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Motherhood Series: How to Get Help for a Difficult Teen

By Yushima Burks May 13, 2021 0 comments celebrates your stories about Motherhood. Share your story today. Today we celebrate you! Thank you for sharing your advice with us! What advice would you give a mom who is seeking help for a difficult teen?

Yushima Cherry Burks: I've been down this road more than once. Pray for them and yourself. You will need to take care of yourself and your other children as well. So be sure to set aside time for care for the rest of your family, especially if you are in a relationship. Troubled children cause friction in the home and relationships will suffer if you are not in agreement with how to move forward. Seek counseling.

For teens without mental health issues:

Talk to them and allow them to speak freely, even if it hurts your ego. Be present with them. Sometimes teens just need to feel loved and accepted. Set boundaries and be consistent, if they see you slipping, they can't trust what you say. Seek counseling. Teens are going through much more than they are willing to share with parents. 

For teens with mental health issues.

My advice would be to do what I stated above and seek counseling for the family and for the teen individually. You need a paper trail and information from therapists and schools about their behavior in case you need a higher level of care later on. Keep records of events that occur with your teen. Keep doctors appointments and counseling appointments. Advocate for yourself and your teen, and keep record of everything professionals tell you. Hold them accountable. Seek support from your community, other mom's and dad's who may have had difficult teenagers. 

I've had good and bad experiences after reaching out to Child Welfare Services, so this route is a gamble, but they have the most resources. This was my last resort, but it worked out in the end.

If your teen is violent and/or having legal issues.

My advice would be to introduce them to your local police station and make them aware of the steps you are taking to get the teen help. This is put them in front of the officers that may be the one's that will have to interact with them later on. They may be less likely to harm your teen if they have seen them and been introduced to them. It's sad to say, but it's true.

Be patient and know that you are doing the best that you can do. You are not God. You are not perfect, neither is your teen. You can only use what you have. You are still awesome and your teen's behavior is not a reflection of how much you love them. If you have made mistakes in the past, or if you are drug/alcohol issues, be sure to get yourself help as well. Your family deserves to have the best version of you, and so do you.

For more in depth information about how to help your teen get my books: Google: Yushima Cherry Burks or visit:

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