Many parents of troubled teens assign 100-percent of the blame for their teen’s troubles to their teenager. They also think shipping them off to a therapeutic boarding school is all they need to do to fix their teen’s behavior. Unfortunately, the task of parenting a troubled teen is not so simple. Teens who are able to work through their issues do so with the help of their parents with and without additional professional help. There is no substitute for a parent’s role in modifying troubled teen behavior.


If you find yourself with a troubled teen and you do not know where to start to find him help, start with yourself. The whole realm of seeking help regardless of the issue is built on the premise that you are powerless to change anyone but yourself. Your first step should be to try to analyze your parenting style with as much emotional distance as possible. Look for areas you might need to change. Perhaps your personality is so different from your teen that the two of you are having a hard time connecting. If so, you might at least try to change in a way that might increase your chances of getting through to him. The self-evaluation process is not about assigning fault or blame but about doing the work to find ways you can better help your teen. If nothing else, it will help you become stronger which will only help you help your teen.

Why Your Change Matters

Once you feel like you have spent enough time with introspection and are in the process of changing your own behavior only then should it be time to help your teen. Many parents skip this step because they think once their teen is fixed everything will be okay. The truth is the dynamics of troubled teens is far more complicated. Let’s say your teen does successfully complete a therapeutic program but he comes home to the same parent and life he left. What do you think his chances of remaining successful are going to be? Again this is not about shifting all the blame on to you as a parent but about making sure you are the best parent you can be to help your teen stay focused on his recovery. By working on yourself, you are going to gain a variety of valuable skills to help your teen continue to work on his issues at home.

Seeking Help

As parents are searching for therapeutic boarding schools to help their teens manage their issues, some parents are surprised to learn they are expected to be involved in their son’s treatment and aftercare. Seeking help for your teen is not about giving him to someone else to fix but about tapping into the right tools to help him solve his issues. It should be a parenting move by a parent who is willing to see the process through. The best thing you can do for your teen is to seek professional help then prepare yourself to continue that work once he is home. The truth is a therapeutic placement has a time limit but true recovery is a life-long process and you need to be prepared to play a role in his recovery.

If you are dealing with a troubled teen please seek help immediately. Start with yourself and work toward your teen to help him through his issues.

Author's Bio: 

Tyler Jacobson is a freelance writer, with past experience in content writing and outreach for parent and teen advocate organizations. His areas of focus include: parenting, education, social media, addiction, and issues facing teenagers today. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | Linkedin