One of the difficulties parents face, is how to recognize the adolescent behavioural problems which can lead to drug/alcohol use, dropping out of school, pregnancy, depression etc, and when and how to intervene.
One of the obstacles that can cause parents to delay in getting counselling help for their struggling adolescent is confusion about what truly defines a troubled teen, and when is intervention truly needed.
Many adolescents become skilled manipulators, highly secretive, and expert at wriggling out of a situation.
If a parent just “doesn’t want to know” on some level, these teens can easily manipulate the situation so the parent can feel as if everything is fine. Parents can get into the cycle of denial, finding a way to explain the behaviour away.
It is also tempting to compare the adolescent to others in an attempt to measure the seriousness of the situation. However parents will usually do best if they consider their individual situation and decide for themselves whether the teenager is on a destructive path.
This is not to say you shouldn’t use any support groups or information that might help you decide. It just means that you know if your child is in trouble.