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Specialist to Deal With Difficult or Spirited Teenager


Do you know of any specialist who deals with difficult or spirited teenagers?  We are going through a terrible period and need some help.  My son, 15, refuses to go to a professional and his behavior is destroying my two other children and myself.  He can be destructive to property (throws things) and is so unhappy right now.  It takes all of my energy just to deal with him each day.  For the first time his grades have gone down and this has lowered his self esteem even more.  He has no behavioral problems in school or on a team - he plays many sports.  His behavior is directed at his family.  Thanks - a desperate mom.


I'm so sorry to hear that you entire family's going through such a difficult time.

Since he's not receptive to working w/ a professional, I highly recommend taking a look at Howard Glasser's book "Transforming Your Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach".  His approach is designed to work w/ intense kids (even teenagers) giving parents/teachers a method for 'cranking up the dial' during those particularly intense phases (like now) w/o having to make major changes & adjustments.

His book goes into the subtle details of why our intense children (and teenagers' intensity always seems so much worse than when they're little due to their inner emotional and hormonal struggles) behave the way they do, how we can unknowingly contribute to the situation, and how his Nurtured Heart Approach was designed to work w/ very intense kids.

(After reading the book, the following will make more sense...)  Given your son's age, you would want to put as much as possible into the credit portion of the approach.  Anything you're already doing (including driving him to/from places & practices, etc...) as well as things you anticipate having to do (say in the spring).  The more intense a period your son goes through, the more things you put in.  When he's going through a smooth stretch, you can be more lax w/ what goes in.

The book's a quick read and you can implement the approach w/in a few days.  In Howard's practice, he found himself faced w/ increasingly more intense kids (most of whom had been inaccurately diagnosed w/ ADHD) and no matter how difficult they were, if the parents put his approach into place, they saw a dramatic turnaround in the first 4 weeks.  The key though is to become extremely aware of ways in which you might be inadvertently feeding into his intensity/negative behavior.  Howard explains it all, so don't worry :o).

If you decide to go ahead and give it a try, and have any questions along the way, please feel free to email me and ask away!  I've had the good fortune to work w/ Howard over this past year and would be more than happy to pass along ideas, etc...

As for specialists, I'd have to know what city you live in before I could even venture a guess.  What kind of specialist were you looking for?

Let me know and keep in touch...

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