Obtaining help for troubled teenagers can be a real challenge. First of all, teens in this category often don't want help. They are quite sure they have life all figured out, thank you very much.

Moms, dads and the siblings of troubled teenagers know better. They understand they are living with a powder keg which can go off at any second. And frequently does.

Consequences are often touted as the way to deal with a troubled teen and rightly so. However, the real goal is to help a teen choose and enforce his own consenquences. That would amount to being personally responsible, which is a major goal of all parenting.

How can you help your out of control teen connect the dots between her behavior and the consequences she is faced with? To be honest, there are no easy answers to this question, but there definitely is an environment of accountability you can establish in your home that can give your teen the opportunity to connect those dots.

Whether she does or not is up to her.

- Start with conversations.

As often as you can and with as little criticism as possible (criticism tends to make teens shut down), start pointing out the connections in all of life between our actions and the consequences that follow.

This is the Law of Sowing and Reaping and is as real as gravity.

"Your friend got mad at his boss and cussed him out. His action is an example of sowing. His boss fired him. That is an example of reaping and is the direct consequence of his action. If your friend chose to NOT cuss out his boss, he would still have his job right now."

"When you decided to not pick up your little brother from soccer but go hang out with your friends instead, that is an example of sowing. Your action caused the consequence of me having to leave work early to go get your brother which means I will have to go into work early in the morning and you will not be able to take the car to school. It also means you will have the consequence of not hanging with your friends for a week. You were in complete control of the outcome of your actions. Are you happy with how your actions turned out?"

Troubled teens, of course, get angry when you point out, even matter of factly, that their problems are often a direct result of their actions. But it's still important to do so. This is real life stuff and they need to hear it often.

Try to make a game of it. Can they find examples of cause and effect, sowing and reaping in their everyday schedules? Offer a privilege in order to motivate them to start looking for these connections. It sounds elementary, I know, but the truth is any way you can get your teen to start seeing life the way it really is is vitally important.

Is this method guaranteed to work? No. Helping troubled teenagers is tough because so much depends upon the teen's willingness to open their mind to accurately assessing their own role in their life. To stop blaming other people for their problems and start taking honest control of their thoughts, feelings and actions.

A tall order, to be sure. Nonetheless, helping your troubled teenager make the connection between her actions and her consequences will go a long ways towards helping her mature into the adult she is meant to be.

Author's Bio: 

Remember, you don't have to go it alone. Get ideas for help for troubled teenagers from Colleen Langenfeld, a mom with nearly 30 years of parenting experience. In addition click now to get your own free copy of "Troubled Teenagers - Figuring It (Them) All Out".