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Monthly Archives August 2015

Addiction and Overdose Awareness

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 31, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Residential Therapy, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help, Uncategorized

InternalOverdoseAugust 31 each year is International National Overdose Awareness Day.

The theme for 2015 is Rethink and Remember.

If you are a parent of a teen that you believe is experimenting with drugs or alcohol, maybe you think it is only marijuana or just a few beers — but statistics have shown we are living in a new generation that today’s substances can be more dangerous and addictive than generations prior.

The other concern is prescription medications.  We have more children today diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, whereas in earlier years they were labeled troubled or simply hyper – today we have a diagnosis for them.  With that comes medication that can help them.  The problem is when teenagers want to abuse their prescription medications.

HeronAbuse

 

Studies have revealed that from prescription medication as well as some drug dealers lacing marijuana with heroin, some of our youth are getting hooked on heroin at early ages.  This is not only dangerous – it’s deadly.

What is drug addiction?

Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her. Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, the brain changes that occur over time challenge an addicted person’s self-control and hamper his or her ability to resist intense impulses to take drugs. – NIDA

NIDATeensGet the facts on different drugs teens are using and abusing today.  Visit NIDA for Teens. Being an educated parent, you will have healthier and safer teens.  You must keep your lines of communication open, and continue to discuss the risks of these substances with them.  Share this site with them too.

As difficult as drug addiction is for a parent to accept, it is ten times harder to lose a loved one — especially a child or teenager.

Don’t be a parent in denial. 

If you suspect your teen is using drugs, abusing their prescription drugs, cough syrup medicine included, reach out for help.

If you have exhausted your local resources and feel you aren’t able to help your teen at home, please contact us for more resources and options.  Overdose Awareness Day, make it your day to learn more about what your teen is doing.

Faces of the new addicts, a ABC NEWS 20/20 Special.


Overdose Awareness 30 Second Ad:

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Unmotivated and Underachieving Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 30, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

lazy-teenagerIt’s a common complaint that parent will tell us:

“My teenager is brilliant!  Highly intelligent, has the potential to make all A’s but is barely bringing home C’s!  Help!”

Some teens don’t recognize the importance of education and what it means to their future.  As a matter of fact, we are seeing more adults going back for a higher education than ever before.  Why?  It’s simple- education is the key to your financial future.  Now we need to get our teenagers to understand this.

It’s also important to understand, and relate to your teen that education can also mean technical school such as becoming a plumber, electrician or HVAC.  They are excellent trades making a very good financial future.  However they all need education. When your teen is doing something they like or are passionate about it the motivation comes easily.

If you try to put your teen into a box they don’t fix into, you may risk shutting them down.

Some advice and tips to consider:

  1. Start early on as possible as you can, set up reasonable goals, begin with small tasks and give them time to improve. For example, have the teen state the goal, the grade on their upcoming report card for their classes, math, English, science, history, etc.
  2. Tell your teen that you love him/her and wish to help him/her to have a bright future, then start the conversation with patience on his/her daily school activities, homework, test, class projects, etc. Prepare to hear some “bad news”, if it did happen, do not be angry with him/her, be calm down and help your teen find the problem and try to find a way to help him/her to solve the problem.
  3. In order to build a strong work ethic, need to set some rules and ask your teen to follow, be strict and tell him/her why. For example, finish homework before watching TV or playing video games/computer/smartphones. Why? Homework is the key to understand and master what teachers taught, which leads to his/her success in school. This rule helps him/her be stronger on self-control as well.
  4. gift of failure

    Order on Amazon (click on book)

    Encourage and praise the teen wisely, not too much, otherwise would mislead him/her to think he/she is the best. Namely, let him/her know that the best needs continuous learning, although did a good job today, need do better tomorrow. (This philosophy is now being challenged in the latest best selling book, The Gift of Failure) an excellent read for all parents.

