Beyond Therapy: These Steps Can Help a Troubled Teen

The teenage years are not easy for most, but they are harder for some kids than others. If you are the parent of a troubled teen, you know how hard it can be to find an approach that helps them move past their struggles and find enjoyment in life. One of the most important first steps is to find a good therapist who your teen can talk openly with. Once you have a good therapy schedule in place, there are a couple of other steps that can be helpful.

Volunteer Programs

There are a lot of volunteer programs around, and some that are particularly designed for troubled teens. Your teen can help with building homes for veterans, watching younger children, cleaning up parks, and almost anything else. Volunteering gives kids something to focus on outside of their own troubles. It helps get them involved in the community, and it is a good way for them to meet positive influences. They may even come across a new interest that inspires them to take a certain career path, which is a good step forward for a teen who is struggling with identity.

Support Groups

One struggle that teens often have is finding someone who they feel can relate to them. Even the best therapist is an adult, and simply the fact that they are an adult can make it harder for teens to open up to them. Therefore, it is a good idea for troubled teens to participate in support groups of their peers. You can find a group that is specific to the particular problems your teen has been struggling with. For instance, if your teen has had trouble with alcohol addiction, you can find a group for that. These groups often meet once a week and can be a place where your teen feels they can share openly with people who really understand them.

Activities With Family

Teens often withdraw from their families and aren't very open to spending time with them. However, if you can convince your teen to spend more time with you and the other family members, they will often soon realize it's not as bad they thought. It will help all of you feel connected, and it will help your teen feel less alone. Let your teen choose the activity. This will help them feel like their needs and preferences are heard and supported.

With the tips above, you can help a troubled teen in your life move on towards bigger things and greater success. Take it one day at a time, and rely on a therapist for additional advice and troubled youth treatments.