Being a mum is stressful, to say the least. You have to worry about them 24/7, and it gets worse as they get older. Teens can be a nightmare to look after. They will feel like an adult, and will not listen to your opinion anymore. And sometimes it can just be a phase they are going through. But sometimes problems can spiral out of control, and parents are missing the signs. Here’s how to know they could be going down the wrong path and needs some guidance.
Staying out late
If your teen is staying out late, you need to wonder why. When you are repeatedly checking your watch, and wondering where they are, it’s a sign that something isn’t right. Make sure you are asking where they have been going but don’t be too confrontational in your tone. It will just get their back up, and you won’t find out what’s going on. To see if they are telling the truth about where they are going, you could ask them more questions. If they struggle to answer them, there could be something going on.
Not seeing his or her friends
If your teen does not want to go out anymore with their friends, this could be a very worrying sign. You should ask them what’s been going on with them, especially if they have been friends for a long time. People often grow apart, and if they are hanging out with other people, it could be okay. But if they don’t seem to be making an effort to see anyone else, you need to have a chat. They could be getting bullied, or not feeling themselves. Try and encourage them to meet new friends at clubs in your area.
If your teen is missing school, it’s a sign that something’s wrong. If the school has let you know this is happening, ask them if they have noticed your teen being unhappy at school. You should confront your teen and ask them what they are not enjoying about school. School work can be stressful, and it’s an overwhelming time for a youngster. You need to make sure you know why they are not going, though. They could be meeting up with a bad crowd, rather than going to school.
If your teen’s communication has fallen to an all-time low, it could be a sign they are going down the wrong path. Tell them you don’t like the way they speak to you, and that it hurts your feelings. If they are rude to other people too, it might be time to sit with them and ask why they are doing this.
If your teen is doing the above, it’s best first to talk to them to see what’s going on. If you feel they won’t be able to talk to you, ask a family member or a friend. You can also go to the school for advice. It might be worth speaking to a doctor if your teen is stressed out, or feeling low. Try and keep their mood up, and you could even encourage them to go to a summer camp or a Rites of Passage therapy programme to lift their mood.
Make sure whatever you do, reassure them you love them, and you just want to help.