By Nigel Boys
Parents need to be on the lookout for warning signs that their teenage children are heading down the road that will end up getting them into trouble.
Television psychologist, Dr. Phil (Philip McGraw), who gained popularity when he first appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, gives 5 warning signs that parents should lookout for.
1. Detaches themselves from family life.
Be careful, warns McGraw, if your child is spending too much time out of the house or locked away in their bedroom. This is a sure warning sign that something is going wrong in their minds, which you need to deal with.
2. Becomes moody in their actions.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s just a phase they are going through if your teenage child is happy one moment, then angry in the next minute. They may have made the wrong friends who are influencing their decisions or it could be something to do with their hormonal changes.
Whatever the cause of their mood swings, don’t let them become worse, talk it out with them, Dr. Phil advises.
3. Be on the lookout for substance abuse.
According to the host of his own show since 2002, parents should know the signs to watch out for if their children are using drugs or partaking in alcoholic beverages. He adds that it is quite common among teenagers to experiment, but parents should be aware of the dangers.
4. Be especially vigilant if someone in the family has abused drugs or alcohol previously.
Teenagers are more likely to become dependent on drugs or alcohol if they have seen a member of their family doing the same or it could have been passed on genetically from either parent, adds Dr. Phil.
5. Watch out for your teenager doing things they know they shouldn’t.
Be careful if your teenage child is doing wrong things, even if it’s only minor things like vandalism, petty theft or skipping school. It may be more serious than just adolescent behavior and they may not know how to decide what is right and wrong.
McGraw concludes by saying that there are many warning signs that parents should look out for, including: the use of bad language, reduced interest in their studies or hobbies and a blatant disrespect for parental authority.