It's hard to be a parent of any child, and the adolescent years are full of challenges for parents and kids alike.  If your teenager also has behavioral or emotional issues, that can be even more difficult. Parents of troubled teens need to figure out how to deal with the issues, and help their teens through this stressful period. There are special troubled teens schools available, but there are also things you can do at home as well. Here are some key troubled teens tips to get you started.

1.) Recognize When Your Teen Has Problems.

The first step in helping your troubled teen is to recognize that they are in trouble.  One of the key signs is often "acting out."  This is when teens take unusual actions as a way of getting attention and expressing problems.  Those underlying problems need attention, not just the acting out behavior.  It is not always easy to figure out what the cause is.  Adolescence always involves hormonal and emotional changes, but sometimes there is a problem that is rooted deeper than that. 

Troubled teens may turn to defiance against you and other figures of authority.  They may resort to alcohol or drugs as a way to counter their emotional pain.  Their problems can lead them into a state of depression.  All of these are signs that your teen is troubled.  They will need some extra attention and care to resolve their issues. 

2.) Connect With Your Teen.

A troubled teen may drive you crazy with angry words and defiant behavior.  However, as a parent, the last thing you should do is to turn away from them, especially if the behavior seems to be escalating and previous attempts at resolution did not work.  Remember that you are their parent, and that gives you a more powerful bond than they will ever have with a counselor in one of the troubled teens programs.  Strive to be a reasonable, reliable, and positive person in your teen's life; ideally someone they can count on at all times.

Work on keeping your connection alive, and strive for open communication between you and your teen.  Listen to them, and if they're not inclined to talk about things, ask questions to try to understand what's happening in your teen's life.  Resist the temptation to judge them or tell them what to do.  It is important for them to be heard without fear of negative recriminations.  Try your best to make them feel loved, understood, and valued in your home, so that they don't need to turn elsewhere for approval and acceptance.

3.) Seek Professional Help.

If you have tried all of the troubled teens tips you can find to deal with your teen's problems yourself, then it could be time to seek out professional assistance for them.  A professional can help identify what the root problems are, and provide assistance in resolving them.  It is usually more helpful to retain professional assistance when the problems are fairly new, rather than waiting until they are more advanced.  Try to make sure your teen sees this as something to help them, not as a stigma, or a sign that there is something wrong with them.

There are different approaches to professional help.  There are special troubled teens schools and troubled teens programs, staffed with professionals who specialize in working with teenagers like yours.  You can also find a therapist who can work with them privately.