>> Adolescent Behavior Problems
ADOLESCENT BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS
At the onset of adolescence many kids exhibit a dramatic
change in behavior around their parents. They begin
to separate from Mom and Dad and to become more independent.
At the same time, kids this age are increasingly aware
of how others, especially their peers, see them and
are desperately trying to fit in.
Kids often start "trying on" different looks
and identities, and they become acutely aware of how
they differ from their peers, which can result in
episodes of distress and conflict with parents.
KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS
A certain amount of change may be normal during the
teen years, but too drastic or long-lasting a switch
in personality or behavior may signal real trouble
— the kind that needs professional help.
Watch for one or more of these warning signs:
- extreme weight gain or loss
- sleep problems
- rapid, drastic changes in personality
- sudden change in friends
- skipping school continually
- falling grades
- talk or even jokes about suicide
- signs of tobacco, alcohol, or drug use
- run-ins with the law
Any other inappropriate behavior that lasts for more
than 6 weeks can be a sign of underlying trouble,
too. You may expect a glitch or two in your teen's
behavior or grades during this time, but your A/B
student shouldn't suddenly be failing, and your normally
outgoing kid shouldn't suddenly become constantly
WHEN SHOULD I DO SOMETHING?
Parents should seek assistance if they see their child's
behavior becoming increasingly more challenging and
negative. If a child repeatedly defies or breaks rules,
parents may feel they have little control over their
child's behavior and become increasingly concerned
for their child's welfare. Some adolescent behaviors
that indicate problems are failure to respond to consequences
for negative behaviors, experimentation with substances,
engaging in sexual activity, poor school performance,
running away, and aggression.
It is sometimes difficult for parents to tell the
difference between normal adolescent behavior and
that which may be a warning sign of something more
serious. If you are concerned about your adolescent
or unsure if what he or she is experiencing may be
serious or related to an underlying cause, please
contact Dr. Penson for assistance @ 323-580-3383.