Teen Help Programs: Sorting through the Confusion of the Internet

School will be ending and summer is fast approaching.

Sending a child to a residential program/school is a major decision. It is not one to be taken lightly or to be decided on overnight.

Usually a teen’s behavior has been slowly escalating and a parent knows that deep down things are not getting better.  As much as you hope and pray that things will change, this is only typical teen behavior, sometimes it just isn’t.

With drug use and substance abuse rising – more dangerous and deadly ingredients being used, such as spice and inhalants, parents have reason to be concerned.  It isn’t your marijuana of generations prior – it is so much worse and in many cases – addictive and deadly.

If you have reached your wit’s end and now surfing the Internet for help, remember, anyone can build a website.  Anyone can put up nice pictures and create great content.  You need to do your due diligence.

Years ago I struggled with my own teenager.  I was at my wit’s end.  I didn’t realize what a big business this “teen help industry” was.  Yes, my child needed help, but what we received was anything but that.  My story is a cautionary tale – not one to scare you into not using a program, however on the contrary, you have to get your child help, but you have to do your research in getting them the right help.

Here are some quick tips:

  • Your child is not for sale, try to avoid those marketing arms selling you a list of programs that are not in the best interest of your child’s individual needs.
  • Always speak with an owner or director – Someone that has a vested in your teen’s recovery.  Their reputation is on the line.
  • Wilderness and other short term programs are usually nothing more than a band-aid that will fall off as quickly as the program lasted.  They are expensive camping trips and in most cases the Wilderness program will tell you at about 4 weeks that your teen will need to continue on to a longer term program.  What? Yes, now you go back to the research board and worse than that, your teen will be deflated when he finds out he/she isn’t coming home in 6-9 weeks as they were lead to believe – and they will be starting all over again with a new therapist – new schedule – and new setting.  Don’t get caught up in this “shuffle.”  Start and finish with the same school/program.
  • The average stay should be about 6-9-12 months, depending on your teen.  Anything less is probably non-effective.  Anything more, you may be creating abandonment issues in my opinion.
  • Do you really need an Educational Consultant?  Absolutely not.  You are the parent and no one knows your teen better than you do – with a few tips, you will be able to make some sound choices.

For more helpful hint and tips, please contact www.HelpYourTeens.com for a free consultation. After the ordeal I went through, I created this advocacy organization to help educate parents on finding safe and quality programs.

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

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Struggling Teens: Teen Help and Safe Resources

There is help, don't ignore problems that could escalate.

It is all the kids he/she is hanging out with, it is not my teen.  If it weren’t for those bad influences, my child would never act like that – or smoke pot…..

Really – you want to believe that so badly, but in reality if your teen that is making the choice not only to hang with that negative peer group, he/she is also part of it!  So another parent of a teen he/she is hanging with is saying the same thing.

Your teen has choices, he/she is making a choice of who their so-called friends are.  Your teen is making the decision to smoke pot.  Your teen is making a choice to stop studying and heading down a negative path.

It is no different than a parent making a choice to be friends with their neighbor, who may not be the biggest gossip in the town.

If your teen is making bad choices that are escalating to a point that you are no longer able to control him/her, it is time to look at parent choices.  Seeking local therapy, youth groups, outpatient facilities and even looking for help from relatives – exhausting all your local options.

Don’t get stuck in the blame game circle!  It isn’t your fault – parenting is not easy, and we do our best to give our children the best.  Entitlement issues have become a trend of today.

If you come to the conclusion you need residential therapy, do your homework – this is a major decision that is not only financial, it is an emotional one.

Visit www.Helpyourteens.com.

Wilderness Programs: Short Term Program, Very Short Term Results

Wilderness Programs: Think Twice

For the many people that know me, they know I don’t believe in Wilderness programs, nor do I advocate for short term programs.  This doesn’t mean there aren’t reputable Wilderness programs in our country.  There are, however chances are very good, after your teen attends one – within the first 30 days, the program will tell you it is likely you will need to go on to a residential therapy program.  Which means….

  • More money
  • Another trip
  • Another therapist
  • Another schedule
  • Etc….

Back to the first one – the costs are exuberant for Wilderness, and to combine it with another at least $50K for a boarding school is simply out of the equation for many families.

I am writing this information today for two reasons.  One, I have received several calls this week alone by parents that fell for the Wilderness road.  Now they are out of money and need  a program, but the funding is no where to be found.  What do you do?  Their teen is back to the streets – smoking the dope and failing in school. (Let’s also remember most Wilderness programs don’t offer academics).

One thing these at-risk teens need is consistency.  Usually for the past several months, even years they have been spiraling out of control, driving down a negative path with a negative peer group.

