Just about every teen will say

I don’t care”.

There is not a lot of truth to the statement. Most teens do care, but they won’t tell their parHow to Tell Drama from Problemsents. It’s normal and part of the natural separation that occurs at

that stage of development. For the most part, teens care about what their peers think more than any other group of people.

This is because they only have half a brain.

That is to say that their prefrontal lobe hasn’t developed to the point where they consistently put logic into the equation of behavior. Instead they live in the part

of the brain which is called the limbic center. This particular part of the brain is all about emotion. This is why parents see so much

drama, drama, drama.

How do parents tell if they’re being blown off by a teen or if there is a real problem?

Types of Problems

Bullying or Abuse

Has there been a change in the behavior regarding normal activities? Such as, they don’t want to do the things that they normally would want to do. These

activities can be as common as going to school, or hanging out where they normally do. There is usually a feeling of embarrassment to explain their reasons

for hesitation. They might even think that they deserve the bullying or abuse. When a person is told something over and over by someone, they start to

believe it.


During the hormone change of adolescents, depression can be normal. What the parent needs to look for is anything extreme.

That is to say anything lasting over a couple of weeks. This maybe a sign of depression. The key behavioral change to look for is withdrawal. Withdrawal is also

normal during the teen years, so watch for withdrawal from normal behavioral activities or hobbies that used to bring joy. There may also be a change in

eating/sleeping behaviors and negative feelings about self-worth and life.

Substance Abuse

When the teens start to experiment with drugs and alcohol,

secret behavior

starts to manifest itself. They may not want to tell a parent where they’re going or with whom they are going. Disassociating themselves from old friends

without a reason;  developing new friends with totally different characteristics from the old ones. Money is always important to a teenager, but a teen with a 

substance problem abuse may be hesitant to tell a parent what they need money for.

Ron & Lexie Lee

Follow @RonLeeLPCi

Follow @lexieleelpc