  5. Teach your teen to have passion for learning new knowledge by showing fun stuff for the project and try to get his/her interest.
  6. Tell your teen successful stories. Help them to understand to get a good education and succeed in school is one of the most important things for his/her life.
  7. Tell your teen to make friends with those who are successful in school. Do your best to get your teen into a good school, because a healthy competition environment challenges the kid and help him/her to develop better. We all know this can be a difficult, but studies show that parents are the number one influence in their teen’s life.  Even though they won’t admit it.
  8. Introduce some real role models to your kids, who fighting hard with difficulties and succeeded at last, gained people’s respect. Help him/her to learn that if we suffer a set back, we don’t give up. Instead, we try harder.
  9. Just like parenting, motivating your children is a life-long job. Keep investing your time, efforts to motivate your kids no matter how busy you are, because it is the most important investments in your life. Kids are our future!

Source: Parents and Kids

If you have exhausted your local resources, your teen has reached a level that is not productive and they are going down a very negative path with their down-time, contact us for options that could help your teen and your family.

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Good Kids Making Bad Choices: Is It Spoiled Rotten Brat Syndrome?

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 28, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Residential Therapy, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help

ShopliftingHow many parents can relate to having a good kid that makes bad choices?

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.

EntitledTeenMany 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.

Do you need help getting started? Contact us for more information.

 

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Social Media & Drug Abuse: How Can You Help Your Teen Stay Straight?

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 26, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

TeenLaptopAccess to technology means solicitations to try drugs are no longer confined to school yards and parties. Ninety-two percent of teens go online daily,Pew Research Center reports, and social networks provide myriad opportunities for your teen to be exposed to nicotine, alcohol, marijuana and other controlled substances. A study conducted in 2014 by the Journal of Medical Internet Research concluded young people are especially responsive to influences via social media and often establish substance abuse habits during these formative years.

For teens who already struggle with substance abuse, social networking may prevent them from recovering. A 2012 study of teens receiving substance abuse treatment at a behavioral health services center found 66 percent reported that drug-related content on social networking sites made them want to use drugs, as reported by Psychiatric Times. With Pew Research Center finding 71 percent of teens use more than one social networking site, it’s vital for parents to monitor their teens’ social media behavior, while also giving children the ability for self-exploration and personal growth. Here are ways to be proactive without being overbearing.

Create a Digital Contract

Determining when your teen is ready for social media is dictated both by your comfort and by social network guidelines, since most social networks don’t allow users younger than 13. Before your children get online, discuss what their goals are with the networks, and run through scenarios they may encounter that would have you concerned. Talk with them about how you want them to handle those situations and set up guidelines for what they need to keep you aware of. The Family Online Safety Institute suggests visiting drug abuse websites with your teens so they are aware of the dangers of drugs. You could also speak with a parent specialist at 1-855-DRUGFREE to get tips for talking with your teens about drugs before they enter the online sphere.

Make sure your expectations are clearly outlined by creating a digital contract you and your teen understand, with consequences for breaking guidelines. Explain to your teen just like you get to know their offline friends, you also want to get to know their online contacts. Pew Research Center reports the average teen on Facebook has 145 friends, which means lots of opportunities for your teen to learn about drugs via photos, articles and messages their friends share.

Keep your teen’s computer in a central location in the house to keep their interactions open, and determine whether they’ll have access to their mobile phone only when they’re away from you to use in emergencies, and if you’ll have control of it at home. Consider requiring approval for all mobile device applications your teen downloads, since applications such as Snapchat destroy messages after a certain amount of time and prevent you from being aware of what it being discussed. The Dish Insider’s Guide suggests constantly evolving your guidelines based on your teen’s age and level of responsibility; while strict monitoring may work for you and your teen during the early teen years, an older teen may insist communication between them and their significant other or best friend are off-limits. Transparency and clear expectations are key to maintaining trust between you and your teen.

Tools for Parents

If discussing your teen’s social media usage isn’t enough to assuage your concerns, there are technological tools that can help you monitor and control what your teen is exposed to. A program such as NetNanny filters offensive material, gives you access to parental controls on your teen’s device, sends you email alerts when your teen visits inappropriate sites and enables you to monitor your teen’s Facebook posts and chats. For mobile devices, applications such as My Mobile Watchdog can bring you peace of mind and allow you to address concerns based on your teen’s interactions.

Learn about the technologies your teen has access to, since hidden dangers may fall in the realm of video game devices with Web browsers or in online games your teen may be playing with chat functionality. Delve into the parental control capabilities of the devices your teen is using, and establish usage boundaries and expectations on how your teen will use their devices and social media.

