PARENTING AND YOUTH BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS

WHAT IT IS

Parenting is difficult even in the best of circumstances and often causes some conflict in the home, especially as children enter adolescence. While “testing the waters” is common, some youth engage in problematic behaviors that are outside of developmental norms. In younger children, this may include excessive tantrums, lying, or physical aggression. Older children may engage in substance use, shoplifting, sneaking out, self-harm, or impulsive sexual behaviors. There may also be academic or behavioral difficulties at school (truancy, not turning in homework, or getting into fights).

While some developmental and relational issues are to be expected, sometimes parenting struggles and behavioral difficulties start to take over the family. As a child’s behavior gets more and more out of control, household emotions go up and relationships start to suffer. All of this can lead to additional behavioral problems and increasing conflict among family members. Many parents are unsure which problem to tackle first, or how best to address problems that are occurring. In addition, many parents disagree about which problem is most important to focus on, or they disagree on ways to punish or reinforce behaviors. They also may experience anger or resentment toward their children, or they may experience marital problems that stem from the parenting difficulties.

Families often need therapeutic support as well. There are many driving forces that can lead families to seek the support of family therapy: the impact mental illness or substance use has on a family, marital conflict, conflict between parents and children, financial issues, differing parenting styles, difficulty setting or maintaining boundaries, and trying to parent within a blended family to name a few.  

ASSOCIATED CONCERNS

Parents may be in need of support to address difficulties with their moodanxiety, or perfectionism/shame. Youth may be in need of support to address their emotional and behavioral dysregulation, including suicidality and self-injury. Couples may be in need of support to address relationship difficulties.  

TREATMENTS OFFERED

Parenting classes, Parent Coaching, DBT Family Class, Family Therapy.