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Teen Behavior Modification – Defiant Teen Help

Behavior Modification

Parenting can be a daunting task at times, especially during the teenage years. Patience, love, and sound parenting skills should all be used as children continue to get older. At times, however, even the most loving parents may have a hard time getting through to their teenagers. Behavior Modification is defined as therapy as the use of rewards or punishments to reduce or eliminate problematic behavior. Teen Behavior Modification can be very useful in helping teens deal with or even eliminate difficult behavior problems.

First Steps

The first steps or actions to take in Behavior Modification is to observe the teenager before, during, and after they present a certain behavior. After considering what happens during each stage of the behavior, parents can then start targeting different behaviors with different techniques. Let’s look at an example. A teenager is consistently breaking curfew and comes home late when he/she is out with friends. The parents try grounding the teenager, but this is only making the teenager attitudinal and unkind to the rest of the family. The parents could turn to behavior modification techniques to help solve the curfew issue. First, what is happening before the teenager comes home late? Most likely, the teen is having a good time with friends, and simply doesn’t want to come home yet. Or, perhaps none of the other teens have a curfew, therefore making it hard for the teenagers with a curfew to come home on time. These are just some of the factors as to why the teenager may be coming home late and breaking curfew.

Parenting With Love

In observing the second stage, (the “during” stage), parents may find that the teen knows they are to be home, but once they are late, they are going to be grounded anyway, so they might as well continue to stay out late for the night. Lastly, the parents may observe that after the teenager is home (and grounded), he/she is angry with the parents and thinks curfews are pointless. In the end, everyone is upset and unhappy Behavior modification could help in this way: First, parents could talk with the other parents and decide on a curfew for all of their teenagers, making it easier for the teenagers to comply with the curfew rule.

Next, while the teenager is out with friends and the curfew is approaching, parents should gently remind their teenager (with a phone call or text message) that it is almost time to come home. Finally, instead of a punishment for bad behavior, parents could instead reward the good behavior. So if the teenager comes home on time, they are rewarded. Rewards could be extra allowance, less chores, or even extending curfew if the teenager proves him/herself over time. Above all, a teenager should know that there parents are always there for them, even in difficult situations. An important part to successful behavior modification is to keep the lines of communication open between parents and teenagers.

Is Your Teen’s Behavior Out Of Control?

Teen Behaviors

Parents at times find themselves wondering what to do or how to handle teen behaviors that are unacceptable. The problems parents face with their teens can range from back-talking to not following through with specific household chores or assignments. Or, perhaps teens are demonstrating more serious behaviors such as lying, stealing, or destruction of property. No matter where the issue lies, parents must first take a step back and analyze the problem in its entirety. The teen, for example that has a problem with not following through with assignments, may be able to be helped by parents that apply the following steps.

Teen behaviors and Expectations

One way to help your teen follow through with assignments is to ensure that they know what is expected in completing a particular task. Parents should explain how it might be accomplished and what the end result should be. Through better communication parents and teens will both know the expected outcome.

Teen Behaviors and Rewards

Another way to help teens follow through with specific tasks is to offer a reward or privilege for a job well done. That’s not to say that every small task deserves a reward, but for specific tasks teens will see the benefit in the old adage “where much is given, much is required.” With this mentality, teens will understand they need to earn certain privileges.

Teen Behaviors and Consistency

Being consistent is oftentimes the most crucial part with helping teens to develop responsibility and a good work ethic. When parents stick to the game plan, their teen will understand what to expect when it comes to assignments given, but also the level at which you expect them to perform in every facet of their lives. Now, parents could see how this would work for teens they are trying to motivate, but what about the teen that is constantly breaking the rules? For example, how do parents help with the teen that is late for curfew? Parents should use the same basic formula.

Teen Behavior and Ground Rules

Ground rules are similar to expectations in that they are set in place in the beginning. However, ground rules are much more like boundaries. Using the curfew scenario when the teen knows and understands exactly when they are due home, show that there is no room for excuses or room for error. If the teen is late, they know they have stepped outside of the boundaries.

