Contrary to popular opinion, not all teenage crises will appear out of the blue and because of its unexpected appearance, render parents helpless to change the situation for the better.
There are always warning signs – and you just have to know what you’re look for.
What Are The Warning Signs?
- Change in Academic Grades
Most teenagers who are experiencing serious problems – mental, psychological, or emotional – would usually end up letting their grades slip although this may be unintentionally or otherwise.
If your child used to have straight A’s all the time and yet all of a sudden, other letters start showing up in his report card, it’s definitely a sign that there’s trouble on the horizon.
Ideally, a positive change in academic grades is something to welcome – and you definitely should if you see ample proof that your child is finally working hard to do well in school.
But if there’s no visible evidence to support this change, and further probing reveals that your child isn’t just studying in another setting, then this could be considered a warning sign as well.
- Extreme Reluctance to Communicate
It’s normal for teenagers to feel a generation gap between them and their parents. If your child used to tell you all his secrets and then stops upon entering high school, this can still be considered normal. At this stage of his life, he feels that he’s able to be more open to people closer to his age.
If, however, his reluctance to communicate with and to you is carried to the extremes, this can then be considered another warning sign of a potential teenage crisis.
If your teenager seems to go out of his way just to avoid talking with you then there’s a possibility that he’s hiding something and he’s unhappy about the fact that he is.
Teenagers may bear strikingly adult-like features in the surface, but inside, they’re still children and their immaturity makes them unable to handle the guilt and pressure of keeping secrets.
- Change in Friends
If you’re not aware of who your teenager is friends with then it’s time you learn because friends have a significant role in every teenager’s life. Birds of the same feather flock together, and this continues to hold water in today’s world.
If you notice that your teenager is hanging out with a different set of friends, do your best to learn why. If the reason provided seems to be too vague or insufficient then yes, this is yet another warning sign.
If you notice distinct dissimilarities between your teenager and with the people he considers as friends, this should also be taken as a warning sign. Diversity is always good, but it’s important that you make sure his friends are not exercising negative influence or peer pressure over him.
- Change in Interest and Acquiring New Ones
Hobbies are activities that a person derives personal fun from, and it’s important as well that you know what your teenager’s hobbies are. That way, in the event that your teenager suddenly switches hobbies for no apparent reason, you’ll be able to notice it and consequently probe for the reason behind it.
Naturally, it’s understandable for your teenager to lose interest in toys and consequently become fascinated with sport cars. But developing a sudden interest in the clothes of the opposite sex, or something equally disturbing is definitely a cause for concern.
- Change in Attitude
The most important warning sign to take note of is a change in attitude. Usually, behavioral changes take a gradual pattern. A usually even-tempered teenager may start, for instance, by raising his voice and then proceed to throwing tantrums or even cussing.
If your teenager is showing more and more alarming signs of not being his usual self, that’s not teenage angst but something definitely more serious.
In the end, however, no precursor of teenage problem, no matter how obvious it appears, will be noticeable if you don’t know your kids well enough in the first place.
Know and love your children well, and let them know that you care. Doing so will not only help you notice the warning signs if and when they do appear but they can also help prevent any teenage crisis from taking place as well.