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​Coping With Being A Parent To A Troubled Teen

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You are burnt out. Constant tantrum, truancy, lying, arguing, substance abuse, dangerous sexual behaviors, criminal seems that every day a new, more troubling form of acting out has occurred and you don’t know what to do anymore. Therapy, groups, school intervention, legal repercussions and the many other forms of punishment, programs and helping hands have been met with a refusal to change.

This is the experience of millions of parents around the world who have troubled teens.

The Judgement

One of the most common complaints of these parents will be the judgement they face from others around them.

“I wouldn’t let my child act that way.” “It would be straight to boarding school if my teen talked to me like that.” “Can’t you just get them into a therapist to see what’s wrong?”

These are common refrains that parents of troubled teens are subjected to and none of them are helpful. They have tried therapists. They have tried medication. They have sent their children to program after program.

Then there is the guilt of action. By the time it becomes necessary to consider a residential treatment center, they are at the end of their rope. But they also feel shame at the very idea of sending their child away to be treated in a hospital.

If this sounds like you, you need to know that none of this is your fault. You are not a bad parent and shouldn’t feel guilty for sending your child to a residential treatment center. You could be literally saving their life.

What Do Residential Treatment Centers Do?

These are secure hospital environments with licensed and trained staff on hand to manage a number of concerns facing patients in their care. They typically treat:

When it comes to residential treatment centers, you are your child’s best advocate. Not only can you find out which are the best programs to send your child, but your support means everything. Studies have found recidivism is lower in those who have direct parental involvement both during and after the program.

Coping With It All

It isn’t as easy as just realizing the way forward or knowing there is nothing you could have done differently. All you can do is practice self care. There is no single way of doing that. Maybe you enjoy yoga, or what to speak to a psychologist, or turn to religion.

Whatever caring for yourself means to you, remember that ultimately it is helping your child.

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