Psychology and Psychiatry

Difficult teenager

A difficult teenager is a person who is psychologically in adolescence, whose behavior does not comply with socially accepted norms, usually for disobedience, running away from home, using psychoactive substances, committing crimes of varying severity and other moments.

The number of difficulties brought about by changes in the character and behavior of the child is always evaluated subjectively, and that for one will be perceived as horror in the last stage, for the other, will represent a variant of normal development. Almost a 100% chance that a child who had difficulties in communication, social adaptation, building adequate relationships and understanding social norms, passing the age line, will turn into a difficult teenager. The expectations of the parents that the child will outgrow the children's difficulties and stabilize to more adult is not something that is not justified, they get an even harder version of the interaction.

Work with difficult adolescents includes both remedial programs and preventive measures aimed at identifying a risk group and preventing the growth of possible social deviations.

Vivid emotional manifestations of difficult adolescents is an excessive affective reaction to the touches and hugs of loved ones, perhaps a reluctance to meet the gaze, the desire for the universal demonstration of their independent position from others. But an independent determination of a teenager at risk cannot be full and objective, for an accurate diagnosis or recording it is necessary to involve specialists in the psychological sphere.

Even if the parents do not like the behavior of the teenager, and the teachers demand that decisive action be taken, this does not always indicate a need for correction. It is quite possible that the behavior of the adolescent is relevant and performs a protective function due to attacks from tactless environments.

The reasons

The reasons for the change in the behavior of adolescents are due to hormonal changes in the body. The formation of the sexual system, the emergence of one's own view of the world, the awareness of intimate desires not only leads to a lack of understanding of one's own motives and desires, but also an increase in aggressiveness, especially among guys.

Hormonal restructuring also leads to many changes in the body - rashes appear, hairline and habitual proportions change. All this is happening with such speed that the psyche does not have time to adapt and a lot of complexes arise. It is the decline in self-esteem, the lack of an adequate perception of oneself that provokes a desire for isolation, an overreaction to any comments, increased aggression, as a way of protection against possible psychological trauma.

But it is impossible to explain everything solely by hormonal restructuring, because many adolescents, although living this period, are hard, but they do not change so dramatically. Stabilizing or exacerbating factor is the usual pattern of interaction in the parental family. So, with increased demands on the child, just as with the invalidity of his capabilities by parents, an incorrect self-assessment is formed. With high demands, overvoltage can cause aggression, and when reduced, the teenager is offended, considering that he is being devalued.

Violation of norms causes attention from everywhere - parents, peers, teachers, unfamiliar pedestrians. That is why a teenager who has a lack of attention or is considered a black sheep, an outcast may begin to commit unacceptable acts. One goal is to become noticeable, because hunger in attention can be satisfied not only by positive friendly communication, but also by the fear of others or the anger of loved ones. This includes not only actions for the sake of attention, but also attempts to avenge revenge. The feeling that the brothers love more drives the position of confrontation and splitting off from family foundations. Ignoring the need for close contact by parents can set the attitude towards everyone solely from a position of benefit, while the rest of the adolescent will behave in isolation. Any personal insults on friends or family members can cause behavior that goes beyond the scope adopted by society (divorce of parents, unwillingness to share toys, humiliation with or from a significant person, etc.).

The more mature a person becomes, the stronger is the desire to defend their own opinions and opinions. Only if, as a child, the individual prefers to obey adults, because he feels clearly weaker, then, just in adolescence, there comes a moment to demonstrate his position. In fact, parents are greatly surprised at how different the views of their child can be, and all attempts to prohibit or correct behavior with instructions only lead to an increase in opposition.

The work of a psychologist

Methods of working with difficult adolescents are usually developed by psychologists, even if later these recommendations will be implemented by school teachers or parents. The main activity of the psychologist covers a broad diagnosis, during which the specialist eliminates moments of physical and psychological pathologies. This is necessary to promptly prescribe treatment for organic lesions when corrective methods of exposure are powerless.

In addition, it is important to determine the degree of social maladjustment, on which the plan for subsequent rehabilitation measures depends. In some cases, parental consultation will be enough, in others, a number of specialists need to work together, and temporary forced isolation of a difficult teenager is possible.

The diagnostic role also includes the identification of children at risk for the further implementation of preventive or corrective measures regarding unfavorable socialization. But the diagnosis has a positive direction, and not just a search for flaws. So important is the selection of strengths and personality traits, thanks to which you can build a plan of change, where exactly these qualities will support development.

After a detailed diagnosis of the personality of a difficult adolescent, his inner circle and a developing relationship, a correctional stage begins. In each case, it is individual, but it comes down to normalizing the process of dialogue between a difficult teenager and significant people in his life, stabilizing stressful situations. Possible psychotherapeutic work with the complexes and the level of self-esteem, the regulation of a place in the peer group, the teaching of new relationship strategies.

The activity of the psychologist is aimed at harmonious introduction of the difficult teenager into the general social group, and creation of opportunities for personal self-realization in it. The choice of a therapeutic direction can be any, its main goal is to interest a difficult teenager (art therapy, phototherapy, gestalt, psychodrama, game therapy - these directions arouse the greatest interest in cooperation).

In addition to the psycho-correction of the adolescent himself, the psychologist necessarily interacts with his family and optimally also with the teaching staff. It is impossible to change a person if his entourage continues to live the old life, drawing him back. These classes with the environment can be conducted in the format of introductory lectures or training sessions.

