Being a teenager involves a time of transition with many changes in mood, changes in their bodies and changes in friends. It can be hard to distinguish between what is “normal” teenage behavior and what are red flags that indicate a deeper problem which may need to be addressed in therapy. I see many parents struggling with this and finding it increasingly difficult to communicate with their teenager. This makes it even harder for parents to know what they are feeling. Here is a list to help with this:
If your teen is withdrawing more than usual and is retreating to their room all the time, this may be a sign. Teens often want their space but if your teen has stopped contacting friends or seeing friends on the weekend, this is an important sign you don’t want to miss. Withdrawing from others can be a symptom of depression.
If communication with your teen has proved impossible no matter what you have tried, be aware. Teens don’t often like to open up in general but if they have totally shut down and this has negatively impacted any kind of relationship you have with them, pay attention! Therapy is an option to bring up concerns in a safe place and work on rebuilding a relationship
If your teens grades suddenly drop to failing, this can be another clue. This is especially true if they have always had good grades but all of a sudden they are much lower or failing. This can be a sign that something is wrong.
If your teen becomes extremely defiant, argumentative and blatantly defies any rules it may be time to get some help from a Therapist! Some defiance and arguing is normal but when they refuse to follow all rules this needs to be brought to a Therapist for help.
When your teen is refusing to go to school out of fear, it is time to seek professional help from a Therapist. They could be experiencing an anxiety disorder or suffer from bullying that they won’t tell you about.
Lastly, the most important key to remember is when your teen has a major change in behavior overall this is a sign for serious concern. If they are not acting like themselves in every part of their lives, its time to seek help. This can indicate a serious issue.
If you have questions about your teen or someone else you love, I can help! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-618-6526.