How You Can Learn to Create Structure for Your Teen with Behavioral Disorder

BTAboutThemTeens that have behavioral disorders need structure from parents in order to reduce bad behavior and maximize positive behavior. However, many parents don’t know how to create structure that really has an effect. Frustrated parents that feel they are just punishing their teenagers all the time, with no real results, need to learn successful methods on creating structures for teens with behavioral disorders.

Behavioral disorders in teens are common, with conditions like oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, reactive attachment disorder and conduct disorder topping the list. While more boys than girls seem to develop behavioral disorders, parents of all troubled teens should learn the signs and symptoms of behavioral disorders in order to create an appropriate plan to deal with them.

How You Can Learn To Create Structure For Your Teen With Behavioral Disorder

What follows are five steps that you can follow to successfully create a structured environment. (For a detailed and very informative infographic, CLICK HERE)

1. Recognize and reward good behavior. Rather than become a parent who is constantly critical and always punishing, make sure you recognize when your teen does something right or contributes positively in some way. Rather than tangible rewards, use praise, recognition and increased responsibilities to highlight the good behavior.

2. Set up a routine. Children and teens thrive on stability and predictability, so setting up a home routine that is consistent, calm and reliable will help a lot. Getting up and going to bed at a set time is a good start, starting homework at a certain time, and assigning chores to be completed on certain days, are all good examples. Children and teens with chaotic lives are less likely to be able to control themselves and their behaviors, so you can help a lot by setting up the household schedule to keep everyone on track.

3. Create a list of consequences. Together with your teen, create a list of consequences for bad behavior. Do this in a calm moment when both of you are not emotional. Allow your teen to help create the list and come up with some of the consequences. For example, missing the designated curfew without calling will result in the loss of the teen’s cell phone for a week. Setting up the house rules and the consequences of breaking them will get both parent and teen on the same page and everyone will know what to expect.

4. Find stress relievers. Teens deal with a lot of stress. When they don’t have a healthy outlet, sometimes that stress results in bad behavior. Whether its hobbies, recreation, entertainment, sports or exercise, you can encourage your teen to participate in activities that relieve stress and boost self-esteem.

5. Provide unconditional love. Rebellious teens frequently test the boundaries of parental approval and constantly wonder what it would take for their parents to stop loving them. Extreme bad behavior can cause a lot of tension between parents and teens, but expressing love in all circumstances can help teens feel the security and support they need in their daily lives.

Successful implementation of structure in the home can really reduce stress for parents and help teens gain better control over their behaviors and impulses. When there are set guidelines for both parents and teens, home life will be a lot smoother and teens will be better able to transition successfully through adolescence.###

This article is provided courtesy of the Liahona Academy.



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