Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



November 2010

Teen Behavior Problems – What is Typical Teen Behavior?

by Staff, on at risk youth, teen behavior, teen behavior issues, teen behavior problem, teen behavior problems, typical teen behavior

We all know that the teen years are the years of change. Well, every single teen is unique, but there are certain types of behavior that can be considered as typical teen behavior and not necessarily the cause for teen behavior problem alarm.

Teens are bound to experiment; they are seeking independence after all. For most of the parents teen typical behavior will seem strange, the new look, new hair style, change of friends and attitudes, that can all lead to major concerns and questions, but not all of that means that there is something wrong with your teen, most of that is really just typical teen behavior.

So what qualifies as typical teen behavior? Let’s go over a few examples that are not necessarily a cause for panic. The number one sign that your teen has started his transitional stage and what decorates the title of typical teen behavior is the change of appearance. Teens like to keep up with the current style, that may be too much radical for the parents, but it is not a sign of drug abuse or anything like that. Unless this change of appearance is followed by several other dramatic changes in behavior there is no need to worry.

Exclusion from family life is also typical teen behavior. They are seeing independence, so it is just normal that they value their privacy more than before. With independence comes free will and their own opinions which will result in a few arguments and quarrels, that also doesn’t mean your teen is acting unusual.

Of course there are the unavoidable emotional issues, ups and downs of a teen emotional life that can’t be skipped. Your teen will experience depression, sadness and everything that goes with higher sense of emotions that are experienced during the confused teen years. But even though this falls under typical teen behavior there is a bit of reason to worry, your teen may need support in these moments and you should provide that support. This is especially important if your teen sadness, anxiety or depression lasts longer than usual.

And of course there is the inevitable experimentation with drugs and alcohol. Well, it’s not like it is really inevitable, but a very large number of teens, most of them, will experiment, and this is normal. They want to try out new things and considering that they feel like they were released from a leash this can turn into a reason for worry. This is exactly why you need to teach your teen about responsibilities early and let them have a share of their own freedom, so they wouldn’t feel this way when they get to the teen years. But again, this is quite normal and isn’t something to worry about unless you notice a drop in grades, shady activities and other drug or alcohol related signs.

These are healthy and perfectly normal examples of typical teen behavior. But when most of these signs combine all of a sudden there is a need to worry and then you really might have a teen behavior problem on your hands. Staff