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Normal vs. Abnormal: Know Your Teen

by Jennifer S. Rowe | October 10th, 2014 | Behavior, Teens

young-people-412041_1280Times have definitely changed, but with that being said, some things have most definitely NOT changed when it comes to teenagers. Now I don’t know about your teen, but I have to remind my son several times that he has chores to do! Reminders to do homework, turn the music down and please not be so emotional that you slam your little brother’s head into a wall if he looks at you the wrong way, abound. We also have considered buying an extra refrigerator since hormonal eating feasts are a regular event in my house!

These behaviors, along with a few others, are a fairly normal part of teen angst, and as long as the lines of communication are open, you will survive, and so will they. So now that we have talked about the normal, let’s take a look at what may be not so normal. It’s important to understand the difference so in the event that there is a problem, you can seek help as soon as possible.

If your teen exhibits any sudden profound changes in personality, angry outbursts, extreme disrespect , addictions, failing grades, problems sleeping or sleeping too much, weight loss, self-harm, running away, or isolation, you should immediately open a dialog. It is so important, as a parent, to make sure that you have a nurturing, loving and caring relationship with your teen, so they know they can come to you with any problem.

Will they always? Nope! However, the souring of a teen-parent relationship can lead to disastrous consequences. If a young person feels they have no one in their life that cares or that they can go to with problems, they feel hopeless and alone, a very dangerous combination for a teen. A rebellious teen can be a sign that something is seriously wrong and requires immediate attention. The last thing we want to do is make our teens feel they have no worth or crush their spirit. That is not our job as parents!

We should also remember that our teens are going to start exerting their independence, and that’s what we want! We want to encourage them to do for themselves so they are ready when it is time to leave the nest, but of course, we need to still guide them without making them feel like a small child.

I keep talking about communication because I feel it is vital to a healthy relationship, and I bring this up again, because some of the abnormal signs you may see could be the result of something going on in your teen’s life that could be affecting them in a very negative way. Let your teen know that you care, and that there is nothing they could do to make you walk away from them, ever! Build a strong bridge of love, communication (yes, I am saying it again!), trust and family to make sure that even during this tumultuous time, they still matter and always will, period. Keep your chins up, parents , for this too shall pass!

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