Teenagers are known to push boundaries. It’s natural for them to be defiant and rebel against authority. They’re eager to assert their independence as they figure out their place in the world, and sometimes it manifests in unpleasant ways.
As a parent, it’s hard to know when your teenage son is going through a typical phase of adolescence and when it’s time to intervene. Is your son just having a bad day or do they have a serious mental health disorder? Should you give them space or get them help?
The most important thing to keep in mind is that teenage behavior is a spectrum. Some behaviors are typical of an adolescent while others are clear warning signs of a larger issue.
Your Teenage Son’s Behavior: Occasional Versus Chronic
There is a difference between occasional behavior and chronic behavior. Occasional behaviors happen once in a while and chronic behaviors are persistent. If the following behaviors happen infrequently, it’s probably not a cause for concern.
Some typical occasional behaviors might be:
- Frustration with parents, siblings, chores, school, and more
- Annoyance with things you say and do (think eye-rolling and sighing)
- Staying out past curfew
- Oversleeping or staying up late
- Anxiousness and worry
- Spending a lot of time in his room and on his devices
- Changes in hobbies and interests
- Impatience and restlessness
- Defiance and disrespect
- Wanting to spend more time with friends and less time with family
- Being moody and withdrawn
If these behaviors linger for months and are consistently recurring, it may be time to take next steps and get your son support.
Your Teenage Son’s Behavior: Definite Red Flags
Red flag behaviors are immediate warning signs of a larger issue at hand. These types of incidents should stop you in your tracks, even if they only happen once.
Address these types of behaviors immediately. Start a conversation with your son and reach out to professionals. Your son could have depression, a substance abuse disorder, or be in need of mental health counseling.
Definite behavioral red flags include:
- Extreme isolation from friends and family
- Rapid decline in school attendance and grades
- Suddenly quitting all extracurricular activities and social engagements
- Destructive behavior and activities
- Dangerous or risky behaviors such as unsafe sex, substance abuse, drinking, and smoking
- Suicidal and self-harming thoughts and actions
- Extreme highs and lows in mood and energy
- Stealing, getting in trouble with the law, or getting arrested
- Making threats or physical abuse towards others
Call Our Compassionate Lakeside Academy Staff Today
If you’re worried about your son, we want you to know there is help available. At Lakeside Academy, we specialize in Christian-based, holistic programming that provides teen boys with compassionate care. Our graduates learn self-advocacy, communication, and the important life skills required to move forward.