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DistraughtFamilyYou are struggling with the fact you are reaching your wit’s end with your out-of-control teenager?

In most cases, this is the first time you have experienced this and you are clueless about what your options are.  You have exhausted your local resources, such as counseling, outpatient and some even tried sending their loved one to a relatives home.

Now what?

Deciding on residential therapy is a major decision not to be taken lightly.  Like many big businesses out there, it is a business.  As a parent that was once in your shoes, I know what it is like – I had exhausted every local avenue (including the relative), only to be duped by a residential program.

What that did for me is to empower me to help others gain from my knowledge and learn from my experiences.  Let’s be real – my one horrific ordeal doesn’t mean all schools and programs are bad – quite the contrary, in our research, we found that most are beneficial.

mom laptopIt’s about “you” – the parent, doing your due diligence and not making a decision while you are in a panic.  Not allowing these sales reps to convince you of something your gut is telling you is not so.

Many parents will get online and start searching all sort of terms for troubled teens.  Keep in mind, only those schools and programs (marketing arms) with deep pockets can afford those sponsored listings, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best for your teen.  In hindsight, the organization that duped me literally had the first spots all over the Internet – they were pros on marketing. Anyone can build a site and market themselves, it’s your research that is imperative – offline.  

  • Talk to local sheriff department in the town that the program is located in.  Ask how many times they are called out there, do they have runaways – big question – “would they send their child there.”
  • Call the Department of Social Services/Department of Children and Families – ask if there has ever been complaints filed (chanced are they can’t tell you the details, but at least let you know if there were complaints), are they up-to-date with their licences, how are they licensed?  As a childcare center, foster-care home, or as a therapeutic boarding school.  (Yes, things you need to know).
  • If you are visiting the school/program, stop in local restaurants, talk the people (waitress, locals) ask about the school, their opinions.  It’s amazing what locals will say.

I think you are getting the idea.  The Internet is very valuable, but in reality it can be hard to determine cyber-fact from cyber-fiction, there comes a time to take it offline – for the sake of your child.

More take away tips for parents:

When seeking residential treatment, I always encourage parents to look for three key components that I call the ACE factor:

  • Accredited Academics (Ask to see their accreditation): Education is important, some programs actually don’t offer it.
  • Clinical (Credentialed therapists on staff): Please note–on staff.
  • Enrichment Programs (Animal assisted programs, culinary, fine arts, sports etc): Enrichment Programs are crucial to your child’s program. They will help build self-esteem and stimulate them in a positive direction. Find a program with something your teen is passionate about or used to be passionate prior their path in a negative direction.

I also encourage parents to avoid three red flags:

  • Marketing arms and sales reps (All those toll-free numbers, be careful of who you are really speaking to and what is in the best interest of your child).  I also caution you to just fill out forms that don’t offer you confidentiality.  These are marketing arms that simply send your information to a variety of programs.
  • Short term programs (Wilderness programs or otherwise, rarely is there a quick fix. Short term program are usually short term results. They usually will then convince you to go into a longer term program after you are there a few weeks–why not just start with one? Consistency is key in recovery. An average program is 6-9-12 months, depending on your child’s needs and the program). There are some reputable Wilderness programs, however it is our opinion it is an extra step and money that parents should understand before taking this leap.
  • Statistics that show their success rate (I have yet to see any program or school have a third party–objective survey–perform a true statistical report on a program’s success. Success is an individual’s opinion. You have to do your own due diligence and call parent references).

Are you searching for a Therapeutic Boarding School, Residential Treatment Center or Teen Help Program?  Contact us for more information.

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    23 hours ago

    Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc (P.U.R.E.)

    Excellent read by Kari Kampakis, WriterA mom of five kids (all teenagers) once told me that something they discuss a lot in their home is RECOVERY.

    Her husband’s big question to their five kids is: "What will your recovery be?" He tells his teenagers, “You’re going to make mistakes, and hard things will happen, but what will your recovery be? How will you respond when things don’t go as planned?”

    I love this concept because it’s so relevant – especially to teens. More often than not, this is the stage of life when adult-sized problems, disappointments, and heartaches begin to manifest.

    An accident they didn’t see coming.

    A romance that ended with a broken heart.

    A mistake they'll always regret.

    A dream that didn’t come true.

    A curve ball that changed their plans.

    A setback that felt like punishment.

    I’ve read many articles – you probably have too – about the importance of resiliency in kids. I’ve heard it said today’s kids often have high performance skills but low coping skills. Their talents and achievements are off the charts, but when it comes to the interior stuff, that grit that helps them handle the unexpected twists and turns of life, it often doesn’t develop to a mature level.

    I’m all for resiliency, but I don’t like watching the adversities that help build resilient kids. I don’t enjoy seeing my kids or others face bumps in the road or mountains that put their character and resolve to the test.

    What I’m trying to grow more comfortable with, however, is the truth that pain and life interruptions can serve a purpose. The obstacles our kids face often prepare them for blessings down the road or open up new doors they didn’t see coming.

    Most importantly, God will comfort them in their pain so they can comfort others. Whatever happens to our kids – good or bad – never goes to waste. God can use it all to grow His kingdom and draw them closer to Him.

    I believe helping a child recover begins with compassion and sensitivity. It means comforting them, crying with them, and confirming we’ll walk beside them. Whatever the next steps are, we’ll take that journey with them, because as long as we’re alive and able they will never walk alone.

    The next step is to instill hope. To give them something to cling to and remind them how the pain they feel is temporary. It won’t last forever, and things will get better.

    Nobody is guaranteed a problem-free life, and what every child realizes at some point is how fragile life circumstances can be. How bodies, hearts, and spirits can break from one unfortunate event…one devastating conversation…one poor choice…one bad performance…one painful punch in the gut.

    We can’t always prevent the trials our kids face, but we can influence their next chapter. We can empower them by asking, What will your recovery be? How will you make the best of this situation? What choices will you make from here that keep you moving in the right direction?

    And then, we can celebrate their recovery. We can applaud them as they work diligently to bounce back, move forward, and develop the grit and character that can be the hallmark of their story.

    For more inspiration join Kari Kampakis, Writer, or check out these books for teen & tween girls, used widely across the country for small group and church studies.

    #10truths --> amzn.to/2niGdf9

    #likedbook --> amzn.to/2na8fds
    ...

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