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Chaotic teens- Is this the new norm?

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Chaotic teens- Is this the new norm?


Chaotic teens- Is this the new norm?

My 13 year old daughter is unravelling. This year at school has see her move from detentions to internal suspensions & then an external suspension. She's rude & non compliant. If she doesn't like what the teacher requests of her, she'll leave the class- followed by a level of horrible verbal slurs.

At home, she won't adhere to a grounding & lately has chosen to come & go as she pleases. She lies incessantly. 

She lives week about between her Father's place & ours. She is on a mental health care plan & recently, her Father commenced her on anti- depressants (with recommendation form the psychologist). I'm concerned that the psych isn't implementing any cognitive or behavioural strategies & I'm aware that there are other choices of medication with fewer side- effects; so that has bothered me.

She talks about not caring about any consequences for her behaviour & wants to be able to live the life she chooses for herself.

I see a young girl with low moods, lack of resilience, poor behaviours. I feel anxious about the path she's choosing. She's disengaging form school, sports, psych and family. I really hope she changes tack!

My son has recently turned 18. He goes out partying a lot now & usually doesn't get up of bed until about 3pm daily. He's told me that he's started to smoke pot too. I've tried to bring some education around both binge drinking & the risks associated with experimenting with drug use, but he's not receptive. 

Both of my children have always been sporty and generally good all rounders. It's again scary considering their current choices; it's impacting the rest of the family and We're at a loss to engage in meaningful relationships with them as they're both rather selfish. 

My son has recently opted to not go to his uncle's wedding; in favour of a party. It just doesn't feel right as their Mum to sit by & watch how things unfold...

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Re: Chaotic teens- Is this the new norm?

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Hi @CriersCottage,


It certainly sounds like you have a lot on your plate at the moment! I'm happy to hear your daughter is linked in with professional support, it can take time to see changes with this so I understand your frustration. It is a very hard time for her too with hormonal shifts, developing an identity as a young woman and trying to find her place in the world.


Does your son have any professional support? Is he working or studying?


And lastly but probably most importantly, do you have anyone you speak to about all this? Professionals, friends, family? It sounds like you really need some emotional support and also maybe some guidance. Have you ever spoken to ParentLine? Here is some information on them and their number depending on where you are in Australia.


Are you exercising much self care? It's important to make sure you get some time to yourself where possible - baths, walks, reading, meditations etc. are all really good. Keep us in the loop! You don't have to carry all of this alone.


- Hayley R/O

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Chaotic teens- Is this the new norm?

Hi @CriersCottage,


It sounds like a really difficult time. I'm struggling with one child (my other two are still young and haven't hit those teenage issues yet), so I can only imagine what you are going through.


It sounds like your relationship with your children is also struggling. For me, I found working on the relationship to be the best approach forward. Trying to find something you can both joke and laugh about was helpful. Also, I think its important to keep reminding yourself of the nice things they do (although this can be difficult as they feel so few and far between) as it helps to bring hope to the whole situation.


We also have a responsibility to put in place natural consequences when our young people engage in unwelcome behaviours. For example, if my son treats me like garbage then its ok to withdraw from the relationship (a natural response to the situation). I think we need to remind ourselves that putting in place natural consequences is super important.


Anyway, best of luck Smiley Happy