Your sweet and loving child is growing up right before your eyes. You have mixed emotions as you watch your son transform into a young adult. Of course, you are excited to see the man he is becoming, but at the same time, he is sometimes angry and hostile with disrespect, unexpected outbursts, rolling eyes and slamming doors. But how do you know if this is normal teen behavior or if you need to send him to a Utah therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens? Read on for additional information about signs to watch for in struggling adolescents.
Possible Danger Signs in Troubled Teens
As teens test the boundaries and search for their own identities, they might act out in unexpected ways. The following behaviors could indicate a serious issue that might require immediate professional intervention or even enrollment at a therapeutic boarding school.
- Skipping school. In addition to your house rules as a parent and your insistence that your child attend school, the state also has laws about school enrollment and truancy. If your teen refuses to follow those rules, he could face juvenile detention. By having this discussion with your son sooner rather than later, you might avoid truancy problems.
- Substance abuse. Teen alcohol and drug abuse interferes with a young person’s health at a time when he needs to do all he can to grow into productive maturity. In addition to talking about safe behaviors and making healthy choices, parents should also discuss the risks and consequences of drug use. Teens who engage in substance abuse are more likely to be involved in other risky behaviors, so it’s important to address this issue immediately for your child’s well-being and safety.
- Self-mutilation. Self-mutilation or self-harm means that a person hurts themselves physically in an attempt to cope with emotional pain. Common types of self-mutilation include cutting or burning. Teens sometimes engage in these behaviors due to extreme stress, overscheduling and pressure from parents, peers or the media.
- Eating disorders. While eating disorders are typically thought of as problems that affect girls, about 10 to 15 percent of those affected are teen boys. The most common types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating and purging. Nearly half of all victims also deal with depression. About 90 percent of sufferers do not receive treatment, and men are even less likely to ask for help because the disorder is seen as a woman’s problem.
- Anxiety or depression. Studies have shown that depression in children and teens is almost 5 percent of the population. Prior to age 14, boys and girls are at equal risk, but the depression rate for girls doubles after that. In recent years, younger and younger children are afflicted with depression when compared to years past. Those with early-onset depression are at a greater risk of more severe depression throughout their adult lives. In addition, depression can often appear at the same time as other mental health problems, such as anxiety or substance abuse issues.
- Violence. An estimated 36 percent of high school students have been in a physical altercation at least once in the past 12 months, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Criminal behaviors. A criminal record could damage your teen’s opportunities for college and negatively impact his entire future.
If your teen is dealing with any of these serious matters, you might want to look into a Utah therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens as a last resort. Your son’s safety and well-being could depend on it.