In all your communications with your teens, talk to them from a source of empathy and caring. Tell them you have their health and best interests in mind. Encourage them to talk with you about whatever questions they have, and make drug education something you and your teen work on together.

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Disclosure:  We do not endorse or promote any digital products, apps or services.  This article is for educational purposes only.

If you believe your teen is struggling with Internet addiction or substance abuse, and you have exhausted your local resources for help, contact us for options on therapeutic boarding schools. These have been extremely successful when parent’s have reached their wit’s end at home.

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ADHD Teens: Parenting Battles

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 25, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help, Troubled Teens

screaming-teen-boyYears ago before there was the diagnosis of ADD (attention deficit disorder) or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) most kids were simply labeled troubled or out-of-controlled kids.

They were banished from classrooms, sometimes humiliated by teachers, scolded by their parents and worse – they were never given an opportunity to make friends or learn since it was difficult for them to focus and control their behavior.

When puberty set in, the next label was/is defiance (ODD).  Now we have the typical teen behavior compounded by ODD (oppositional defiance disorder). Some came up with conduct disorder.

Parents struggled and teens are frustrated — the vicious cycle continued.

Today there are medications to help with ADD/ADHD, however when a child reaches their teenage years, sometimes they refuse to take their medications – or worse, they abuse their medication.

The parenting battle begins.

ADHD teens often need more parenting. The problem is that parents of attention deficit teens often overreact to their sons’ and daughters’ behaviors.  – ADDitude Magazine

Living with a teen that goes off their medication can literally be a nightmare.  The defiant and disrespectful behavior leaves parents living at their wit’s end.

These are highly intelligent children that are spiraling out-of-control, not able to work to their academic potential (underachieving), not making good choices, and are becoming a person that you barely recognize.

It can be frustrating to parent’s when others refer to their ADHD child as being handicapped or less-than, since it’s quite the contrary.  ADHD students are usually have a very high IQ, it is a matter of having them focus (and turn in their homework).

If you are struggling with an out-of-control ADHD teen, and have exhausted all your local resources, contact us for potential options.  Sometimes therapeutic boarding schools can help your teen get back on the right track.

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Heroin: What Parents Don’t Talk About

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 24, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Residential Therapy, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help

ParentTeenNot my teen, it’s only marijuana.  It’s only prescription drugs.  It’s only….

That’s the way it usually starts.  One of the biggest misconceptions of heroin addicts, especially with teens and young people is that they are from bad neighborhoods, possibly homeless, and typically don’t have families that care for them.

According to the latest studies, heroin use is reaching epidemic proportions, moving away from the inner-city and into the suburbs, bringing along its deadly consequences.

Parents can sometimes be late to the game when they finally wake-up to admitting their child has a problem.  Heroin addiction is deadly.  Heroin addiction is growing and heroin is becoming more and more available to your  teenagers.  It’s cheaper, not only financially – but a cheap high too.

Drug use and abuse is not what it was when you were in school or in college.  If you continue to tell yourself that, it’s a mistake that you may regret.  This is not about creating fear into parents, but it’s about educating you.  Dealers on the street don’t want you to understand this – however knowing what is going to be available to your teen can help you talk to them about the risks and how things have changed since the 60’s and 70’s.

heroinfoilSo what do they consider the gateway to heroin?

According to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, nearly half of young people who inject heroin surveyed in three recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin. Some individuals reported taking up heroin because it is cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription opioids.

In March 2015 another study was released revealing the death rate related to heroin overdose among young white men  (as young as 18 years old) was the highest in the Midwest.

Back in 2010 ABC News 20/20 ran a series on The New Faces of Heroin (watch the 8 minute part-one segment below).  It was extremely compelling.  If you believe that it can’t happen in your family, think again.  No one is immune.  Drug dealers don’t discriminate.  As a matter of fact, your teen may be the perfect catch for them.  Social media has added a new platform for them to connect with your child.  Don’t make the mistake that your teen would never do that.  It only takes one bad day, one bad break-up, or maybe they are being harassed and you don’t know about it.

Take the time to have those conversations.  You never know when you are potentially saving your child from making the biggest mistake of their lives.

Do you suspect your teen is using drugs?  Is it escalating out of control?  Have you exhausted your local resources?  It might be time for residential therapy.  Contact us for more information.  Don’t be a parent in denial.

