How to Recognize a Juvenile with a Behavior Problem

Since it is almost always very hard to admit it, most parents try to minimize or deny that their child has a behavior problem. As with many other challenges parents are faced with, the first step toward a solution is recognizing that there is a problem. So, how do you identify a juvenile that is at risk? Behavior professionals who work with juvenile clients suggest you ask yourself these questions.

  1. Is your child angry?
  2. Does your child become belligerent when he or she does not get his/hers own way?
  3. Is the juvenile secretive, or have an unusual desire for privacy?
  4. Does your child use abusive language to you and other family members?
  5. Is your child getting in trouble at school?
  6. Have there been problems in school attendance or tardiness?
  7. Is your child failing at school or have grades gone down?
  8. Does the juvenile’s behavior include frequently being out late, without your permission?
  9. Does your child have friends who are also making poor decisions?
  10. Is your child defiant?
  11. Has your child been involved in fights and disturbances in the community or at school?
  12. Has your child’s eating or sleeping habits changed?

No one knows your child and his or her behavior better than you. Once you have used these questions as a guide, you will be able to honestly and objectively know if it is time to intervene. If you find that it is time to step up, the good news is there is a lot of help available for you and your teen with a behavior problem. There are many ways to get referrals for qualified therapists. If you currently have health insurance, check with your insurance company. Ask friends or other family members, check with your clergyman, your family physician, or school counselor, as a parent of a juvenile with a behavior problem, you are not alone.

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