How to Help Your Teen When You Feel Helpless

Parenting has its unique challenges no matter how old your child is, but when you’re the parent of a teen who’s struggling, it can feel like there’s nothing you can do. If one of the following situations applies to your family, here’s what you can do.

Substance Abuse

One in 5 young adults have abused prescription medication, and underage drinking is extremely common and dangerous. Many teenagers engage in high-risk behaviors because they feel pressured by their peers or they’re struggling to understand where they fit into their social circle. Binge drinking and abusing prescription medication increases a teenager’s chances of becoming addicted. If you believe your son or daughter is abusing a substance, here’s what you can do. Begin by providing a supportive environment. Let your child know that you’re here for him or her and want to help. Don’t judge or blame. Right now, the focus should be on getting help, not punishment.


If your teen says he just can’t stop drinking or doing drugs, you’ll want to seek out professional treatment. The teen residential treatment centers in Los Angeles provide young people with the treatment programs they need. They can discuss the emotions they’re feeling and work to overcome their addictions.

Professional therapists can help your teenager with any mental health issues while also dealing with his or her addiction. A treatment center allows your family member to focus entirely on recovery while surrounded by professionals and other young adults who are going through the same thing. Your child doesn’t have to live with addiction. By getting treatment early, your son or daughter can live a perfectly normal and healthy life.

Sports Injury

Millions of high school students participate in school sports. For boys, football is the most popular sport, while girls prefer outdoor track and field. For many students, sports are their first priority. They love working with a team and being a part of something important. Many high schoolers are also attempting to earn college scholarships, which help make higher education possible for students who can’t afford it. This is why sports injuries can be so devastating for teenagers. If your daughter loves track and field, the thought of running injuries probably makes her cringe. Unfortunately, 90 percent of student-athletes become injured. Your son or daughter might be faced with an ankle sprain, a broken foot, or a torn ACL. Sometimes athletes are able to recover quickly, while other times the damage might time them out for the rest of the season.


If your teenager loves sports and finds himself or herself with a serious injury, you might feel helpless. During this time, help your kid focus on the positives. It probably feels like the end of the world to her if she can’t finish the track season, so give her other things to look forward to. Help your teen find a new hobby or focus on rehabilitation.

He or she might become depressed as a result of this, so you may need to seek mental health treatment. A therapist can help your child cope with this new normal and work towards healing mentally and physically. Stay positive for your teen and make sure he or she knows that you’re still proud no matter what.

Teenagers struggle with unique circumstances. The highs in life are higher and the lows are lower. That’s why it’s important that you recognize what your child is feeling and do what you can to help. Struggling with addiction or an injury might feel like the end of the world to a teenager whose brain is still developing. It’s your job to stay grounded and calm during stressful situations. Get your teenager the help he or she needs and everything will be alright in the end.

Naida Sheppard

Associate Editor

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