What is the best program for teen?
Are you at your wit’s end? Do you have a good teen making bad choice? Is it time for residential therapy?
Are you at your wit’s end? Do you have a good teen making bad choice? Is it time for residential therapy?
This is a difficult question that many parents have to face on a daily basis. Parents who spend a great deal of time with their teenagers are often tuned into what is normal behavior and what is not.
However, even parents who are actively involved in the daily activities of their teenagers may overlook – or subconsciously deny – the earliest signs of a substance abuse problem.
Some of the clues that your teenager may exhibit when using drugs or alcohol are fairly subtle, but others are rather obvious:
• Many hours spent alone, especially in their room; persistent isolation from the rest of the family. This is particular suspicious in a youngster who had not been a loner until now.
• Resistance to taking with or confiding in parents, secretiveness, especially in a teenager who had previously been open. Be sure that your teenager is not being secretive because every time he tries to confide in you, you jump on him or break his confidence.
• There is marked change for the worse in performance and attendance at school and/or job or other responsibilities as well as in dress, hygiene, grooming, frequent memory lapses, lack of concentration, and unusual sleepiness.
• A change of friends; from acceptable to unacceptable.
• Pronounced mood swings with irritability, hostile outbursts, and rebelliousness. Your teenager may seem untrustworthy, insincere or even paranoid.
• Lying , usually in order to cover up drinking or drug using behavior as well as sources of money and possessions; stealing, shoplifting, or encounters with the police.
• Abandonment of wholesome activities such as sports, social service and other groups, religious services, teen programs, hobbies, and even involvement in family life.
• Unusual physical symptoms such as dilated or pinpoint pupils, bloodshot eyes, frequent nosebleeds, changes in appetite, digestive problems, excessive yawning, and the shakes.
• Be careful not to jump to the conclusion that your teenager may be using when you see such behavior.
• Evaluate the situation.
• Talk to your teenager.
• Try to spend time with her so that she feels that she can trust you.
• By creating a home that is nurturing, she will understand that despite of unhealthy choices that she will always get the love and moral support that she deserves.
• Building a strong relationship with your teenager now will mean that in time of crises your love, support, wisdom, and experience won’t be shut out of your teenager’s decision making.
• If you have a suspicion that your teenager is involved in the use of drugs or alcohol, don’t hesitate to bring the subject up.
The sooner the problem is identified and treated, the better the chances that your teenager’s future will be safeguarded. Raising the subject will be easier if you already have good communication in the family. Discuss the ways in which you can seek help together. An evaluation by a substance abuse professional may be the key to understanding what is really going on with your teenager.
Contributor: Shawnda Burns, LCSW
Especially around the holiday season, keep your parent radar on high alert. Monitor your monitor medicine cabinets.
If your teen has been struggling with substance abuse, be sure to seek help. If they refuse to get help, it may be time to consider residential therapy. Contact us for more information on this step.
By Stop Medicine Abuse
For more than a decade, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) has leveraged the Stop Medicine Abuse initiative to address reports of teens abusing over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM) to get high. The campaign works to educate parents on this behavior and provide them with the information they need to help prevent such abuse.
DXM is a safe and effective ingredient when used according to the dosage instructions on the Drug Facts label. However, some teens believe that because DXM is available over-the-counter, it is less risky to abuse than illicit or prescription drugs. In reality, abusing DXM can result in dangerous side effects such as blurred vision, vomiting, slurred speech, decreased coordination, and more.
One of the most meaningful actions in the fight to stop this issue was taken by the manufacturers themselves. Ten years ago, many of the manufacturers who produce DXM-containing cough medicine voluntarily added the icon below to their packaging. The goal was to inform parents that the medicine contains DXM and has the potential to be abused by teens. By directing the parents to learn more at www.StopMedicineAbuse.org, the icon helps parents detect and prevent abuse in their families and communities.
Have you seen this icon?
National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month (NMAAM) is an annual campaign observed during the month of October. The goal of NMAAM is to raise public awareness of the dangers of prescription and OTC medicine abuse. CHPA’s partner, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), takes this month to reach parents, prevention specialists, community leaders, and coalition members across the country, encouraging them to take part in NMAAM by spreading awareness and taking the Dose of Prevention Challenge.
During NMAAM and beyond, we encourage you to read up on the substances teens are abusing and how you can prevent such abuse from happening. We then encourage you to share what you’ve learned with other parents, teachers, and community members. The more people who are aware of this issue, the more power we can have in stopping it and keeping our teens safe.
You can learn more about detecting and preventing OTC medicine abuse here. Stay updated on new studies and trends in teen behavior, advice for keeping teens away from risky behaviors, general parenting tips, and more by keeping up with Stop Medicine Abuse on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog.
According to scholars and psychologist, the smartphone devices are causing a heist of the apparent preoccupation, not only in adults but also in the kids. Especially when the matter of the availability of the internet over the smartphones is concerned, the hike certainly makes it clear that the extensive users of this technology are addicted to it.
A comparison between the addicting drugs and the smartphone was drawn by a psychologist analyzing that alcohol makes a person addict of it as the consumption of the first sip makes it more enchanting in the next. Similarly, the smartphone usage has been analyzed with the study of over 1,500 users, majorly including teens, that the initial usage raises the urge for the next usage.
Common Sense Media (CSM) surveyed more than 1,200 people including parents and teens which resulted that 50% of the teens accept that they are addicted to the smartphones; while around 60% parents say that their children are addicted to their devices.
