Decoding Teen Behavior

Decoding Teen Behavior

March 17, 2021

It happens suddenly – one minute you’re chasing a toddler around, and the next, you’re the parent of a teenager. How did this happen and who is this person that took over my kid’s body? Is this “normal” teenage behavior or is something more going on?

If you are unsure of when to seek professional counseling for your teenager, you’re not alone. Their behavior can be confusing, and it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that we as parents can’t help our kids through everything life throws their way. Sometimes, professional guidance is needed.

What is “normal” teen behavior?

Teenagers are busy exploring their identity: they push boundaries and try out new things as they learn who they are and where they fit in the world. Teens tend to think they are already adults and may act rebelliously to show they have control over their lives.

Observe your teenager’s behavior, and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How is my teen doing at school?
  2. Does he/she have friends?
  3. Does he/she tell me what is going on in their life?

If the answers to any of these questions are concerning, or you notice any sudden, big changes, you might want to talk to a professional to see if the behavior seems normal. You can start by asking their pediatrician, or find a therapist who is experienced with teenagers.

When should I be worried about my teenager’s behavior?

If your teen is exhibiting any of these behaviors, don’t wait to seek help. Issues behind these behaviors are very serious and should be addressed right away to avoid the problems becoming worse.

  • Signs of depression
  • Signs of anxiety
  • Running away
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Participating in illegal activities
  • Drug use
  • Failing school
  • Acting out sexually
  • Self-harm/cutting
  • Inability to establish, build, and maintain friendships
  • Major changes in friends and activities
  • Eating problems
  • Inappropriate anger
  • Increasing defiance
  • Significant changes in mood or behavior

If you have noticed concerning behaviors in your teenager, reach out to us for help. Our team of professional counselors are experienced in working with teenagers. We can help identify issues that lead to these behaviors and work with your teen to overcome them.

Pinterest graphic for teenage therapy in Hinsdale.

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