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What to Do with an Out of Control Teenager: A Guide for Parents



The truth is that many parents of rebellious teens blame themselves for all of their child’s problems (and in some cases, rightly so). 

However, there are ways that you can help your child get through this difficult time without causing more damage than they already have! Here are some tips:


Table of Contents

Recognize the Problem

The first step in handling the situation is to recognize that there is a real problem. 

You might be tempted to think your child’s behavior is just a phase, but it’s more likely that he or she is becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. 

There are warning signs that indicate when a teen has developed an addiction, including:

  • Avoiding family activities or events
  • Becoming secretive about personal activities (i.e., where they go and who they’re with)
  • Showing signs of irritability, mood swings, and/or depression if they can’t get access to drugs or alcohol

If you suspect your teenager may be using drugs or abusing alcohol, speak up! 

Although this can be difficult for parents who want their children to trust them enough not to hide anything from them, confronting them about their behavior helps give them an opportunity for change before things get worse. 

No matter how uncomfortable it may make you feel at first (or how much your child protests), resist the urge to avoid this conversation because doing so could put both of your lives at risk in the long run. 

If they don’t think anyone cares enough about what they’re doing—even if it’s only getting high on marijuana once in a while

—the chances are greater than ever that he or she will overdose on harder substances like cocaine or heroin later down the road due solely because addiction doesn’t discriminate between any one type of substance over another; whatever gets people high faster wins!


Set Boundaries

It is important to set boundaries with your teenager as soon as possible. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but it will help keep you on track and save you from unnecessary stress later on. 

You should try to establish these rules while they are young so they have time to adjust and grow into the responsibilities that come with adulthood.

The most important thing when setting boundaries is consistency

—if it’s not clear what the rules are, then there’s no way for your teenager to know how much trouble he could be in for breaking them! 

The consequences for breaking these rules should also be appropriate for his age: if he gets grounded for being disrespectful towards an adult, don’t give him the same punishment if he curses out his friends at school; if he lies about cheating on a test at school, don’t ground him from playing soccer games all weekend just because he lied about doing his homework over spring break; if she stays out past curfew time without asking permission ahead of time (or worse), don’t take away her phone service altogether

—it isn’t fair that other people still have access while hers has been revoked indefinitely!

When talking about boundaries with your child remember that there needs to be some flexibility built into each rule because life happens sometimes: maybe there was an emergency happening nearby that required everyone else in town who had children under sixteen years old (including yours) to stay indoors until further notice.


Seek Counseling for Your Teen and Your Family

By seeking counseling for your teen and your family, you can get the support and understanding that you need to help your child understand their behavior, as well as how to deal with the stress of these difficult times. 

Counseling might not be right for everyone, but it can help your teenager understand their emotions and learn how to cope in productive ways. 

It can also help you understand what the teenager is going through and why they have been acting the way they have been.

If you feel that it would benefit your family members (including yourself), then counseling may be the best option available. 

If not, then there are other things that you could try first such as talking with someone close who knows them well enough (such as a teacher), helping them develop better-coping skills so they know how to handle stressful situations better next time around (instead of acting out), making sure they eat healthy meals each day so they don’t become too tired during school hours which leads them into trouble later on after class ends at 2 pm; etcetera ad infinitum!


As a parent, you need to set the boundaries first and then work with your rebellious teenager to get the help they need

It is important to set boundaries early on in the relationship with your teenager. 

It’s not an easy task and requires a lot of patience on both sides, but it can be done.

  • Set firm rules and stick to them. Don’t be afraid of losing your temper or getting into an argument with your teen; this is a normal part of parenting that has been lost in recent years due to a lack of authority figures in families due to divorce and other factors.
  • Be consistent when disciplining them so they know what is expected from them at home as well as at school or elsewhere outside the home. If you let them slip once, they will think they can get away with anything every time!
  • Don’t give up on your child because one day he or she may come back around after being angry at you for a while (this could take months). Continue being supportive without giving up hope until then!

As a parent, you need to set boundaries first and then work with your rebellious teenager to get the help they need. 

You can find a counselor, therapist, or another professional who specializes in helping teenagers.


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