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What To Do When Your Child Starts Acting Out

The teenage years are rough on almost anyone. Hormones…
a boy and a girl

The teenage years are rough on almost anyone. Hormones and peer pressure can create stress for adolescents, while modern teens also have to grow up during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no wonder that parents are left feeling exhausted and unsure of how to deal with a child’s bad behavior.

As a parent, you can take steps to help your kids. Follow these steps when your child starts acting out.

Get to the root of the behavior problems.

Your teen’s behavior problems are sudden; they may be acting out in response to other life changes. For example, they may turn to alcohol or substance abuse to fit in with a new group of friends or stop performing well in school because of internal family turmoil, like a divorce.

Instead of punishing the immediate behavior, try to get to the root of the issue. Why is your teen hurting emotionally? What is pushing them toward these behavior problems? Is it related to isolation from COVID-19? A virtual visit with a mental health clinician might help you better understand their current mental state and give you the tools to help your teen move forward.

Do not escalate the situation.

At times, it is tempting to respond to emotional outbursts with more emotions. When your teen is yelling or taking on an attitude, you might want to yell or respond sarcastically. However, this can only make the situation worse.

Try to stay calm and positive when your teen is acting out. If you start yelling, you are more likely to say something you regret or engage in actions that further anger or scare your teen. There has been an increase in runaways because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and you don’t want a fight to escalate to the point where your teen leaves the house.

Consider seeking residential treatment.

If your child has a mental illness, it may be in their best interest to seek a residential treatment facility to address their challenges. It can be incredibly hard as a caregiver to send your child to a treatment facility but rest assured knowing they will be in the best care.

At a residential treatment center, a professional care team can work toward a diagnosis and understand your adolescent child’s needs. They understand how varied personality disorders are and can guide teens through individual therapy and group therapy to improve their mental health.

The length of stay varies by patient, but your family member may return home from their residential treatment within a few weeks of leaving.

Request a consultation from your child’s doctor.

Today’s medical professionals are starting to understand the connection between physical and emotional behavior. Your adolescent may be experiencing mental illness related to certain brain chemical imbalances or cancers.

This isn’t to say that anger issues are a sign of cancer. However, it may benefit your teen to meet with a doctor to make sure they are healthy. A quick assessment can clear your child of any issues so you can move forward better understanding their behavior.

In the chance that cancer is the root cause of the issue. Young adults and their parents can take advantage of cancer care telemedicine to meet with doctors even if they live in rural areas.

As a parent, you want the best for your kid. In some cases, bad behavior can be addressed by talking to your teen and learning about their problems. However, some adolescents may need professional mental health services and residential treatment. Learn what your child needs and if they need to see a counseling specialist.

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