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This website is dedicated to helping parents and caregivers of troubled children, teenagers, and young adults.  Use the search box to explore articles or read trending articles, and find information about how to manage challenging behaviors.  You can do this–your skills really can improve your family life as well as that of your child.

How to talk to a difficult teenager – what to say and do

How to talk to a difficult teenager – what to say and do

Parents can learn how to talk to a difficult teenager and reduce fights or frustration and improve communication.  Below are effective responses for when you and your teenager argue or get stuck in the same negative patterns. Before you talk with your difficult teen, consider these three very important principles.

WHAT you say and do depends on your unique situation, your teenager, and what the problem is. There are no magic words that work for every teen.  It’s up to you to thoughtfully choose which responses fit your child’s behaviors and customize them.

HOW you say it will determine success or failure. Doing this well means you must have an iron grip on your own feelings and behavior and not be a parent.

Improvement takes time. Pace yourself for a marathon.

Borderline children – how they function and how you can help

Borderline children – how they function and how you can help

Are you ready to bang your head on a wall?  Do you want to abandon your child in the wilderness?  Children with borderline personality disorder (BPD) traumatize everyone around them. Even their drama is relentless, strive for compassion–your borderline child will suffer more than you in every important aspect of life.  But parents can have hope–there are numerous practices they can use to improve their’s child’s behavior and these practices work. The most effective are skills drawn from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

How to manage defiance and oppositional defiant disorder

How to manage defiance and oppositional defiant disorder

Troubled children and teenagers who are pathologically defiant have a brain condition with many possible causes or diagnoses.  Whether they are overtly aggressive or “passive-aggressive,” parents have options for reducing symptoms of defiance and limiting the stress they bring into the household. If your child is defiant to a degree that affects their life functions, …

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The best vitamins for your child’s brain

The best vitamins for your child’s brain

The vitamins listed here are absolutely essential for your child’s brain, and it’s highly likely your child doesn’t have enough.  People with psychiatric disorders commonly have physical problems that are symptoms of vitamin deficiency.  Take digestive problems, for example–low levels of B vitamins cause digestive disorders, especially B12. “One of the most common deficiencies seen …

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What hallucinations are like, from those who know

What hallucinations are like, from those who know

If you care for a child experiencing hallucinations but don’t know what it’s like, these first-hand accounts may help you better understand and support your child. This writer is taking medications, which help, but do not fully eliminate the hallucinations. “The reason my thoughts inaccurately capture existence is because my understanding of existence is different …

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Back to School: Tips for the Transition

Back to School: Tips for the Transition

Starting school after a summer vacation triggers behavioral problems in many troubled children and teens.  A rocky start can result in problem behavior for a couple of months.  Your child does poor academically during those months, and their behavior primes teachers to treat them differently.  This guest article by Eileen Devine, LCSW, breaks down the …

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The Silent Suffering of Parent Abuse When Children Abuse Parents

The Silent Suffering of Parent Abuse When Children Abuse Parents

Parent abuse is real and serious. This [edited] article is by Alicia Bradley, LCPC, who lives in the United Kingdom.  It is excellent and covers a serious and hidden subject that’s rarely addressed.  “How many people have heard of parent abuse? especially at the hands of teenage children with serious social and violence issues? Google …

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Unsettling: What psychosis looks like in children and young people

Unsettling: What psychosis looks like in children and young people

Odd, eccentric, a little weird:  people experiencing psychosis are living in dream space.  If you haven’t experienced psychosis yourself, it’s a little like the period just before you awake, when you’re in a dream but also aware of your surroundings.  Your dream and emerging consciousness weave together in a wonderful or horrible or simply odd …

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Welcome to the 911 Club for Parents of Troubled Kids

Welcome to the 911 Club for Parents of Troubled Kids

You may already be a member of the 911 Club, a community of parents who depend on emergency services for managing their mentally ill child. Our T-shirts are black and blue like bruises. Only people raising a mentally ill child or young adult join. Club rules are simple: 1. Focus on safety first. 2. Continually …

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