If you have children, adolescents, or young adults in your life who you suspect or know for sure is struggling with self-esteem, defiance, anger, or lying down, your first instinct is maybe to reach out.
It's a good instinct, and you have to follow it. However, know that there are certain ways to go about reaching out to troubled youth and moving too fast or in the wrong way can push troubled teens away from you. You can also browse to https://woodcreekacademy.com/wilderness-therapy/ to get more information about troubled teens therapy programs.
Before you make a move to help troubled teenagers or young adults in your life, consider the following suggestions:
1. Be understanding. Many troubled teens act out because they feel that no one understands them. Perhaps their friends make fun of them when they act like they are, or perhaps their parents push them into the mold that does not fit.
Whatever the case, if you want to reach troubled youth, you need someone who understands them. This does not, however, mean that you need to be reckless to say, "I know what you're going through," if you do not. True understanding comes only through good listening.
2. Listen actively. You may have heard of active listening tips before: "Look at their eyes," "repeat some of what they say," "Ask questions to clarify," etc. All of these tips apply tenfold when it comes to listening to a troubled teen.
3. Be caring. Work with troubled youth to find a solution to the problem without pushing him to be something that is not yet ready to be. Make suggestions only after you've been thinking about them long and try not to appear as preach when you give advice.