The problems and temptations facing today’s youth are quite different from the challenges faced by past generations. Drug and alcohol use are more prevalent, there is pressure to live up to images in both the media and on social media, and the pressure from peers to fit in is as strong as it has always been. In the face of these pressures, some teens develop and exhibit negative behavior patterns. As a parent, it is your job to protect them from themselves.
The first line of defense is establishing open lines of communication between yourself and your teen. Listening will be key to the process on your part. The natural instinct of a parent is to question their teen when wanting to know the details of his or her life and activities. However, a better course of action is to sit back and listen. Your teen will be more open to sharing information with you when they are not pressured. Listen for even the most off-handed comments, this may be your teen’s way of sharing information about their day with you.
Check with Teachers
Teens are secretive by nature. Most of their activities they prefer to keep within their circle of friends. One way to gain some insight into their day to day activities is to check in with teachers every now and then. Your teen’s teachers will provide you with information on the way your teen acts once away from your home. You will also be alerted if your teen is not going to school when you think they are. If you discover that your teen is not at school when they should be, find out what they are doing when skipping school and put an immediate end to this activity.
Monitor Their Phone
Smartphones have truly changed the world in which we live. Countless applications and functions are available for users of smartphones to enjoy. And these phones also provide a method for parents to monitor the call logs, emails, and text messages sent and received from their teens. This monitoring process is done with the help of monitoring software that can be installed on the phone that belongs to your teen. The software can even tell you the exact location of your teen in real-time. You will know exactly where your teen is at all times and who they interact with using their phone. It is legal to use phone monitoring software if you are the person who purchased the phone. However, it is required that you inform your teen of its use.
Install Surveillance Cameras
Another tool available to parents to monitor the activities of their teens is surveillance cameras. There are lots of great home surveillance cameras on the market today that can be purchased relatively inexpensively and installed discreetly. You should install surveillance cameras with motion sensors at entry points and other strategic locations in your home. Surveillance will allow you to know if your children were in the home by curfew and also if they leave the home after you are asleep. You will also know who your teen brings in your home when you are at work or away from the home for prolonged periods of time. One important thing to remember while installing cameras to monitor your teen is to respect their privacy. Do not install cameras in places like bedrooms or bathrooms.
Enroll Them in a Rehabilitation Program
The decision to seek professional help for an out of control teenager can be a tough decision to make. However, it may be just the thing your teen needs to conquer the problems they face. A rehabilitation program will separate the teen temporarily from the environment in which they are exhibiting negative behaviors. Your teenager will be given the opportunity to cleanse both the mind and the body with abstinence from chemical substances, a good diet, physical exercise, and lessons regarding personal responsibility and self-care. Your teen will benefit from the distraction-free environment, as well as, both the group and individual counseling they will receive. In this environment, it is likely your teen will experience a change of outlook that will affect their behavior in a relatively short period of time.
Dealing with a teenager is never an easy job. It is even more difficult to deal with a teenager that exhibits self-destructive behavior. Fortunately, there are a number of ways for you to monitor the activities of your troubled teen and help them through a difficult time in life.