As a parent, it can be difficult to know when to step in and intervene. It’s also hard to know the right thing to say.
Whether your son is struggling socially or academically, has behavioral problems, or is using drugs or alcohol, the stakes are high. Talking openly with them about any concerns you have can help them feel more confident and less afraid of someone else finding out their secret.
Getting professional help may also be beneficial for your son’s mental health.
Here are some ways on how you can start making meaningful changes in your teenage son’s life today.
Start by opening up about your concerns
Explaining the reasons behind your concern is the first step toward determining what type of intervention might be most helpful.
This can be a difficult conversation to have with your son, but it’s an important one for you to start having
. After your initial conversation, it is time to carefully consider all of your concerns and what action you can take.
If your son is only concerned about his social life, he may not be ready for a broader intervention.
If he has formed a friendship with another family member, parents may be concerned for the other family members’ safety.
While you may be unsure of what your options are, the important thing to remember is that you need to be an informed and involved parent.
Seek professional help
If your son seems distant, depressed, or guilty, make an appointment to have him assessed by a qualified mental health professional.
They can help you establish clear goals for your son’s wellbeing, offer you resources to support him, and give you specific tools to help him.
Together, you can explore the challenges your son is facing and ways to make positive changes. Accept and focus on your son’s strengths Instead of focusing on your son’s weaknesses, try to recognize and celebrate his strengths.
Being open about your son’s weaknesses doesn’t help him overcome them; it perpetuates shame and isolation.
If he’s struggling socially, helping him find new ways to connect and talk to other kids will help him feel less alone and help him learn to form positive relationships.
Get him involved in extracurricular activities
Look into joining an after-school activity he’s passionate about, like playing an instrument or joining a club.
It can provide a safe and secure outlet to express his feelings and passions.
If he’s having problems with his friends, chances are they’re also having problems with the other boys in the group.
Noticing and being aware of this can help build stronger relationships. Have open discussions In his private moments, his friends don’t want to listen to his parent’s advice.
This is where an open and honest discussion with your son can help.
Find a time where you can have a discussion about the expectations of what you expect of him and what he expects from others.
Show him how to be responsible
Being able to take care of yourself, your family, and others is an important life skill that young men need to learn.
If your teenage son is struggling with responsibility, suggest he consider taking on more responsibilities within your family and your neighborhood.
If he does decide to take on more responsibility, be prepared to let him know that his behavior will be monitored and that consequences will be handed down.
If his bad behavior puts him or your neighborhood at risk, he may be asked to leave. Young men must understand the consequences of their actions.
Get him involved in activities Whether he’s interested in sports, arts, or nature, find out what is available in your neighborhood.
Encourage him to challenge himself
It may be hard to sit and listen to your son talks about how bored he is. But don’t be quick to encourage him to play video games all day.
If your son is having difficulty with something, encourage him to seek additional guidance or extra support.
From gaming addiction to depression, getting professional help from a counselor or therapist can help your son to gain insight into his challenges.
Help him navigate his identity Sometimes teens may struggle with identity. For example, a teen may be tempted by negative ideas about his own masculinity.
One thing you can do is try and connect with your son. Ask him what his interests are and if there is anything you can do to help him be the best person he can be.
Consider seeking therapy for him
Your son may be reluctant to speak to a therapist about his problems because he’s afraid of being judged or punished by you. This is understandable.
But you should understand that most teens who have addiction problems or other mental health conditions are extremely embarrassed about the problems and may fear that you won’t understand what they’re going through.
As a parent, it’s your job to be knowledgeable about what’s happening in your teenager’s life and to be able to offer support when your son asks for it.
Your son should also know that talking about his problems with his family and friends will also help him.
He may feel much better about himself if he can open up to those he cares about.
How therapy can help?
Counseling can be beneficial for anyone, including teenagers. Counseling provides a safe place for your son to talk about problems, deal with emotions, and begin to identify healthy ways to deal with challenging situations.
Experts say that mental health problems can show up in adolescents and that it is common for teens to skip school, skip meals, and engage in risky behaviors to deal with loneliness, stress, and anxiety.
If your son is struggling with depression, anxiety, self-harm, substance abuse, or suicidal thoughts, he should be evaluated by a mental health professional.
When your teen is with you, you can help him identify positive ways to cope with stress, depression, and other issues.
You’re not alone in worrying about your teenage son. Regardless of their age, teens may struggle with difficult emotions or developmental issues.
With that in mind, parents may be reluctant to bring up their concerns. As a parent, it’s important to be open with your teen about any concerns you have, regardless of how sensitive they may be.
It may also be beneficial to seek the advice of mental health professional. However, if your son is experiencing life-threatening issues, you should always seek the help of a trained professional.