If you’re a parent with a troubled kid, you’re not alone. The truth is you’re probably part of a growing trend. A recent study found that the number of parents seeking help for their troubled children has increased steadily over the past decade.
While it can be challenging to admit that your child is struggling, it’s important to remember that help is available. The advice below can help you get started on the road to recovery for your family.
Seek professional help
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone—professional help is available. Reaching out for the support of specialists, such as counselors or psychologists, can enable your family to learn positive strategies for coping.
Fortunately, it is easier than ever to find specialized help, with many therapists offering virtual consultations. Online hubs, including My Denver Therapy, cater to those seeking help and provide an informative platform to learn more about the different types of therapy available.
Seeking professional help may also aid you in better understanding what is going on and why your child might be exhibiting troublesome behavior. While this may seem daunting at first, some practitioners specialize in working with families like yours—so take a deep breath and step forward.
Talk to your child and try to understand what’s going on in their life
Having a child battling with problems can be stressful and challenging for both parent and child. It’s essential to keep the lines of communication open and create an environment conducive to listening and understanding.
Though it may feel overwhelming, taking the time to talk to your child so that you can understand their struggles can not only help them manage their troubles in healthier ways but also strengthen your connection with your loved one.
Take a few minutes each day or week to reach out and show your care and support, no matter what may be consuming your kid’s life right now. Doing so can help turn difficult times into growth opportunities, ultimately helping improve the relationship between you two while they’re still growing up.
Be there for them
It can be hard to be there for your children in the way they need and deserve, but you must try your best. Listening actively to what they are saying and not immediately jumping in with ‘solutions’ or advice can go a long way in building trust with them.
Showing respect for their feelings and allowing them to express themselves freely without judgment will also create a safe space. Be patient and offer help where it feels constructive and appropriate. Many times, simply being there for moral support is all a troubled kid needs.
As a parent of a troubled kid, it may seem incredibly challenging to provide structure and appropriate boundaries. But having clear expectations can give your child the security they need to feel safe and supported.
This means being diligent about your own decisions and following through with consequences when necessary. Kids need to know what is acceptable behavior for them.
When you provide this clarity, you’re helping them develop their sense of responsibility—and increasing the chance that they’ll take ownership in shaping their own behavior. So while it’s not always easy when our kids are struggling, setting boundaries is one of the most important actions we can take as parents.
Don’t give up on your child
As a parent, it can be devastating to see your child struggling. You may feel helpless and uncertain about how to help them in this state. However, it is essential to remember that while your children are their people, they still need and depend on you in moments of crisis.
If your kid is going through a hard time right now, do not give up on them–your patience, understanding, and guidance are the most powerful tools you have to assist them through this. Even if it feels like you’re fighting an uphill battle, don’t allow yourself to waver on your commitment to helping and being there for them.
This is a dark period for both you and your kid. Still, with love, support from other family members or friends, and maybe even professional counseling if needed, you will slowly find your way out of the darkness into the light once again.
Take care of yourself too
Acknowledging your limits and needs is essential to ensure you have the emotional and physical strength to support your child. This might look like taking a mental health day each week, carving out time for yourself with friends and hobbies, or enlisting the help of loved ones who will listen without judgment—all critical steps in preserving your sanity during a trying time.
Parenting a troubled child can be one of the most harrowing and rewarding experiences you’ll ever face. It won’t always be easy, but by taking a compassionate approach and providing love, guidance, and support, you’ll help your child to grow and become the best version of themselves.
Above all else, remember that you are doing the best job you can in the circumstances – stay strong and never give up on your kid.