The teen years are life stages in which specific developmental milestones are reached and an enormous amount of growth and development takes place.
In adolescent years there is great physical and cognitive growth happening and teens are learning about who they are and their place within their family, their school and local community. Socially, teens are learning the ‘rules’ of interaction and behaviour, and this can be a challenging time for both teens and parents.
How do you know?
There are warning signs that parents should be aware of that indicate their teens need help immediately. It is common that some of these signs start off slowly and they can sneak up on you but eventually they can’t be ignored. That is the time most parents get involved and wonder if they should seek outside help. The answer is Yes! If your teen is exhibiting these signs, seek professional help right away:
- Signs of depression
- Running away
- Participating in illegal activities
- Drug use
- Failing school – If this is the only problem, tutoring is a start but talk to the guidance office as well. If there are other problems and this is just a symptom, seek counselling for your teen.
- Sexual acting out
- Changes in friends or activities – especially if the friends are into drugs or other illicit activities.
- Eating problems – have you noticed your teen not eating, over eating or have they shown signs of purging after a meal?
- Inappropriate anger – aiming angry feelings towards you or exhibiting violent behaviour is cause for great concern.
- Increasing defiance
- Significant changes in mood or behaviour
Talk to your family doctor or pediatrician if you feel you need to seek counselling or are unsure. Doctors have referrals for therapists in your area to cover a wide range of issues. It is always helpful to talk to friends or family for referrals. If you are comfortable with asking, getting a referral from someone you trust is one of the best ways to find a good therapist. At The Family Enhancement Centre we can work with you family doctor to make sure your teen is getting the right help for what they are dealing with.
Counselling doesn’t have to be long term but it isn’t something you can rush through either, it took a while for the situation to get where it is so it might take a while to learn new strategies and behaviours to get it fixed. The best news is getting help now can save years of struggle in the long run. If you have any questions call us today and we can help you sort it out.
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We are a full service counselling centre dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain a state of wellness for yourself and your family.