The conversation of mental health is one that continues in our country. The behavior of today’s teens with our society in a me, me, me direction, is driving families to feel like they are being held hostage in their own home by a teenager they barely know anymore.
As someone that works with parents of struggling teenagers, I am faced on a weekly basis with families that are at their wit’s end. They have exhausted all their local resources, the therapy sessions are going nowhere (if you can get your child to attend), the school has usually reached their limit with the student, and in some cases the local authorities are now involved.
Some of these homes consist of only one parent or both parents are working leaving less supervision and guidance at home. Gone are the days when kids came home to at least one parent. Is this part of the problem of today’s society? I am not convinced of that. In my opinion it could be one of the excuses.
Kids today lack the respect that generations prior were born and raised with. No more are the days when a parent told a child to be home at 10:00 pm and they were actually home at 10:00 pm without question. Today the teen will argue that every other kid has a curfew of 2:00 am and that is when he/she will be home whether we like it or not.
Yes, that is the way many parents are living today – at the mercy of their teenager. I am sure some of you are recognizing your child here.
When a teen has escalated to a point that they are now controlling your home, failing in school, using drugs, hanging with the less than desirable peer group (which by the way they have become themselves), and you have determined this is more than typical teenage behavior – it may be time to seek residential therapy. These are typically good kids making bad choices. Some may label them spoiled rotten brat syndrome.
They are used to getting their own way and simply don’t want that to change. From the time they were little, parents have cuddled them with their every need and want. Why should that change? If they want to go to a party until 3:00 am they believe they should be able to. If they want to be connected to video games for fifteen hours a day, they believe that is their right to be able to. The biggest and worst decision is when a teen believes they should drop out of high school and get their GED – and in some states (at a certain age) they are allowed to – they do have that right. It is frustrating to watch your once good teen make these bad decisions. Yes, teens believe they have rights – and parents have become (in a way) prisoner to these demands. (It’s just an expression).
Residential therapy is sometimes mistaken for mental illness. Though there are residential treatment centers that help the mentally challenged, I am discussing residential therapy that is aimed at building a child back up to making the better choices, teaching them self-respect and respect for others, continuing their education (underachievers) and offering enrichment programs.
Many of these teens are spoiled brats. The problem; entitlement issues. Many parents today are guilty of over-indulging our kids and the results are coming back to us during the puberty years – in spades. The sweet angel of a toddler we once had is now a troubled teenager that is driving us mad. We literally don’t recognize the person they have turned into. From sneaking out of the house, to dropping out of their favorite sport – that once happy-go-lucky child has gone missing. It is a parent’s responsibility to find them again. It is not about shipping them off, it is about giving them a second chance at a bright future. Sometimes that does involve removing them from their comfort zone; their environment.
Researching for residential therapy can be daunting. The sticker shock of the price to get your child help can leave you feeling completely helpless and hopeless.
Don’t allow this to happen. Yes, residential therapy can be costly, however there are some that accept insurances and there are others that work with parents in accordance to their income. You need to do your homework, there is help out there. Don’t be a parent in denial, be proactive – it is our responsibility as a parent to get our child the help they may need.
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