Before your child was even born, you likely had dreams and aspirations for him or her. Maybe you imagined your child excelling at sports or academics or landing a successful career later in life. Of course, you likely also understood that your child would make his or her own choices throughout life.
Still, you undoubtedly hoped that your child would make good choices and not get involved in any activities that could cause trouble. However, more recently, you may have had concerns about your child’s behavior and whether he or she was on the road to trouble.
Possible signs for concern
If your child is a teenager, you likely expected that he or she would withdraw or become moody at times. After all, this time of life can prove difficult for individuals in their teen years. For one reason or another, though, you worry that your child’s behavior is more cause for concern and do not want to simply chalk it up to teen angst. If you notice any of the following signs, you may want to check in with your child more closely:
- Mood swings: Yes, mood swings come naturally to teens it seems, but if you notice your child’s mood swings seeming unusually drastic and without direct cause, you may want to calmly work to find underlying issues.
- Concerning weight changes: Drastic changes in weight could signal multiple issues with your child. He or she may have begun feeling overwhelmingly stressed, developed an eating disorder or started using drugs or alcohol.
- Sneaky behavior: If your child begins hiding things, whether objects or the truth, you may have a valid reason for concern over that type of behavior.
- Problems with grades: A drop in usually high grades could also signify a variety of issues. Your child may have particular difficulty with a subject and not want to ask for help, may feel depressed and uninterested in school, or may experience other problems.
While these and other signs may not necessarily mean that your child is heading down a dark path, they could point to a need for parental intervention. Unfortunately, the signs may not appear until your child has run into trouble with law enforcement for drugs, alcohol or other issues. If this has happened, you will certainly want to explore legal options on behalf of your child.