How to Recognize Teen Behavioral Problems?

The behavior of teenagers can sometimes be maddening for parents to understand. Often they arrive home from school in the best of moods only to lose their temper quickly and storm out of the room just because you asked them how their day was.

Is this normal behavior in a teenager? Maybe. All too often parents assume that when they can’t pinpoint the reason behind their child’s behavior that it is nothing more than their teenage hormones at work. However, what many parents fail to realize is that there is a difference between normal teenage behavior and teenage behavioral problem behavior. Let’s explore the differences.

Normal Teenage Behavior

  • Selfishness
  • Moodiness
  • Willingness to point out the imperfections of their parents
  • Less show of affection
  • Rudeness

This is normal behavior and shows that your child is working towards forming his/her own identity and becoming independent.

Behavioral Problem Behavior

The list of behavioral problem behaviors is quite lengthy, but here are a few of the most common:

  • Poor grades
  • Long periods of depression
  • Sexual activity
  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Threatening to runaway

When these forms of behavioral problem behaviors are present in your child for weeks at a time you may need to consult a psychologist.

The first list above is a teenager’s healthy way of developing into an individual. It is not self-destructive to them. Yes, sometimes the behavior may hurt your feelings but consider it retribution for the way you treated your parents at that age.

Behavioral problem behavior is not healthy. It is self-destructive and if left unchecked it could grow worse and lead your child down a long dark path of social problems they may never be able to recover from. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Express your concerns to your child and get him/her help. They’ll thank you for it later.


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