Teenage Struggles: When Should You Step in and Intervene?

As a parent, you may find yourself overstepping. But your intentions are good; all you want is what’s best for your child. However, there comes a time when your child no longer needs you to intervene in every situation they face.

As your child enters teenagehood, you wonder where the line gets drawn between letting them figure things out on their own and having to intervene.

When to Step in When Your Teen is Struggling

Teenage Struggles: When Should You Step in and Intervene?

There are Substances Involved

While there are statistics that show that at least half of all teens have misused a drug at least once, substance use among teens is still a huge problem worth addressing from a parent’s standpoint.

Not only is substance use for underaged individuals illegal and dangerous for a developing body, but substance use can lead to addiction. Not to mention, there is a link between substance use and delinquent behavior such as physical aggression, vandalism, skipping school, self-harm, theft, and unsafe sexual activity.

Their Mental Health is on the Line

Mental health is nothing to take lightly. Whether it be anxiety, depression, or something else, know that your teen will most definitely need you to intervene if their mental health isn’t where it needs to be.

Never assume that their mental health issues are something they will simply “grow out of.” Chances are, they won’t, but they can start by getting help now.

Even if your teen refuses to talk to you about their mental health, at the very least, you can provide them with the right resources. This may be a hotline number for them to call, an appointment with a therapist or counselor, or in more severe cases, entry into an inpatient or outpatient adolescent mental health program.

Teenage Struggles: When Should You Step in and Intervene?

They’re in a Dangerous Situation

Even when your child becomes an adult, there are certain circumstances where it’s absolutely necessary for you to step in and help in any way that you can. For example, if they’re in a toxic relationship or considering doing something that could potentially cost them their life or put them behind bars, it’s always a good parent move to try to stop the situation.

They Ask for Help

When your teen asks for help and has a good reason for doing so, there should be no doubt in your mind to step in. Giving your teen help in their time of need can allow them to form a stronger bond and greater sense of trust with you.

Going forward, they will be more likely to confide in you than suffer on their own, which could otherwise lead to dire consequences.

Teenage Struggles: When Should You Step in and Intervene?


When your teen is going through troubled times, part of you wants to step in and help. Another part of you wants to give them the opportunity to help themselves. The good news is, you can successfully find a balance between being a nurturing parent and a parent who wants to allow their near-adult child to learn how to handle difficult moments life throws at them.

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