What is normal?

When it comes to the behavior of their children, many parents wonder what is normal and what isn’t. Adolescent life allows for a wide range of behaviors and personality traits. Given that, normalcy is a relative term, which is another way of saying there truly is no normal. 

Some behaviors can be objectively harmful to self and others, however,  and indicate the presence of a mental health condition requiring treatment. A variety of symptoms may indicate a possible behavioral issue, including:

  • Persistent anger and resentment
  • Negativity
  • Hostility
  • Oppositional Defiance
  • Impulsivity

While behavioral problems in teens may be confusing or even distressing, there are things parents can do to ensure that their teens get back on track. Where to start? A comprehensive assessment with a licensed mental health expert is the best way to determine if the issues parents are concerned about are caused by an oppositional defiant disorder or a similar condition. Guessing is not a good way to handle such an important issue. 

It can all be quite daunting for parents. Understandably, this may tempt some to ignore the problem, allowing the child to just move on with life in the hope that the problem will somehow disappear over time. Avoiding a dialogue with a child about entering a treatment program might help parents to escape a tough conversation for the moment, but long-term denial can lead to long-term problems that may become compounded.

At Muir Wood, our significant experience and expertise enable us to provide each child with a carefully tailored treatment program. As part of that, our deep understanding of these issues – and our attention to evolving best practices – create a well-informed path to healing.