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Counselling 101: how not to turn troubled teens into rebels

Author: Sarah Del Rosario
Published: Feb 23 2013

What is a rebel teen? A rebel teen is a teenager who creates his or her own path in life, in a very destructive way. Rebels will ignore everything they've been taught and refuse to abide by their parent's rules and rules of the world. They tend to create chaos in just about every life they touch.

Many parents with troubled teens fear raising rebels, which causing them major stress. Sometimes, the stress becomes so great that they even worry about the behavior that's considered to be normal for teens. This can lead to major problems for both the parents and their teenagers.

On the other hand, there are parents that do just the opposite. These parents will completely ignore some of the most obvious warning signs. They live in denial, hoping that the "rebel" attitude will simply disappear as the teen matures. These are the parents who's teens are drinking and doing drugs right up under their noses. They're the ones who had no idea their teenaged daughter, who's currently in labor, was even sexually active.

Never Give Up on Your Trouble Teen

Every teen is different. Each one will take a different detour or path in life. That's why there are no simple answers to keeping your trouble teen from turning into a rebel. There is one key that can make a substantial difference in the path your teen takes: never give up.

You need to assess each situation individually. This can be difficult for parents with more than one child. Many tend to compare the choices one teen made to that of the younger one. No matter how many children you've raised, they are all individuals, and should be viewed as such.

During moments of frustration, you may find yourself tempted to throw in the towel, surrender and walk away. If you do, trust me... you're not alone. Many parents have done just that. They eventually became too weak to deal with all the pain caused by their troubled teens. So, in order to protect themselves, they remove themselves from the situation emotionally. This, in turn, removes them from their teens lives. But, now these trouble teens have no guidance, and are almost sure to become uncontrollable rebels.

Before you get so frustrated that you simply give up, keep in mind that that's exactly what your teen "thinks" he or she wants. Every word and action of a trouble teens are carefully crafted to push away parents and other authority figures. However, deep down inside, what they truly long for are tough parents that will stick it out to the end. Never give up on your troubled teen. Your teen needs to be reassured that you will stick by them through thick and thin. That's not to say that you condone their rebel behavior. It just means that when they fall, even if you don't have the strength to pick them back up, you're there for them when they're ready to pick themselves back up.

Tips from Other Parents

Here are a few more tips gathered from parents of troubled teens who were once on the verge of becoming rebels:

-You have no control over the choices your teens make. Once they leave the house, they must be prepared to make good decisions, and suffer the consequences if they don't. All you can do is try your best to teach them when they are in your presence.

- You need to know when to let go. Your teen may not fulfil the dreams you had for him/her all these years. Instead of giving up on your teen, try giving up a little of the control you attempt to have over him/her. It just may be time to "accept the things you cannot change."

- Don't be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Consult your pastor. Get assistance from a therapist or counsellor. If teens are threats to themselves or others, there are professionals that are available 24 hours a day to assist parents with troubled teens. Think about placing your teen in a treatment facility.

About the Author:

Sarah Del Rosario is a soon to be mom and a professional writer. She currently contributes at The Family Compass. The Family Compass brings together a vast collection of resources that will help families find their bearings. Click here for help finding a good boarding school in Florida.

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