8 Tips for Parenting a Struggling Teen

If your struggling teen is having behavioral problems, or is going through any kind of struggle it’s important to confront the issue at hand. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to take care of your child – but sometimes that can be a near impossible task.
Below are some tips to manage your struggling teen:

1. Identify what is behind their behavior.

Your teen could be dealing with anything from a mental condition to something minor that they can get over with time. Either way, it’s important to pinpoint the problem before it blows up in both of your faces. This way, you can find the best way to help your teen.

2. Help them make healthy lifestyle changes.

Teenagers easily fall into unhealthy habits like staying up until all hours of the night and eating junk food. To create a change in your teen’s life, you need to get them healthy. Some ways to do this include clean eating, switching off the TV screen and getting active.

3. Give your teen space to retreat.

Teens struggling with anger issues need space in order to recover from outbursts. If your teen doesn’t have an issue with anger, it is still important to give them space in order for them to grow as an individual. However, it is very important to set boundaries and not give them too much space.

4. Be their parent, NOT their friend.

Most struggling teens need parents who can set boundaries and consequences for them. If you become too friendly with your teen you could risk your authority as a parent.

5. Give them your time.

Make sure you set time aside for your struggling teen. He/she is going through a lot and it’s crucial for them to have a role model to look up to. If you’re a workaholic, it’s important to set aside a couple of hours a day to spend time with your teen.

6. Listen to them.

When your struggling teen is going through some problems, you need to hear them out. That way, you can fully understand what it’s going to take to help them get through their struggles. Your teen is the person who knows him or herself the best, so they can tell you what’s wrong and what they need to get better.

7. Keep calm and carry on.

Make sure you behave calmly towards your teen. A teen with behavioral issues will only get worse if you get angry at him/her and treat them in a negative way.

8. Get help.

If your teen’s behavior is out of control and there’s nothing you can do to solve it, get help from a therapist or some other resource. Other options include therapeutic programs like wilderness therapy. Wilderness therapy programs help heal troubled teens by getting teens active and in touch with their inner selves.
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program that can help your troubled teen along their path to healing. With its professional therapeutic staff and wilderness training program, Trails leaves teens feeling empowered.
Call us today at 800-975-7303 to speak to a staff member about how we can help your struggling teen.

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Avatar of Jeremy Whitworth

Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: https://trailscarolina.com/common-ground-podcast/ With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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