As a parent or mentor, assisting at-risk adolescents can be a difficult and complicated endeavor. At-risk adolescents are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as drug or alcohol abuse, or to suffer from mental health issues, such as anxiety or melancholy. However, there are techniques that parents and mentors can use to assist these adolescents in thriving. Here are some suggestions for working with teenagers at risk:
Establish a Relationship on the Foundation of Trust and Respect
As a parent or mentor, one of the most essential things you can do is establish a strong relationship with the at-risk adolescent. This involves establishing a relationship based on mutual trust and esteem. Take the time to get to know the adolescent, to attend to their concerns, and to demonstrate concern. Make an effort to comprehend their position and refrain from passing judgment. When the adolescent feels valued and heard, they are more likely to be receptive to guidance and assistance.
Provide Emotional Support
Teens at risk may struggle to regulate their emotions and require additional emotional support. Encourage the adolescent to express their emotions in a healthy manner, whether through speech, writing, or creative outlets such as art and music. Inform them that it is acceptable to feel sad, furious, or frustrated, and assist them in identifying healthy coping strategies. You can also demonstrate healthy emotional regulation by positively expressing your own emotions.
Promote Healthier Behaviors
Teens at risk may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors, but by providing positive reinforcement, you can encourage healthful behavior. Praise the adolescent for making healthy decisions, such as engaging in physical activity or volunteering, and encourage them to participate in constructive activities, such as sports, music, or community service. Encourage healthful behaviors such as adequate rest, nutritious eating, and abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
Establish Limits and Consequences
It is essential to establish distinct boundaries with at-risk adolescents and communicate the repercussions of violating those boundaries. This helps to establish structure and consistency, which can be reassuring for impulsive adolescents. Define clearly which behaviors are acceptable and which are not, and apply consequences consistently and fairly.
Seek Expert Assistance
Seek professional assistance if you’re struggling to assist an adolescent at risk. A mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, can offer you and the adolescent additional support and guidance. In addition, they can assist in identifying underlying issues that may be contributing to the adolescent’s risky behavior and offer specialized treatment or interventions.
Supporting at-risk adolescents can be difficult, but it is also extremely rewarding. When you establish a strong relationship with an adolescent at risk and provide them with the necessary support, you can assist them in overcoming obstacles and thriving. Remember to approach situations with patience, empathy, and consistency, and seek professional assistance when necessary. You can positively influence the life of a high-risk adolescent if you employ the appropriate strategies.