), excessive lack of motivation, growing aggression, sadness or anxiety, and severe mood swings, falling grades, missed school, blaming others, hating what they once loved or loving what they once hated, or spending most of their time alone.
- UNCARING: Your teen openly displays rebellion or outright hatred toward you or the family, no longer veiling their feelings nor caring about the future or the consequences of their actions or behaviors.
- DEFIANT: There is blatant ignorance or profound disrespect toward the boundaries and beliefs of your family and your home rules. Your teen can show this in passive aggressiveness or open defiance that is growing more excessive each day (it is not just a once in awhile outburst).
- SELF-DESTRUCTIVE: There are outright or veiled threats of suicide or running away, or the teen is self-mutilation or cutting, taking excessive risks, or using dangerous or illegal drugs or substances. The child has seemingly lost their conscience, forsaken all care for others, and no longer has a moral compass.
- DISRESPECTFUL: Treatment by your teen of people, pets, or your belongings is disrespectful, threatening, or out of control. Valued items or money in the home are damaged or missing without explanation.
- ENTITLED: Your teen thinks she should be served and given more and more things and goes into temper tantrums when this doesn’t happen. She demands all of the attention of you and other family members, showing blatant disregard for others’ schedules, feelings, or possessions. Your child has become extremely selfish and uncaring about others (outside their peer group).
- OTHER TACTICS HAVE FAILED: Months of counseling, therapy, or medication have made little or no improvement in your teen’s behavior.
- HATRED FOR FAMILY: Your teen refuses to do anything family-related and displays a growing hostility and disgust for the family and anything you do or say. She refuses to attend family outings or special events or causes a commotion when attending.
- BAD INFLUENCERS: You cannot keep your teen away from new friends who are themselves getting into trouble and leading a lifestyle counter to your beliefs. Your teen mimics their clothing, appearance, talk, and destructive or illegal behaviors and attitudes.
If your teen exhibits five or more of these signs, a boarding school that can expertly deal with their issues should be considered. Once your teen is 18, she will be out of your control, so get help for them while you can.