Main Image

Though the reasons may often be unclear, teenagers sometimes choose to make decisions that have a negative and lasting effect on their future.

If you find yourself wondering if your teen could be heading down a destructive path, pay attention to these five warning signs:

1.Isolation from family.

If a once social and amiable child becomes a sullen and withdrawn teen this is a red flag. If your teen is spending more and more time away from the family or locked in their room, there is a reason. It is your responsibility as a parent to find out why.

2.Severe mood swings.

Is your child cheerful and favorable one minute and aloof or irritable the next? Don’t just chalk it up to a bad nights sleep or pains of growing up. Your child may be hanging around the wrong crowd or may be experiencing hormonal, neurological, and/or social changes.

Don’t just let it go. Kids only get bigger, stronger, and more rebellious. It is far better to deal with the issue early on.

3.Drug and/or alcohol abuse.

Your teen may begin experimenting with drugs or alcohol without your knowledge. If this is something you suspect your child is doing, learn about the signs here.

4.Family history.

Teens whose families have a history of alcohol or drug abuse have a much higher chance or becoming entangled themselves.

5.Taking Unnecessary Risks.

Don’t excuse your teen’s poor behavior as “teens being teens”. Adolescents who are truant, take no care for the property of others, or are prone to petty theft, are not headed down a good path.

When teens seem careless and irresponsible it indicates several things; the worst being that they can’t connect their actions with consequences.

Other signs: Be aware if your child’s grades are declining, and their manner of speech changes to street slang or drug references. Another sign is a lack of interest in hobbies which once enthralled them or a deterioration of family values.

Don’t be in denial; your teen can make poor choices just as often as the next kid. Make sure you know what is going on with your child, hold them accountable for their actions. It is your job to help them live in a way that they will become successful and contributing members of society.