Sue Scheff: Parent Excuses for Bad Teen Behavior

No one likes to admit they are struggling with their teenager.  No one wants others to know what is really going on behind closed doors.  No parent wants to end up in a juvenile court room, not to mention visiting their teen in jail.  Face it, parenting isn't easy but there are many things we cannot control as parents.

Most parents didn't raise our kids to use drugs.  Parents don't tell their children to join the local gang (and I am not speaking of a sports club).  Parents don't tell their kids to treat them like dirt.  Defiance and belligerence are not behaviors parents encourage.

So who is to blame?  Where are today's teens picking up this blatant disrespect for authority, dropping out school, using drugs and running away?

There can be many factors, however every family is unique with their issues.  Whether it is a divorce, a death in the family, parents working several jobs and not having time for their kids, the causes could be almost anything.

At the end of the day, parents have to stop making excuses and get help!  Their teens negative behavior is a cry for help.  Whether you start with local therapy, which many will not attend and if they do, most won't participate, or you need to take a major step of residential therapy, you need to stop making excuses and get your teen help.

This is not about you - and what your neighbors, friends or family will think - this is about saving your teen's future, if not life.

Excuses that are commonly used:

  • He/she is so smart, high IQ - it will get better. (Yes, they are smart, how else could they make these manipulative decisions?)
  • It is the friends he/she is hanging with.  Not my teen. (This is most common).  So many parents make the mistake of blaming the kids their teen is hanging with, in reality, your teen is making that choice to hang with them.
  • He/she used to love a certain activity, but recently dropped out - well, he was caught with pot, but it was his friends.  He didn't know it was there. (Really?)
  • He/she only tried it once. (Seriously, who are you kidding?)
  • He/she ran away for the weekend, but they did text me? (O-kay)
  • You don't understand - he/she can get a full scholarship but he/she doesn't care anymore!
All of this doesn't happen over night, although you would like to believe that.  These are all red flags that you need to get your teen help.

Don't be a parent in denial - be proactive, don't allow your teen to fail because of your pride!

Visit Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Children's Trust, or Here's Help.

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