The work of a social teacher

Social educator must be present in the life of difficult teenagers periodically. At the same time, he is a senior comrade, able to support and give practical advice, an observer who records various personal and social changes, as well as an administrator who oversees social work at all levels.

The rallying of the pedagogical team, the organization of favorable psychological conditions and the development of diagnostic programs and early prevention is the most extensive, but very significant part of the work. Restructuring the type of interaction between teachers, students and parents is the main task in the existing society, since the wrong structure of such relationships increases the level of adolescent internal stress. If he understands that teachers and parents demand different things, but cannot fully satisfy the demands of any one party, then he chooses to resist everything.

Individual work must begin with those children who have a pedagogical neglect. The procedure is quite simple, carried out with the help of the analysis of the performance history. After that, individual conversations are held with those who fall into the risk category, where there is an opportunity to identify problems leading to degradation, as well as the involvement of difficult adolescents in group classes.

In group classes, educational lectures may be held on social and social norms, ethics, and peculiarities of interaction with various types and ranks of people. Immediately, the actual experience of difficult adolescents can be actualized, showing how one can behave without violating the requirements of social approval, and with this actualization new opportunities are being introduced for the realization of the desires that have arisen.

In cases of incipient deterioration of social adaptation, individual preventive conversations with a social pedagogue are recommended, which can help to correct the motion vector, help unlock the potential of a teenager, and also recall the ethical side of life in a delicate manner. Also, individual conversations are shown in critical situations, when a teenager increases the frequency of drive to the police, absenteeism, use of narcotic substances and aggressive behavior. The preference of individual conversations will contribute to a greater degree of openness, since two polar reactions most often arise in front of a peer group - shut down, considering themselves above the rest of the group, or choosing a provocative pattern of behavior, trying to regain their position and show strength. When a social educator fails, you need to contact a psychologist or law enforcement agencies.

The work of the class teacher

The class teacher often falls most clearly to observe all the manifestations of the difficult nature of the teenager. Due to frequent interaction, his words and actions can lead either to exacerbation of problems, or to a soft correction. The priority is the style of interaction and how the class teacher addresses the student. Of course, provocative and aggressive behavior can cause the desire to humiliate, insult and talk coarseness in response, but it should be avoided.

Difficult adolescents are waiting for a reaction, and if they are not understood and trying to break them down by force, they stop listening, and the class teacher becomes ranked among the huge mass of non-understanding adults. Only respectful treatment, regardless of the behavior of a teenager and a benevolent attitude will help, over time, to become not enemies, but comrades.

It is necessary to maintain objectivity, regardless of personal attitude, especially in relation to those who have long been marked by unacceptable behavior. It is very easy to shift the responsibility for any chaos in the class to the bully, which will only reinforce his behavior. It is necessary to examine each case intently, looking for the guilty, thereby showing that belief in the adolescent exists, and that there are other solutions. If you have to make comments or point out the unworthiness of actions, then only actions can be negatively characterized, but not the person. It is better to praise the teenager and look for positive qualities in him, more often point to strengths.

Reduce the amount of criticism, negative reviews and threats - all of this, a difficult teenager who has fallen into a difficult situation, receives and so beyond measure. They need a person who is able to inspire and believe in their exclusivity, deeply dormant opportunities and talents, hidden kindness and responsiveness. Sometimes, the class teacher may be the last person to believe in positive change, and it is this belief that makes a difficult teenager work on himself. All of the same protest from which maladjustment began, out of anger and desire to break other people's expectations and predictions, these children can begin to gain momentum and bypass those whom they set as an example.

Tips for parents

Working with parents of a difficult teenager is a key area of ​​any rehabilitation, both of his and the family system as a whole. In a situation where the first deviations are beginning to appear, it is recommended to apply for individual family therapy, where the specialist will tell you the best way to solve problems and correct the behavior of a difficult teenager.

The first advice concerns the fact that one should not be too carried away by prohibitions and punishments. If in childhood this could still work, then in adolescence, thoughtless dictation of the rules, without taking into account thoughts and feelings, can cause a confrontation reaction. Differences in the requirements do not give the adolescent the possibility to attribute himself to either the category of children or adults; additional stress on this matter adds if parents start to demand more, but at the same time continue to decide for him and prohibit. It is necessary to reorient the communication to the perspective of the dialogue, rather than clerical subordination.

Parents should start to show greater interest in the life of their child, to organize joint pastime, to show their love. This will offset the desire to get attention through negative actions. In addition to eliminating psychological discomfort, active involvement in the adolescent's life will help to orient oneself in possible difficulties in his environment and advise the right decision in time. Assistance in the development of skills and implementation is also possible only if you are aware of what is happening.

Do not wait for quick results and do not require instant changes - a tactic that allows not to frighten off the beginning of trust and friendly interaction with the world. The more the process of maladjustment, the aggravation of the situation, the more time it will take a teenager to return to normal. If the problem is the acquisition of bad habits, then parents also have to quit smoking or alcohol. Never addiction is acquired in adolescence without an example in the family, and later the question arises why it is forbidden to get involved in some substances only to the youngest. In this case, global change will affect all participants and parents themselves will be able to feel how difficult the path to change is.