ABC Latest News | Latest News Videos

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ADHD and ADD Teens: The Abuse of Adderall

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 22, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Residential Therapy, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help

ADHDBoyHaving a teen diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder) or ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is nothing to be ashamed of.   It makes me cringe when parents assume that teens with ADD/ADHD are not intelligent children – on the contrary, most are highly intelligent.  The problem is they lack the focus to work to their potential.

This is why sometimes they are prescribed medications to help them focus.  Today there are a wide range of prescriptions to choose from.

One of the hardest parts of ADD/ADHD teenagers is experiencing the ODD (opposition defiance disorder) that usually sets in through those puberty years – in combination with the typical teen behavior.  Your house can feel like a war-zone.

  • Defiance
  • Disrespect
  • Attitude
  • Rage, anger and sometimes violence

Some parents have said they feel, at times, like they are actually be held hostage in their own home.

TeensSharingAdderallThe abuse or misuse of Adderall is that some teens are not using it as it is prescribed by their doctor and some are sharing it with their friends. This has been an ongoing trend that is happening with teens:  the abuse and misuse of ADD/ADHD drugs such as Adderall.

Also keep in mind, if you suspect your teen is using marijuana or any other street drug or drinking, contact the doctor that is prescribing the medication for your teen.  Let them be aware of your teen’s behavior so you will know the possible side effects or if your teen should stop taking the medication while they are going through this negative time of their life — and you seek alternative help for them.

 

Teens and young adults often abuse Adderall when they feel the weight of a tight schedule that includes school, homework, sports/extracurricular activities, standardized testing prep, college applications, work and more. Intensive focus and the ability to sustain a high level of energy for long periods without the need for sleep means that many teens turn to the drug to help them get through overwhelming times at school – but unintentionally develop a dependence upon Adderall and are incapable of quitting without medical intervention and treatment.  When talking to your teen/young adult about this, make sure they understand that unless any prescription drug is prescribed directly to them, not only should they not be taking it due to health reasons, but it is also illegal. – PACT Coalition

Know the facts:

  • One in four teens report lax parental attitudes toward prescription drugs as compared to parental attitudes about illegal drugs, showcasing a dangerous and untrue belief that prescription drugs are “safer” than illegal drugs.
  • About 33 percent of teens surveyed felt that using prescription drugs without a prescription was acceptable.
  • Approximately 20 percent of the teens who admitted to abusing prescription drugs used the drugs before reaching the age of 14.
  • About 26 percent of teens surveyed stated that the use of prescription drugs such as Adderall was acceptable when the drug was being used as a “study aid”

AdderallAdderallA few signs of Adderall usage include:

  • bad temper or extremely emotional
  • weight loss
  • outbursts of aggression
  • fast talking/difference in energy
  • paranoia
  • inability to sleep
  • noticeable changes in appearance
  • in some cases the onset of more serious psychiatric symptoms.

If you feel your teen is abusing prescription drugs, get help immediately.  If you have exhausted your local resources, contact us for information on residential therapy options. Don’t wait for a crisis to happen.  Be an educated parent about how these programs can help you if you need them.  We can assist you in these questions.

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Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 21, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Residential Therapy, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help

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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Teen Help Programs for Troubled Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 19, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Residential Therapy, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help

It can be one of the most difficult decisions a parent can make.  You have a teenager that was always a good teen, used to bring home excellent grades, always participated in family functions, maybe was involved in sports or other extra curricular activities such as dance or cheer leading, and slowly is losing interest in the things they used to love.

Their behavior has become defiant, disrespectful, rude, underachieving,  lack motivation, withdrawn, secretive and before you know it – you feel like you don’t even recognize your own child.  Some parents have even said they feel like they become hostage in their own home to this behavior.

Maybe you suspect they are using drugs or drinking?  Maybe they have changed their peer group? Maybe they are experiencing something online that needs to be addressed?

Trying to get your teen to open up their lines of  communication is key to helping you determine where this negative behavior is stemming from.  If they are still shutting you down, sometimes they will be more open with an objective person like a relative, close friend or finally you may have to try an adolescent therapist.

