Typical Teen Behavior Warning Signs of a Troubled Teen
Changing appearance. Keeping up with fashion is important to teens. That may mean wearing provocative or attention-seeking clothing or dyeing hair. Unless your teen wants tattoos, avoid criticizing and save your protests for the bigger issues. Fashions change, and so will your teen. Changing appearance can be a red flag if it’s accompanied by problems at school or other negative changes in behavior, or if there’s evidence of cutting and self-harm or extreme weight loss or weight gain.
Increased arguments and rebellious behavior. As teens begin seeking independence, you will frequently butt heads and argue. Constant escalation of arguments, violence at home, skipping school, getting in fights, and run-ins with the law are all red flag behaviors that go beyond the norm of teenage rebellion.
Mood swings. Hormones and developmental changes often mean that your teen will experience mood swings, irritable behavior, and struggle to manage his or her emotions. Rapid changes in personality, falling grades, persistent sadness, anxiety, or sleep problems could indicate depression, bullying, or another emotional health issue. Take any talk about suicide seriously.
Experimenting with alcohol or drugs. Most teens will try alcohol and smoke a cigarette at some point. Many will even try marijuana. Talking to your kids frankly and openly about drugs and alcohol is one way to ensure it doesn’t progress further. When alcohol or drug use becomes habitual, especially when it’s accompanied by problems at school or home, it may indicate a substance abuse issue or other underlying problems.
More influenced by friends than parents. Friends become extremely important to teens and can have a great influence on their choices. As teens focus more on their peers, that inevitably means they withdraw from you. It may leave you feeling hurt, but it doesn’t mean your teen doesn’t still need your love. Red flags include a sudden change in peer group (especially if the new friends encourage negative behavior), refusing to comply with reasonable rules and boundaries, or avoiding the consequences of bad behavior by lying. Your teen spending too much time alone can also indicate problems.

 

 

From HelpGuide.org

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