5 Actionable Tips: How to Help Troubled Teens

Dealing with teenagers can be quite stressful since it’s the time when most of them are trying to figure themselves out. This can cause them to appear angry and confused. Although it is a challenging parenting phase, it’s best to use accommodating and reassuring approaches to help your child through it. Extreme tactics such as limiting their freedom or doing a drug test every now and then can harm your relationship with them and create a negative response. Therefore, here are tips on how to help your troubled teens at home.

1. Talk to Your Teen Openly

Help Troubled Teens

Sometimes talking to your teen can be a problem, especially when they pretend not to be listening. If your teen is unwilling to open up about their feelings, try talking to them in a soft voice that displays affection and concern instead of shouting. Show them that whatever they are going through is important to you, and they should feel safe to share their troubles with you. Tell them about your mistakes and issues as a teenager so they don’t feel embarrassed to share their problems with you. Be patient as they may not feel comfortable sharing everything at first. However, as you continue to build trust with them, they’ll open up more. 

2. Don’t Be Judgmental

If you win your teen’s trust, and they open up to you, listen to what they have to say without being judgmental. Show them you are paying attention to what they are saying by maintaining eye contact and keeping your phone away or silent throughout the conversation. Give them room to finish what they are saying by not interrupting them before they are done sharing with you. Most importantly, don’t undermine their views or concerns by telling them you have been through worse, as what they are telling you is a big deal to them.

3. Be Reliable and Understanding

Avoid shouting or raising your voice when upset with your teenager. Doing so will add more fuel to the fire, and your teen will not feel safe opening up to you again. Instead, show them you are there for them by finding time out of your busy schedule to lend an ear. If you feel like you can’t handle what your teenager is trying to communicate to you without getting angry, excuse yourself and come back once you have cooled down. If they are angry at you for something you did, apologize and tell them you are sorry. This will show them that even adults can make mistakes, and apologizing is often the best route.

4. Establish Rules and Boundaries With Your Teens

Help Troubled Teens

As much as you want to be friends with your teens and be termed the “cool parent,” it’s worth remembering that you also have an authoritative role in their lives. But don’t be too strict in your approach. Instead, show you trust them by giving them enough space to do things independently without constantly invading their privacy. If they break your trust, don’t let them off the hook as they might make it a habit; instead, let them know that there are consequences.

5. Seek Professional Help

Your teens can get bullied or emotionally bruised while at school. This can cause them to get depressed to the point that they attempt self-harm or suicide. Some of the behavioural changes to keep an eye out for include: 

  • Sudden mood swings
  • Lack of motivation or interest in their hobbies
  • A significant drop in their academic performance
  • Destructive habits

It’s best not to wait for things to escalate further before seeking professional help. As they go for treatment or therapy, try to be by their side for as long as possible and reassure them that it will get better. 


The teenage years can be quite hard for both you and your child. So be patient and try to be there for your teens whenever they are going through hard times. With your unlimited love and support, it’s only a matter of time before they mature into adults, and be grateful that you walked with them every step of the way.

5 Actionable Tips: How to Help Troubled Teens 1

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