After exhausting your local resources and you find your teenager is still spiraling into a dark hole, you may reach a point that they need residential therapy – teen help programs.  Teen Help Programs are much different than having one-on-one therapy at home.  They revolve around your child’s emotional growth in all their activities and they will be with peers that are struggling with the same issues.  It helps them to know they are not alone in whatever they are going through with their same peer group.

However deciding on a Teen Help Program,  (therapeutic boarding school) can be a major financial and emotional decision.  If you have PPO insurance, this can help you a bit.  The next step is taking your time and doing your due diligence.  There are many good programs in our country, but don’t get caught in the trap that you need the one closest to your home.  This is a mistake many parents make.  You have to select on that best fits your child’s needs.

EquineTherapyWe explain to parents that keeping in mind that you have to look at three (3) points which we call the A.C.E. factor, when searching for the right Teen Help Program for your troubled teen:

A – Academics (Be sure the program is accredited with their education. Another words, double check to be sure when they come home your schools accepts their transcripts).

C – Clinical (Especially if you have PPO insurance, be sure the therapist are credentialed and they will give you invoices for their clinical hours – this usually includes peer support groups depending on your policy –  so you can file it with your insurance if they don’t file for you.  There are only a small number of programs that will file for you. Again, PPO is usually the only insurance that has paid for a portion of residential, and that is only if you have already tried local therapy. This is in accordance to your policy.  We are not insurance specialists.   If you don’t have insurance, you want to be sure they have a solid clinical component to their program since it is likely you will be paying for it.  Check the credentials of the therapists).

E – Enrichment Programs (So many parents overlook this and it is so important.  Enrichment programs are what will stimulate your teen to recovery.  Enrichment programs can be sports, animal assisted programs, music therapy, art therapy – anything that engages your teen’s interest in a positive way).

Troubled teens can drive you to your wit’s end, but it’s not the end of the world.  You are not alone and there is help.

Takeaway tip we often give parents:  If you feel your teenager is about to be asked to leave their school (expelled), talk to the school and tell them that you would like to  withdraw them immediately.  This way the expulsion won’t be on their academic record.

If you would like more information on Teen Help Programs (therapeutic boarding schools or residential treatment centers) please contact us.  It’s best to be an educated parent, be prepared before you are placed in a situation that you need placement within 24-hours.

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Military Schools for Troubled Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on August 18, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens

oakridgeMilitary Schools for troubled teens is one of the biggest misconceptions parents have.

Military Schools, typically are not for troubled teens.  Quite the contrary – students usually have to have a good GPA (current – not what they are capable of) and some Military Schools and Academies require your teen to write an essay about why they would like to attend.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t Military Schools that won’t accept an at-risk teenager, however, be aware — these schools are not much different than most tradition schools (with the exception of the Military structure), most have policies in place.  They won’t tolerate defiance, disrespect and especially substance abuse.  Many will have the three-strikes your out rule.  But with a Military School you forfeit your tuition. YES – it is usually there in the small print – and that is about $25,000-40,000 annually.

You may ask, since many Military Schools are usually boarding schools, how do these kids find drugs or alcohol?  Like many boarding schools, most do accept day students.  Or like any teen that is using any type of drug, they will find a way.  Never assume just because they are going to a boarding school they will stop using marijuana or stop drinking.

ResidentialTherapyWhen you have decided to get them help to determine what is causing them to turn to drugs or alcohol, or causing them emotional distress that is leading them to make bad choices and failing in school – you then need to find a good therapeutic boarding school.  One that can offer them emotional growth to find out what is truly going on deep them with them.

A Military School can’t do this for them.  They are not about therapy or helping them sort out their feelings.  Many parents will be reading this and thinking – well, we have been through so much therapy at home.  Residential therapy is completely different than the one-on-one therapy you have weekly or twice a week at home.  It is also completely different than an out-patient program you may have tried locally.

Residential treatment offers your teen an opportunity to be with their peers that have the same feelings they are experiencing at their age, all their activities revolve around helping them build their self-worth to make better choices.  Residential therapy can offer academics, clinical and just as important, enrichment programs – which helps stimulate your teen in a positive direction.

Do you have questions about Military Schools and Academies?  Contact us today.  If you believe your teen is ready for one, we can help.  If you think you need residential therapy, we can guide you with options too. We are about educating parents.

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