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In 2020, the Boys Tow​n National Hotline took 111,480 call and 23,123 web contacts (emails, chats and texts).​ These are just a few examples of the questions commonly asked and the answers they received from Hotline Consultants.​ The Hotline is available 24/7 at 800-448-3000.

TEEN QUESTIONS

How do I deal with excessive worry and overthinking?

We can appreciate how exhausting and frustrating continual worr​ying can be. It sounds like this is a pattern of thinking for you. Something triggers the anxiety, and then it sort of takes off on its' own. Your emotional thinking takes over, tuning out your logical thinking. If that is the case, you will want to have a plan of various activities you can do when you get triggered. MORE.

I feel so lonely and I don’t know what to do.

It is a lonely time for everyone since school was canceled prematurely due to the virus. Meeting places such as movies, malls and restaurants are also closed. Isolation is a situation that produces feelings of loneliness. So what can we do about it? MORE.

My boyfriend is being really controlling, what should I do?

Relationships are tough and can get complex. It seems like you have seen some unhealthy signs in your relationship and are concerned about the direction it is heading. This is definitely a time to assess, re-evaluate, and communicate. It seems like you have tried bringing up to your boyfriend about how you feel. That's huge, and you should be proud of yourself. MORE.

I am always constantly arguing with my mom about silly stuff.

One thing we want you to know is that you can't control your Mom, but you CAN control yourself. It takes two people to argue and you can choose NOT to be one of them. Regardless of how the disagreement starts, you can choose not to participate. If you want to disagree, there is a definite way to do that respectfully. MORE.

I harmed myself again. I thought I was getting better.

No one is perfect – not one friend, not one doctor, not one teacher, not one counselor, not you. You should never be expected to be perfect. We do know that you are strong though. It is the strong that reach out and know when it is time to ask for help. You did that, and you should feel proud for doing so. Picking up cutting again will truly solve nothing. ​

My friend isn’t being nice to me, but she keeps hanging out with me and doesn’t care that she hurts me.

We can hear the hurt and frustration in your email. It's good that you decided to reach out to talk with someone about it and try to get some help. Making friends and keeping them are two different things. Finding the right friend can be hard too. You want to surround yourself with friends that have similar interest, make you feel appreciated and someone that you just have fun with. MORE.

I feel like I’m depressed. I want to know why I’m feeling this way.

You are an incredibly brave and smart young woman to recognize when you need extra support and being willing to ask for it. We can definitely be a resource to you and want to help in any way that we can. You mentioned that you've been feeling depressed and have even done some research on that. Educating yourself on what you think may be going on can sometimes help you understand things a little better. MORE.

PARENT QUESTIONS

My child’s behavior is out of control.

When your daughter gets upset, give her some calming techniques as more appropriate alternatives to temper tantrums and violence. Talk about this when she is calm. Offer her some suggestions that have worked for you. Give her reasons why she should try these techniques when she is angry. Then have her practice those in pretend scenarios that you know have triggered her anger in the past and that are likely to occur again. MORE.

My teenager keeps lying to me.

It's great that you and your wife are listening to your daughter and validating her concerns about lying. You said you have caught your daughter in a few lies at home. It's normal for you to feel concerned since honesty is such an important virtue. What does your daughter lie about? Who is she dishonest with in your home? Is there a negative consequence tied in with teaching the importance of honesty? MORE.

My 13-year-old son is disruptive at school.

Communicate frequently with the school staff, especially with his teacher. Let the staff know that you are working with him at home and that you’d like to be notified about whether he is improving at school or struggling even more. Sometimes a school card is helpful in charting what skills he has successfully implemented and which ones require more practice. MORE.

What’s an appropriate consequence for my teen smoking marijuana?

The type of consequence you decide to use depends on the severity of the behavior. Smoking marijuana is a severe behavior, so put some effort into creating what you think will be an effective consequence and make it relate to the “crime” as closely as possible. For example, if he gets caught smoking pot with a friend, he could lose the privilege of hanging out with that friend for a period of time. MORE.

I think my son is having suicidal thoughts, what should I do?

Being available to him and allowing him to express his feelings will help him a great deal. Children do not realize the impact of losing someone until it happens to someone close to them. As adults, we want to protect them from this sadness. Find a counselor to whom your son can relate. Boys Town has a database of counseling agencies, along with grief counseling and support groups. If you’d like a referral, give us a call at 1-800-448-3000. Counselors are available 24/7. MORE.

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​​​​​​​