Going to Wilderness is a great experience – they get to vent to their counselor, talk about their feelings and dig deep inside.  They even get a new appreciation of sleeping in their bed or a bed.  They are also knowing that once they just get through these next 6-8-10 weeks – they are home free.

Now, you tell them they are not home free – they are going to the “next step” – a longer term program.  Now they have to get over the disappointment, anger, resentment and most of all, they have to start all over again with a new therapist – a new staff and a new setting.  Sigh…..

Of course this is the case for the families that can afford that next step.  If they can’t – some will be facing a probation officer or public defender within a few months.  Solid changes and “lasting” changes cannot be made within 6-8-10 weeks.

This is way an average successful program is 6-9-12 months (not weeks).  On the same note, you don’t want programs that are taking your teen completely out of the family for more than 18-24 months – that is not emotionally healthy.  It can contribute to abandonment issues -which can backfire.

Do you want to learn more?  Visit www.HelpYourTeens.com and find out about resources and options for troubled teens.

Are Wilderness program worth it?  It is my opinion of after a decade of talking with thousands of family – no, they simply are not worth it.  That doesn’t mean families they aren’t useful to some people, but from the many I have spoken with – they do have good experiences however know that it is step they didn’t really need.  Of course, we all are different.

When Therapy Isn’t Working for Your Teen

What happened to that sweet 5 year-old you sent off to Kindergarten?
What happened to that athletic tween that loved T-Ball?
What happened to my little angel that loved going to the mall with me?
What happened to my child that always worked so hard to get good grades and always worked to make me proud?

What is happening?

Where did their childhood go?

Today’s society is challenging for teenagers – but can be even more distressful for their parents.  When slowly they watch their good child turn into a tween or teen that they barely recognized.  Underneath the questionable clothing, the piercings we had to reluctantly agree to – and the tattoos they got on their own – our child is deep in there somewhere!

After exhausting all local resources, whether it is an excellent adolescent therapist to local support groups and even out-patient facilities, you are looking at a teen that is heading down a dark road.  It is time for parents to dig deep and find the strength to get their teen the help they need – unfortunately it usually is not at home.

Residential therapy is a big step and a step not to take lightly.  Are you considering a Residential Treatment Center, Therapeutic Boarding School, Military School or other out of home options?  Learn about the differences and find what is best for your teen – visit www.helpyourteens.com.

Read Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen today!

Troubled Teens: Parent Help in Finding Resources

Parents of at-risk teens have many common thoughts, here are some of them:

My daughter is so smart, she is highly intelligent.
My son is extremely handsome, very athletic and always had lots of friends.
My daughter is beautiful, was the captain of her cheerleading team etc….
My son has an IQ of 170, yet is failing.
My daughter wants to drop out of high school.
My son wants to get his GED and is not attending school.
My daughter made the varsity team and yet dropped out.
My son was swim captain and now was asked to leave the team. (He was caught with pot, but said it was his friends.
My daughter smokes pot, but it is only recreational.
My son likes to drink beer, but it isn’t all the time.

Helpyourteens.com

Excuses for parents:

It is the friends he/she is hanging with.
The teacher doesn’t like my son/daughter.
The school has zero tolerance.
His father isn’t around enough.
The coach expects too much.
If it wasn’t for this one neighbor, we wouldn’t have these issues.

Okay, these lists could go on for a long time but at the end of the day, week, month, year – it is YOUR son/daughter making the choice to hang with a certain friend, be a part of an undesirable peer group, and smoke that joint with a swig of alcohol!

Parents that continue to live in this ship of denial will end up with many regrets.
Parent that believe that sending their teen to a residential therapy program for help is a sign of their (the parent’s) failure, are very much mistaken.
Parents that hope and pray things will change – we only wish them the best, in some (very rare) situations, it will get better.
Parents that believe changing schools will make a difference, think twice.
Parents that literally move and believe things will change with a fresh start, think again.

Like adults that attempt to run from their problems, your teens are no different.  If they are struggling now, chances are very good they will be struggling shortly after the change again.

You are not a failure, this is not your fault – and it is time to stop the blaming and start the healing.  After exhausting all your local resources – it may be time to find outside help, and that can mean residential.

True, you don’t want to put your teen in a program that houses hard-core teens, but it is also true you need to find a program that has strong emotional growth (clinical), fully accredited academically (don’t miss out on an education), as well as the critical component of enrichment programs. You need to find the passion in your teen to help stimulate them to a positive direction in life.

Learn more by visiting www.helpyourteens.com.

