How is That Working For You?

Parenting Skills

A phrase that Dr. Phil has recently made popular asks people that are in a predicament “so how is that working for you”? It can be humorous when asked to those discussing their problems on television.  It may be a good question for parents struggling with a defiant teen to consider. The struggle with an out of control teen can be very traumatic and disruptive for the entire family. Most parents are really not sure how to proceed, where to turn, or what to do. The common denominator among parents of troubled teens is a lack of knowledge of what to do next.  Most of these parent’s could also be asked the same question Dr. Phil asks. How are the parenting techniques some parents using working for them? Most people have heard the definition of insanity defined by by Albert Einstein as continuing to do the same things over and over expecting different results. If you keep doing the same things you always do you will keep getting the results you have always gotten. It is obvious that something needs to change, the question is what?

Defiant Teen Options

Once parents realize something needs to change they have several avenues they can explore. A common first step is taking the teen to a therapist. This is usually futile as the therapist is trained to help people that want to get helped. The majority of teens in this particular situation think the only problem they have is their parents. As educated and experienced as the therapist might be they will agree they can’t help someone unless they want to be helped. The human mind is a very complex thing, and there is really no way into it without the permission of the person that is in control of it.

Another common tactic for parents is attempting to control the teen with restriction’s like grounding, limitations on friends, or cutting communication lines with the outside world. The problem is the parents may be the ones that suffer the most these types of tactics. Another down side to these methods is that many teens will find a way around them. Sneaking out at night, failing to go to school, and continued association with negative friends will usually continue to take place.

Extreme Action May Be Required

When everything else fails parents may need to consider some “out of the box” techniques or actions. There are troubled teen boarding schools that specialize in dealing with teens like we are talking about. They can be a great option for a teen that does not respond to any other type of help parents have tried. Defiant teen programs are scattered across the country and range in price, success, and how they approach the negative youth. Some are patterned after the military using an in your face technique combined with peer pressure to get the teen to do as they are asked. Another method is to combine a highly structured daily schedule with a therapeutic component. As mentioned previously however, the therapy will only be helpful if the teen decides to take advantage of it. Some of the programs also add a Christian component to their approach. These types of placement are known as Christian Boarding Schools or Christian Boot Camps.  The religious aspect of the program can be very beneficial especially if the teen has had a religious upbringing. It can also chase a teen away from God if it is forced on them.

  1. Choosing the right type of help for your teen is a very delicate decision and should be done with great care. Like you said, if your teen is not willing to do their part or receptive to it, treatment may not benefit them. There are many wonderful programs out there today that have the power to help your teen if can just tap into your teen’s inner mentality and reach them.