Teen Behavior and Consequences

Once the rules have been broken the teen will know what the consequences are because like the ground rules they will already have been explained and set in place in the beginning. The teen cannot complain of the unjust consequences because they knew in advance what the outcome would be if they were late.

Teen Behavior and Consistency

Consistency is paramount. Without it, the teen will wonder if they can get away with being late tonight because they were not punished the last time they were late. By sticking to the structured plan, parents will ensure that their teens will learn the principle of cause and effect which will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

Teen Evaluation For Boarding School

Evaluate My Teen

If you answer yes to more than 3 of these questions give us a call.

Phone: 1-800-507-5535

1. Does your teen defy basic family rules?

2. Does your teen struggle in school not only academically but behaviorally?

3. Is your teen verbally abusive?

4. Is your teen hanging with friends you don’t approve of?

5. Has your teen lost interest in former previous areas of interest sports, hobbies etc.?

6. Does your teen refuse to do homework and chores?

7. Has your teen ever had any legal problems?

8. Do you feel that you need to walk on eggshells around your teen?

9. Is your teen on schedule to finish high school, or Jr. high school?

10. Has your teen ever gotten aggressive with you or any other adult?

11. Does your teen lack self esteem, seem depressed or act like they have given up?

12. Is your teen manipulative or dishonest with you?

13. Do you suspect that your teen may be sexually promiscuous?

14. Has your teen ever talked about suicide, or developed a suicide plan?

15. Do you suspect that your teen may be stealing from you?

16. Does your teen seem angry or display temper outbursts?

17. Do you feel you can trust your teen?

18. Does your teen struggle with authority?

19. Do you suspect your teen is using or experimenting with drugs/alcohol?

20. Are you worried about your child’s safety and their future?

Please note: This is just an indicator of teen behaviors that usually precede their being placed in some kind of program. It is not and should not replace a professional opinion. Issues a child has with suicide are complex and should be handled extremely carefully, and only with a trained medical care giver. There may be cases where a teen with only 1 yes answer needs help immediately.

Teens And ADD And ADHD – Teens And ODD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

There are two main diagnoses associated with children struggling in school today. They are ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), sometimes also referred to as Conduct Disorder. We will try to explain these so you may have a little better understanding of what they are and how they may be affecting your child. Many students are diagnosed with varying degrees of Attention Disorder, they are known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Most children with ADHD are inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive. In teenagers, the hyperactivity often quiets to a restlessness.

For some, paying attention is their biggest problem. Others are mainly impulsive and hyperactive.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved several stimulant medicines for treating ADHD: methylphenidate (Ritalin and generics), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine and generics), methamphetamine (Desoxyn), and an amphetamine-dextroamphetamine combination (Adderall). FDA recently restricted another approved stimulant, pemoline (Cylert), to secondary use, as it can cause liver failure.

The drugs stimulate the central nervous system, but no one knows exactly how they work in treating ADHD.

“Stimulants have been used to treat ADHD for over three decades,” says Nicholas Reuter, FDA associate director for international and domestic drug control affairs. “And the amount used has increased steadily during that period. Methylphenidate is the most widely used.”

Not everyone with ADHD requires or responds to stimulant treatment. There are some Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder schools that have had success in working with such teens. They break the school day into smaller segments, and require the student to stay on task to receive privileges. There are several Utah Boarding Schools that are experiencing success with various methods of behavior modification. There are also Boarding Schools in Georgia that have had similar success in helping ADHD children. The Georgia Boarding School is a non-traditional type setting, a borderline wilderness program if you will. The students are required to work together, learning cooperation. The academics are also non-traditional. The children seem to move a little quicker through their studies than in a regular classroom setting. One problem with “problem” students is the struggle to diagnose Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

About 30 percent of young people with ADHD aren’t diagnosed until middle school or later. These students are very bright. “The more intelligent you are, the better you cope–until stressors in the environment outpace your ability to cope. Maybe your disorder becomes a problem in high school when you have only lecture classes or in college when you have to do everything for yourself and go to class, too.”