Residential Treatment Centers (RTC), Therapeutic Boarding Schools (TBS), Emotional Growth Programs, Wilderness Programs, State Funded Programs, Programs for Low-Income, Boot Camps, Scared Straight Programs, Tough Love, Summer Camps, Short Term Programs, Traditional Boarding Schools, Military Schools, Reform Schools, JAIL.

Teen Transportation, Teen Escorts, Transporting Teens: Getting Your At-Risk Teen SAFELY to a Teen Help School

Lorraine Colpitts, Owner of Safe and Sound Transportation

If you have never had to deal with a teenager that has been out-of-control or extremely defiant, using drugs, hanging with the wrong peer group or making extremely bad choices, you may never hear of teen transportation or also known as teen escorts.

For the many families that have employed the services of a teen transportation company, one name always is clear – Safe and Sound Youth Transportation.

When a parent comes to the conclusion they need to get their teen outside help of a residential therapy school or program, many will contact the owner of Safe and Sound Youth Transportation, Lorraine Colpitts.  What you will find is a caring, nurturing, well-educated and professional in her field on the other end of the phone.

Just recently a Broward County family used the services of Safe and Sound Youth Transportation and as difficult as it was, it was a decision they made in the best interest of their daughter. As their daughter was smoking pot, frequently not coming home and simply defied her parent’s, Carol and Mark (names are changed for confidentiality) knew they had to do something.

After contacting Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, and determining what the best program would be for their 16  year-old daughter, their next call was to Lorraine at Safe and Sound Youth Transportation.

Carol said: “This was literally the hardest decision my husband and I have ever had to make.  Our fears were eased after talking to Lorraine.  The level of professionalism with genuine care put me at ease.”

Mark added: “I never thought this would ever happen to our family, especially my angel [referring to his daughter], but she was running  her life into a dark hole and we didn’t see any other way out.  After trying therapy at home, it just wasn’t working.  I am not thrilled it came to this, but knowing there are experts out there to guide us, really helped us to make this decision.

Lorraine Colpitts said she speaks with parents on a daily basis and assures them they are not alone.  She give them support both emotionally as well as getting them to the next step of healing for the family.

If you are a family that is struggling with an at-risk teen, know there is help out there.  Realize there may be many teen escorts, however using one that is licensed and insured to transport teens is critical.  You don’t want just anyone transporting your teen, be sure they use ethical methods, and understand that your child’s safety is priority.

Mission statement from Safe and Sound Youth Transportation:

To ensure the Safe and Reliable Intervention/Transport of your teen from your home or your child’s current placement to your chosen destination in the most professional, yet nurturing and efficient manner possible.

We go the extra miles….

We take having the responsibility of your child very seriously and will see them all the way through this part of their journey. We are committed to you and your family, and will always treat them with the utmost dignity and respect, kindness and compassion.

For more information call Lorraine at 1-866-990-1900 or visit www.safeandsoundtransportation.com.

Order today!

Lorraine Colpitts also contributed to Health Communications parenting book, Wit’s End, Advice and Resources for Saving your Out-of-Control Teen by Sue Scheff.

Are you at your Wit’s End with your teenager?

Are you at your wit’s end with your teen?  School is back in session and your teen is either not attending classes or decided he doesn’t need school anymore – let’s just get a GED.  Seriously – that is the way some  teens are thinking now.

Generations prior, GED’s were frowned upon, and usually meant you had a child that was a juvenile delinquent.

Today we have many resources for parents to get their teens back on a positive road, but it takes time, determination and research to find that right program.

They will come under many names such as, Wilderness Programs, Therapeutic Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, Behavior Modification, Emotional Growth, etc…..  It is important to realize what you are looking at and what you need for your individual teen.

In my prior Blog posts below, I have given you many tips – here are some more:

  • Boot Camps – In my opinion, stay clear of anything punitive.  This is not beneficial to building your child back up to making better choices.  In many cases the teens come out with more anger and resentment than they went in with.   Look for programs with positive stimulation and enrichment programs.
  • Are you dialing toll free numbers that go to marketing arms? Stay clear.  These are people that are more in tune with programs rather than your teen’s emotional needs.  They are paid commission by selling a certain group of programs.  You need to be sure you are speaking with a program directly – the owner is the best one, since that person will be responsible for your child’s success – and their reputation is vest on it.
  • Are you on the East Coast and they are telling you that Utah or the West Coast is your only answer?  Not true, there are many good programs are the East Coast.  Of course choosing your program isn’t solely based on geographic, however it does make it easier to visit your child – and let your teen know you are involved.  Especially for working parents – traveling to the West Coast from the East is at least a full days trip on both ends – leaving a limited time to visit your child.

More to come…. Visit www.helpyourteens.com for more information.