What happened to my teen that as making straight A’s always so concerned about getting their homework done on time, participated in school activities and looked forward to family gatherings?
Adolescence? Peer pressure? Today’s society? A school incident such as bullying/cyberbullying?
Sometimes it could be something a parent can’t detect however they do see their once flourishing child now sinking into a deep dark hole. They are either gravitating to a negative peer group or withdrawing all together, becoming secretive and actually failing school. Sometimes skipping classes or not attending school at all. Do you suspect they are using drugs or drinking?
What is the next step?
Seeking local help and all local resources should always be the first step. Once you have exhausted all these options and you still see your child is sinking deeper, it may be time to consider residential therapy. This is a major emotional and financial decision.
This will take time and research. The Internet will be your friend and your foe at this point. It is important you understand the difference between Internet fact and Internet fiction. Who to trust and who is simply “selling” you a litany of programs.
Here are a few tips to remember:
- Look for programs that are not attached to “sales reps”. You want to speak directly to an owner or director. Someone that has a vested interest in your teen. Someone that their reputation will be reflected on your child’s success (or lack of). Someone who you can hold accountable through the duration of your teen’s stay.
- Look for the ACE factor. A=Academics – Always ask for a copy of their accreditation for education – be sure it is transferable back to where you live. C=Clinical – Be sure the clinical staff is credentialed. E=Enrichment programs – These are critical to be sure your teen is stimulated in a positive direction to want to make better choices. This isn’t about breaking your child down, it is about building them up.
- Ask for parent references of parents with the same gender and age of your own teenager. Also take it a step further. Ask for families that are in your same geographical area. This way maybe you will be able to meet with them and possibly even the graduate of the program you are considering.
- Keep in mind – Short term programs – short term results. Don’t get sucked into them.
I have many more tips and offer free parent consultation at www.HelpYourTeens.com.
Don’t reach your wit’s end and make a rash decision – made an education choice…. Be an educated parent – this a major emotional and financial decision.