Home > Teens > Teen Behavior and Discipline > Teens and Violence > Troubled Teen Could Become Violent

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Troubled Teen Could Become Violent

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: I've noticed warning signs that my troubled teen could become violent. What can I do?

A: If you have built up a close relationship with your teen, talk to him and try to understand the pain he is suffering and to help him in any way you can to alleviate it. Your teen sounds like he may be too overwhelmed with emotions he cannot handle and may explode into violence as a consequence. You need to ease that burden and you may need to enlist the help of a therapist who sees many troubled teens in his/her practice. You might also offer to go in with your teen to the first visit as a show of family strength and support. In no way should your teen be made to feel that he is "crazy." He should know that you love him dearly; that you know he is being eaten up inside by overwhelming thoughts, feelings, and circumstances; and that you will not let him continue to suffer in this way.

He may lash out at you and refuse any professional help, but from how you have described his condition, you can't just "hope for the best." Find out all you can from the parents of his friends, from school personnel, and from his friends, who may be very worried about him as well. It's also a time where siblings need to tell the truth about what they have seen and heard, even at the temporary cost of his feeling "betrayed" by them.

This is a time when all extended family and friends need to pull together to diffuse any impending violence and to form a support team, along with professional help, to help your teen regain his sense of well-being and self control.

More on: Expert Advice

Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


8 Epic Emoji-Themed Crafts, Activities & Recipes
Check out the best emoji crafts, activities, and recipes! They're perfect for an emoji-themed birthday party or anytime you need DIY (and screen-free!) summer activities for kids, tweens, and teens.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

10 Free Summer Learning Worksheets
Print these free printables for preschoolers and kindergarteners to help your child's mind stay sharp until September!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks