On a weekly basis parents will continue to blame the friends or the other kids that their teen is hanging out with for the bad choices their child is making. You have to think, if the parent can’t come to some accountability—how can we expect the teen to?
Have you stopped to consider your child (teenager) has made a choice to hang out with that peer group? They have free will not to hang out with that negative choice of friends–however that is where they believe they fit in.
Low self-esteem? Belief that it is a cool group? Desire to be part of a group even if it is a less than desirable one?
I speak to parents on a weekly basis and often hear how parents can make excuses for their teen. Whether it is a friend’s fault–the school’s fault–the fault of an ex-spouse–you name it, rather than putting the blame on the person that is making the bad choices, some parents have a difficult time admitting their once good child is now making such negative decisions.
Don’t be a parent in denial; you are only hurting your child. The sooner you recognize your teen needs help the sooner you can get on the path to recovery and healing in your home.
Do you feel like you are hostage in your home to your teen’s behavior? At any moment your teen could explode in a rage over something that didn’t go their way?
You shouldn’t have to live that way. In life we don’t always get what we want all the time – actually most of the time. Teens need to learn early that respecting authority, especially their parents, is a priority. If you are giving your teen their boundaries and they are defying them you are heading down a road of trouble. Start with consequences and don’t waiver. Never threaten what you can’t follow through with.
If you feel you have exhausted all your local resources and including therapy, visit www.helpyourteens.com and consider the next step. It may prove beneficial. It is important to be proactive and don’t forget, academics are important too. Just because your defiant child is out-of-control doesn’t mean they are going to skip out on school!
Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens!
After the tragic events of Sandy Hook Elementary the world sits in a state of horror and mourns for the children and heroes we lost.
The questions linger, could this have been prevented? Is it about gun control? Is it about mental health?
Working with parents of at-risk teens on a weekly basis, I know firsthand that families are at their wit’s end searching for help. Some are literally scared of their own child. Some are scared of what they read online about residential treatment centers. I don’t blame them – I was once a victim of this industry myself, which is why I am a Parent Advocate today. I have made it my mission to help parents find safe and quality residential therapy for their struggling teens.
Let’s discuss if your teens does need residential care also know as therapeutic boarding schools?
How to know when it is time for Residential Therapy:
- You have read and re-read most parenting books and behavioral strategy — removing privileges, instilling consequences that are being broken, to behavioral contracts to one-on-one behavioral support in the home — and your teen still doesn’t get better.
- Your child had been given numerous psychiatric diagnoses, none of which totally fit. He/she has been on different medications, but none result in long-term changes.
- Your house is a war zone every day. Your child is routinely explosive and scares younger siblings and you. You are exhausted and the stress of managing daily crises is taking a toll on your marriage, your job, your personal life and you have reached your wit’s end.
- Your child has been expelled from school (or on the verge of being expelled), is addicted to video games, using drugs or alcohol, and has had multiple run-ins with the law.
- Your child engages in self-injury, threatens to hurt others or kill himself.
- Your child has had a psychiatric hospitalization.
- You have finally exhausted all your local resources. This is not an easy decision and one that comes out of love. It is time to give your son or daughter a second opportunity for a bright future – finding a residential therapy setting for 6-10 months out of their lifetime is a small price to pay considering the alternative road they are on.
How Residential Therapy can help when nothing else does:
- RTC (residential treatment center) or TBS (therapeutic boarding school) focus on helping the child take personal accountability. Through intensive individual, group and family therapy, residential staff work on shifting the child from blaming others for his problems to acknowledging that he is where he is because he made poor choices.
- RTC or TBS remove your child from their negative environment. Whether is a contentious home situation or a negative peer group, it is an opportunity to be in an objective placement to open up and speak freely to others that may have his/her same feelings.
- RTC or TBS have level systems so children learn the consequences of their actions. If they make poor choices or don’t do their levels work, they don’t gain privileges. The levels system incentivizes children to change their behavior.
- RTC or TBS provide structure and containment that is impossible to achieve at home. Most RTC or TBS are in remote areas where there is nowhere to run. Therapists, behavioral staff and a levels program provide intensive scaffolding to support the child as he learns coping skills that he can then use to regulate himself. When a child can utilize coping skills, he feels in control and begins to make better choices.
- RTC or TBS are particularly skilled at helping parents recognize the ways they are unwittingly colluding with their child’s behavior, and learn tools to change their own behaviors. Parent workshops and family therapy (usually via phone and visits) are essential for the child to return home successfully.
- When selecting an RTC or TBS, it is important for a parent to find one that has accredited academics, qualified therapists and enrichment programs. This is part of doing your due diligence when researching for programs for your teenager.
