If you’re a parent dealing with an out-of-control teen, it’s important to realize that when your teen acts out, you must lean in. Meaning, this is specifically a call to action for you that something deeper is going on. There is something deeper that is unresolved and this is typically the cause of out of control behavior.
Think about it. What you don’t talk about you act out. Meaning if you don’t deal with something and in a healthy way, it is inevitably going to show up in other areas of your life. So if you’re dealing with a teen that is out of control, one thing you need to keep in mind is that for a short period of time, you need to shift your mindset from being a caregiver to a landlord.
Here’s what I mean. A caregiver can sometimes get taken advantage of, because you want to do certain things for your kids. You want to give them opportunities and these sorts of things. And when a kid is extremely out of control, they can manipulate that and use to that to their advantage.
So while they’re out of control, while they’re flailing and this and that, you need to, for a short period of time, provide even more structure. Things need to be very clear, very black and white. If you do this, this happens. If you do this, this happens. This provides some stability to a situation that might be very hostile, that might be having some instability and uncertainty.
And lastly, the most important thing that you can do is try to find a local mental health professional and put together a plan. The only way someone changes is if they have the desire to change. And sadly we can’t give that to people. People either wish to change or they don’t. What we can give them is a structure where we don’t bail them out of their pain. Where they feel the price of the choices they’re making.
And then once they reach that place where they are willing to change, there is a genuine earnest desire to change, then with that local mental health professional you can put together a plan. What do we need? Do we need some counseling? Do we need some rehab? Do we need some more structure in the home? What needs to happen here so there can be a genuine and lasting change that happens?