Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



November 2010

Parents Guide to Teen Behavior Modification

by Staff, on at risk youth, behavior modification, behavior modification therapy, teen behavior, teen behavior modification, teen behavior modification therapy

Behavior modification is a process used for troubled teens and it involves certain strategies meant to properly address the behavioral issues the teens are presenting. The goal is to change the negative behavior pattern and turn it into a positive behavior pattern. Unlike adults with behavioral issues, teens have a high chance of success with behavior modification therapies. Behavior modification therapy is also meant for teens with disorders like ODD and ADHD and this type of therapy has shown great results so far in dealing with teens.

Most parents will go through a number of different approaches, home ones, before they realize that the most effective way to help their teen is through behavior modification therapy. The home behavior modification therapy relies heavily on one method, privilege parenting or positive parenting with rewards.

But that is effective only at the beginning, some teens are way beyond that level and a simple change in parenting approach can’t help. These teens will defy the rules, break every single order or even a plea you give them, basically this is when things really get out of your hands.

There are basically two scenarios that can happen, one is that you realize what is going on early and try to prevent the behavior from getting worse, which we will talk about in the rest of the article or the ones where things have gotten out of control and you need to seek professional help and join your teen to a behavior modification therapy.

Just to make sure that you are not the one overreacting you need to be aware that at certain age children do tend to show certain behavior traits. Be sure not to mistake the age related behavior with misbehavior. There are three things you can do when you recognize inappropriate behavior for your kid.
-    The first thing is to recognize the type of behavior, if it is in line with the age appropriate behavior you should simply skip and ignore it.
-    If you decide that the behavior is really inappropriate then you should figure out a punishment or keep to an already set one.
-    The last thing you can try is show your child a different type of behavior and try to get your teen to accept it.

So what does it mean to introduce a new type of behavior? It means that you need to create a reward system, privilege system we mentioned. Just explain to your kid that you are fond of certain type of behavior, make rules, when to go to bed, when to get up, what are their chores etc… If they follow up on your rules you give them a promised reward, if they fail to apply the rules you set out for them there is no punishment but taking away the privilege they are offered.

This is the most basic form of behavior modification that you can do in your own home. But again, this can be done in the early years, this should be done in early years no matter if the issue is present or not. Once the behavior starts to go out of control you should seek help from a professional behavior modification specialist just in case. Staff