My book, Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen (HCI), outline a complete detailed list for parents that are seeking help. Starting with local resources to deciding if you need an RTC or a TBS and the differences.
With the tragedy of Newtown, CT we are faced with so many unanswered questions.
The grief of the loss of life is unimaginable – when you look at the age of the children and their protectors that died doing what they were trained to do, it is simply unconscionable that anyone could do such a heinous act.
We are hearing issues of gun control combined with mental health. At the end of the day, like teenagers using illegal drugs (and adults for that matter) if someone is determined to find a gun and shoot people, they will.
The fact is we need to get people the help they need before they get to the point of wanting to seek out guns for killing – or drugs for getting high.
Though that is an extreme example, many parents are seeking help for their struggling teen. They are at their wit’s end. They feel like they are hostage in their own home. After exhausting all their local resources they realize that residential treatment is their last resort – but how can they send their child away?
The real question is, how can you not? How can you not get your teen the help they need? In many cases your teen does need to be removed from their environment to be able to start recovery. Being around their negative peer group and sometimes ever around their family (and this is not a personal reflection on you) but the state of mind your child is in, can bring contention that they are not able to move forward.
So what can you do? You get online and the confusion is overwhelming with websites promising all sorts of things – marketing people scaring you into the urgency of placing asap or else….. Sticker shock of the price of getting help! Don’t get scammed – it did happen to me – I created my organization so it wouldn’t happen to other parents.
There is help for everyone. If you don’t have insurance for mental help, and even with insurance, there are programs that can help. You will have to dig harder to find them.
Obviously if you are able to go into a program you can finance there are more options, but in a time in our economy when things are not financially great, not everyone falls into this category. This doesn’t mean you can’t find help.
I encourage you to visit my website – www.helpyourteens.com for more information on residential therapy. Never give up – be proactive. Now, more than ever, is a reality that parents need to get their troubled teens the help they need.
When it comes to sending your child to residential therapy it is probably one of the hardest decisions a parent can make. It just doesn’t seem normal to send your teenager to a behavioral modification program. Let’s face it – we all know that sending them to college is part of the circle of life, but no one prepares us for the potholes that some families face – residential treatment centers.
As the holidays approach a teenager’s behavior can sometimes escalate and this can leave a parent with a decision that they don’t want to make. How can they send their child into a teen help program during this time of the year?
As a Parent Advocate and Parent Consultant, I share with parents that you have many years ahead of you to have many wonderful holidays together – however in some cases, it can mean saving your child’s life by removing them from not-so-safe situations – especially if they are involved in drug use or hanging out with unsavory groups of what they consider friends. With the extra time off from school -it sometimes can add up to more time for trouble.
Are you struggling with your teenager? Confused about what school or program is best for their needs? I founded Parent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc over a decade ago for parents that are at their wit’s end – after I was duped and my daughter abused at a program that mislead us. Our experiences are only to help educate parents – there are more good programs than there are not so good one. It is up to you to do your due diligence.
Remember, family is a priority – your child’s welfare comes first. There will always be more holidays – let’s be sure your child’s safety and security are first and foremost.
You also have realized they really don’t care much about their education at all!
Unfortunately I hear this more and more from parents today. We have extremely intelligent children capable of getting A’s and not working up to their academic potential. What is going on?
Teens that would rather either just get a GED or some that want to quit school all together! Years ago that wouldn’t even cross our minds -but today these kids don’t recognize the importance of an education.
Especially in today’s financial world.
Some parents are also dealing with their smoking marijuana. Some just brush it under the table and say that it is the same as when the were kids. Well, it isn’t. Pot today can be far more lethal than it was generations prior.
Whether you are parent that is feeling hostage in their own home or a parent that feels their teen is heading down a dark path, you now have determined you need outside help there are steps that every parents needs to take.
I always tell parents that they need to exhaust all local avenues. Short of your teen being 17+ years old, (since at that age you only have 12 months to do something – and do it quickly) – you have options to start with.
Local therapy, support groups, community centers, youth groups and youth pastors, sometimes sending your teens to live with a relative, changing schools…. these are all options that may work. Sadly – many times they don’t – which is when you have to face it is time for residential therapy.
As you get online you have to be so careful of all these wonderful, colorful websites – tearful testimonials – slick sales reps and toll free numbers to God knows where. Remember, this is your child you are searching for, not a car.
I created Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, Inc (P.U.R.E.) exactly for parents in need – parents that have reached their wit’s end and don’t know where to turn. On my site you will even find helpful hints in researching schools and programs and questions to ask.
I urge parents to read my story – when I struggled with my own teen daughter and the mistakes I made.
Remember, this is a major financial and emotional decision – take your time and make an educated decision.
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.