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In 2018, the Boys Town National Hotline® received more than 154,000 calls and 28,500 web contacts (emails, chats and texts). While the majority of these calls and contacts were from teens and young adults looking for support, the Hotline also helps parents in crisis. These are just a few examples of the questions parents commonly asked and the answers they received from Hotline Consultants.

My son won’t listen to anyone. At home, at school, he’s insistent on breaking our rules and thinking he knows best.

If you have an older child, you can't simply walk (or carry) him to time-out or physically confine him to his room when you have to give a consequence for negative behavior like you can with younger children. So, what can you do to help your teen understand that you are in charge? Make sure that you establish yourself as the family authority. MORE.

My 8 year old acts out violently anytime we try to discipline. Help. Is this normal? How do I make it stop?

Dealing with an aggressive child can be difficult as you try to remain calm, keep others safe and help your child wind down. Whether it is verbal or physical, aggression can be a learned behavior or a symptom of a mental health or substance abuse issue. We can help teach your child appropriate ways to handle anger. MORE.

My daughter fights and argues with everyone in our family. It’s impossible to have a conversation that doesn’t end up in a huge argument. Why is she so combative?

Most teenagers seem to go through a phase when every discussion ends up in an argument. This can be incredibly frustrating for parents. It can also be frustrating for teens, and this double frustration can lead to — you guessed it — more arguing. MORE.

I’m worried about my son, he’s skipping school, not turning in homework and getting in trouble nearly every day. He can’t get expelled, what can I do as a parent?

In general, parents receive less and less feedback from school as their children get older. This is understandable: The older a student is, the more responsibility he or she should assume for schoolwork, grades and academic success. Regardless of how old your child is, however, you are still the parent and need to know how things are going at school. MORE.

My daughter is falling behind in school. She seems to not even care about grades now and has begun to hate everything about school. She used to love school and I don’t know what happened.

It really is not uncommon for teenagers to suddenly find school boring or overwhelming, and to start displaying inappropriate behaviors as a way to get attention from their peers. Before you can take action, you first have to identify what may be causing this change in attitude and behavior. MORE.

My daughter has gone from a happy and joyful 9 year old to someone that prefers to be in her room, doesn’t speak to us, barely eats. I’m concerned. I think she is depressed.

The Tween Years are a time when your child experiences many changes. One of the things you may begin to notice is mood swings. One minute your child may be happy and laughing and the next he or she is sad and sullen. Should you be concerned by his or her gloomy behavior? MORE.

We caught our son smoking pot a few times and I think he might be involved in more drugs than just this. I’m worried if I confront him, it will just push him away. What do I do?

Substance abuse can destroy the lives not only of abusers but also families. Even innocent experimentation can lead to serious addiction problems. MORE.

My son has been saying things that concern me. “I just don’t care anymore” and “maybe everyone is better off without me”. It’s got me very scared. How do I get him to talk to me? I’m concerned he is suicidal.

Suicide is a problem that, as a parent, you can't ignore. There is no sure-fire way of detecting suicidal thoughts in your teen. But there are behavior patterns-warning signs-that may point toward suicidal thoughts. Learn to recognize them, and more importantly, learn to talk with your teen about them. MORE.

When my daughter went to high school, she got some new friends and now skipping school is the cool thing to do. I get calls that she is not there and I have no idea where she is. If I try to punish her, she just leaves. Help.

If you haven't done so already, get the school involved. There needs to be intervention both at home and in school before the problem becomes worse. A school can be a parent’s best ally in this type of situation. MORE.

My children fight non-stop. About everything. I try to teach them respect but they don’t have any of it for each other. Sometimes it gets very physical. What else can I do?

Dealing with sibling rivalry can be frustrating for parents, especially because it is interfering with social events for the family. Good for you, though, for implementing consequences for your children’s behaviors. Continue to do so, and remember that consistency is key. MORE.

Why Do Teens Call the Hotline?

Teens reach out for help for a variety of reasons, the important thing is that they reach out.
Below is a snapshot of the number one reason teens called our crisis hotline in 2018.

Why do teens call the hotline?  

Additional Helpful Resources

Boys Town National Hotline: Have a specific question? The Boys Town National Hotline’s specially trained counselors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to offer you parenting advice and assistance. Ask your own question or call our 24/7 hotline at 800-448-3000. ask a question

Guides: We have identified some of the top ​parenting challenges and experiences, like bullying, discipline and potty training, and have created guides with helpful videos, articles and quick tips for you to utilize. see guides

Tools: An effec​tive way to maintain family harmony is to set up ways to keep an eye on family responsibilities by using charts and contracts. With these, consequences and rewards are contingent on specific behaviors or social skills you want to see from your kids. Check out our latest parenting tools! see tools

Your Life Your Voice: This website is part of the Boys Town National Hotline and provides kids and families the opportunity to ​ask their questions via phone, text, chat or email. Let your kids know they are not alone, support is available to them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. visit ​website