Teen Warning Signs/Risk Factors

Do you get the feeling that your teen is dealing with behavioral or emotional problems beyond the scope of what most teenagers deal with? Every teen will have struggles, but it is your job as a parent to determine if the issues your teen is facing have reached a point where intervention is necessary. Try not to compare your teen to others, but rather assess based on what you know of your child if they are acting in a way that is putting themselves and/or those around them at risk. Parenting a troubled teen is no easy task, but the Treatment team at Shamar Hope Haven is here to help.

Extreme moods: Teens are going to be moody their bodies and hormones are changing and this is natural. But extreme fits of anger, long bouts of sadness, seeming hatred towards family members and a consistently disrespectful attitude are perhaps warning signs that something deeper is going on. Pay attention to your teen's mood continue for months in the absence of logical triggers, it may be time to explore the possibility of a mental health disorder or more complex behavioral problem.

Unhealth obsession with new friend group: When your child enters middle school and high school they will inevitably meet new friends. This is good. But is your teen changing their behavior, appearance, or values to fit in with a new group of friends? This could be a sign of unhealthy or dangerous friendships, especially if the group your child is trying to fit in with seems to have questionable values.

Consistent dishonesty: Lying once to go to a party is one thing, but consistently lying about where they have been and who they have been with may be a sign that your teen is headed down a dangerous path. Clearly there is a reason they dont want you as the parent to know where they've been. When you catch them in a lie, try to get to the bottom of what they were trying to hide.

Previous victim of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or bullying: Victims of abuse often have low self-esteem and self-worth, making them more susceptible to troubled behavior in their teen and adult years.

Stressful home life: Divorce, financial problems or violence in the home are all factors that put a teen at risk for rebellious or "troubled" behavior.