We all know the world has changed and then some. Kids who once came home and quietly did their homework watched over by their at-home mother are well and truly in the minority.

Many teens grow up in single-parent homes or if they have two parents at home both are likely to have a day job. Kids today have all manner of gadgets to communicate with one another and to explore the world.

And with the accessibility of drugs, alcohol and opportunities for wild even dangerous behavior, many parents worry about how to bring up their troubled teenage son or daughter. And having more than one teenager can double the adventuresome lifestyle.

The first thing for any parent to do is not panic and realize they are not alone. Many parents face problems parenting their kids. You can make life easier for yourself by being aware of your child’s behavior.

This does not mean snooping but rather being observant. If your teen is spending long periods alone in their bedroom or the bathroom, this may be a sign that things are wrong. Are they depressed? Do they have a poor body image? Are they experimenting with drugs? Nipping anything dangerous in the bud is far preferable to having a major disaster on your hands. Stay alert and be observant.

Many a parent suffers by taking the wrong approach to parenting. Using the shouting and threatening technique rarely if ever works. You need to win the respect of your teen. They need to feel confident in confiding in you. So the approach is to build a relationship with your child in which respect and understanding play a major role. Be firm but be fair but be understanding. You want co-operation and not conflict.

There are many indicators that things are not going well. Know these indicators and be prepared to take action. Proactive is good. Be on the lookout for failing school grades, mood swings, changing their friends, giving up previous activities and spending a lot of time alone. These are symptoms and you need to discover the cause. Keep open the lines of communication with your teen. Parenting is all about communication.

You don’t have to go it alone. There are specialists who work with teens on their behavior and attitude. Your family doctor should be able to guide you in the right direction. Another alternative is a camp such as a therapy based program in the wilderness or a boot camp or military school. These are major steps and should not be taken lightly but the issue of parenting is too important to be left to chance. Explore all offers and opportunities for helping your teen.

Make sure that your teen is not suffering from an illness or condition which is affecting their behavior. ADHD, depression or some other metal illness may be the root cause of their troubles. To be the best parent, ensure your child gets the best care. Take the time to have any testing completed to clear the air.

The task of raising teens today is not easy but there are many helpful people, places and resources which can help make your job successful.

Here are additional resources you might be interested in:

How to Help Teens with Adolescence – A Guide for Parents

Help for Parents with Children Who Have Addictions