How do you know that your teens sadness is not chronic depression? Or whether he or she is into drugs or not? How do you maintain a relationship with them through those tough years? We asked Dan Scholz, clinical director at Lifeline Utah, for some advice.
He says it's important to pay attention to warning signs: changes in friends, dropping grades, lost interest in hobbies, isolation from family and family conflicts. Dan says go with your gut -- if something feels like abnormal teenage behavior, it probably is.
Dan says his advice to parents is to be open with teens and communicate with them about what their friends are doing. Talk about drugs, alcohol and your expectations. Communicate in a way that doesn't create shame. It's important to know your kids' friends. And, always be aware of their surroundings and stay up-to-date on the current dangers kids face.
If you do feel like your teen needs some help, Lifeline is here to help. Lifeline has been serving Utah families and teens for more than 25 years. It is a family counseling and treatment center for troubled youth struggling with drug use, school failure, family conflict, anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide and anything else that's getting in the way of them being happy and successful.
Lifeline offers an after school program, a day treatment program or 24-hour care, so there are different options depending on a teen's needs.
For more information call 1-855-968-8443 or visit lifelineutah.com.