By the time someone with undiagnosed ADHD gets to middle school or high school, the main complaint is classroom underachievement rather than hyperactivity or distractibility. Some people shorten the name to ADD when it affects older people. “But you shouldn’t assume that everyone who is underachieving has ADHD.”

Not everyone with attention difficulty has ADHD.

For example, one 16-year-old girl had extreme difficulty concentrating. ADHD was suspected. Thorough examination, however, revealed the culprits were anxiety, depression and a sleep disorder, which are improving under a treatment plan that includes medication and counseling.

Narrowing a diagnosis to ADHD requires more than a single visit to the doctor. Substantial detective work by the doctor involves talking not only to the patient, but also to the parents and to nurses and teachers at the patient’s various schools.

One simple way to see if there may be signs of ADHD is to examine report cards from kindergarten on. “Teachers usually comment, ‘He would do so much better if he could only pay attention.’ One mother said of her son in high school, ‘One day in first grade, he came home without shoes. He didn’t know where he put them.’ Kids with this disorder lose their jackets, shoes. So he had symptoms early on.”

There is no biological test for ADHD. Doctors base their diagnosis on guidelines set by the American Psychiatric Association.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or ODD, is a diagnosis that is being given more and more in the last few years. Here are the typical characteristics of someone with ODD:

There are two sets of problems associated with ODD, a tendency to purposefully bother and irritate others, and some aggressive behavior. Many time ODD may not be the only diagnosis. When coupled with ADD or ADHD the problem intensifies. ODD is typically not a singular diagnosis. Here are some indicators of ODD.

If the person becomes negative, hostile, and has defiant behavior lasting at least six months, coupled with four or more of the following behaviors, chances are good Oppositional Defiant Disorder may be present.

1. Tends to lose temper, or fly off the handle regularly.
2. Argumentative with teachers, parents, anyone in a position of authority.
3. Deliberately works to annoy others.
4. Won’t accept responsibility for their actions, blames others.
5. Easily annoyed by others.
6. Has a lot of anger and resentment for those around them.
7. Displays vindictive and sometimes spiteful behavior.

There are several Oppositional Boarding Schools around the country. We have several ODD Boarding Schools that may work for your teen. There is not an Oppositional Boarding School Directory that we know of, but many of the schools that work with defiant teens will take ODD students.

Truancy, or Skipping School

Truancy, or skipping school, is problematic is most school districts. In many cases, with little to no support at home, many children are allowed to skip school, or cut class. Even a concerned parent may not find out until weeks after the fact that their child has been skipping school or has been truant. The dilemma is that in many cases the student skipping school or reported truant is a difficult student to have in class. It is not a priority for the school or teacher to make sure he or she comes, as it is easier to do their job when the child is gone. Not always, but in some districts, the child may be allowed to pass on to the next grade or school to avoid having to deal with them for another year.

Some states have decided to place responsibility for the truant teen on to their parents. There are stiff sentences, and fines, for parents of a teen determined to skip school. While this approach may work in some cases, if the teen is defiant to parental, school, and even legal authority, the only one to suffer is the parent. The parent then has to deal not only with the difficulties of a defiant teen but also with the legal system, as well as to their employer Because they are forced to take the time off work necessary to monitor their teen. Many parents have actually lost their jobs trying to keep their child in school.

President Bill Clinton said, “Truancy is a warning signal that a child is in trouble and is often a gateway to crime. The difference between success and failure in life for our children is whether they’re learning on the streets or in the school where they belong. The street is not an acceptable alternative to the classroom.”

Failing Schools

In some instances the schools themselves are struggling. In a speech by President Bob Chase of the National Education Association, he indicated: The federal government should help schools before they fail and prevent any student from attending a failing school. The preventative solutions Chase offered address problems that lead to school failure head on. “As educators on the front lines of America’s classrooms, standing eyeball to eyeball with our students, we have firsthand knowledge about what ‘leaving no child behind’ requires,” said Chase.