The smartphones sale comparison could definitely tell that 50% of the sale of smartphones has grown up in the present year since 2013.
Availability of internet, social media networks, attractive games, handy apps and vast data storage capability has raised the bar of the smartphone usage and so it the mercury of the smartphone obsession rising.
Presently in the world, some states argue that extensive smartphone usage is a disorder and is an addiction but some of the developed states including United States have no view over the smartphone addiction. They take it as just an extensive use, not an addiction as they don’t have any solid base to determine it as a disorder.
Going through some general examples, the roads and streets are the best examples in telling that how much the teens are addicted of the smartphones. A number of accidents happen every day in routine, caused by the teens, as they were busy in using their smartphone and smashed their car into the others or a pole or a pedestrian.
Almost 80% teens are surveyed who at least check their phone every hour, amid 70 – 72% of teens is found responding to the SMS and the instant feeds instantly. Parents stay worried for their children and the smartphone distraction has increased the ratio of worry in parents. Parents find their children:
These situations are particularly an alarm for the parents that ring the bell of danger that their child is getting to a highly distracted venture by paying much heed to their corky device instead of the actual requirements of living.
Some essential preliminary steps are required on the part of the parents to ensure safety and prosperity of their children. It’s initially quite hard for the parents to properly analyze in what ways and how much time is their child giving to his or her smartphone.
Precisely the direct questionnaire would certainly sound like a direct assault to the children which could bring up any of the unexpected results upon parents. Or if the parents inspect the smartphones of their children or restrict them directly to use it, could create a wave of defiance in the homes.
The most preferable and highly recommended solution, and one of handpicks of the experts, are the spy apps. They help the parents to be with their children when they are using their smartphones, virtually.
Contributor: Angela Smith fills in as tech and digital parenting expert. She is managing technical content at cell phone spy software, listen live phone calls, and monitor social instant messaging logs.
(Please note, apps should never replace offline parenting. Your communication with your child is crucial in helping them make better online decisions when you’re not there. Experts have also agreed that your child should know if you have installed these apps. Breaking down a trust factor with your child is never a good idea unless there is a good reason or you fear your child is in danger).
Defiance, underachieving, disrespectful, entitlement issues, internet addiction, changing peer groups….
Reactive attachment disorder (RAD), ADD-ADHD, depression – are they a good teen making bad choices?
Are you considering residential treatment but confused by all the choices?
-Is my teen a candidate?
-What’s the best for my family?
-Will my insurance pay?
-Will my teen hate me?
-Will short term programs work?
-What are transport services?
-Are there financial options?
-How do we know if a program is successful?
Let Parents Universal Resource Experts answer your questions.
We educate families as they are faced with the challenges of choosing residential therapy.
Contact us today.
What would you do if you found out your normally good teen was engaging in risky behavior? Maybe you’ve been ignoring signs of substance abuse. Making excuses for their erratic mood swings. Suddenly they are becoming withdrawn, failing in school and unrecognizable — but you figure, it’s a typical teenager, or is it?
In these times of uncertainty, are we caught questioning our parenting skills?
From the moment a child is born many of us are filled with unexpected overwhelming feelings. An unconditional love that we only heard about from friends and family, but never imagined until we held our own infant.
We’re prepared for those terrible two’s, which are not so horrible in the scheme of life. We’re possibly a bit tired running after a toddler, however the rewards of watching them go off to pre-school then kindergarten are so exhilarating. Proud moments.
We start the sports, maybe dance and in my situation, gymnastics with my daughter (soccer with my son). Never a dull moment. Many parents soon find out what their mom and dad went through being a taxi-parent.
Yes, this is bliss — raising our children (capturing the memories like our parents did and quickly realizing it’s gone before we know it).
Then the tween and teenage years begin.
The child we used to know
We raise our children with a foundation to be good and hopefully, respectable people. Many families schedule meal times together at least a few times a week, some are dedicated to their religious beliefs and have somewhat of a stable home environment. It’s more common today to have a single parent household, like mine, but I don’t feel that’s a handicap. It’s a way of parenting that only requires adjustments compared a two-parent home.
It doesn’t matter the shape or size of your family, sadly it won’t prevent good teenagers from landing in hot water.
What to do you do when your angel that you raised from birth (or possibly adopted at birth) is suddenly someone you no longer recognize? The child you used to bounce on your knee or cheer on at baseball practice or clap for at dance recitals? The son or daughter that used to be part of the family — part of your life and most importantly used to be happy.
You’re suddenly faced with a defiant, angry and rebellious youth. You suspect they are experimenting with drugs, something they swore they would never do — and you had so many discussions about this. They drop out of their favorite activities, they’ve always been a good student however now barely passing and you realize their peer group is changing.
What do you do when you feel like you’re being held hostage in your own home? Locking your own bedroom door – checking your medicine and liquor cabinets and walking on eggshells with how you communicate with your teen for fear they may explode with you?
For almost two decades I’ve helped parents of at-risk teens who are facing one of their biggest fears – they failed as a parent.
The majority of parents that contact me have already exhausted all their local resources such as therapy, out-patient and sometimes even short-term in patient. In some cases they have even sent their teen to live with a relative in hopes that it would make the difference. It doesn’t.
What do you do when you’ve reached your wit’s end?
Here are a few comments parents have made to me over the years. Does any of it sound familiar to you? The names have been changed for privacy:
My 17 year-old son who has a bad attitude about school, even though he is smart, is hanging out with the wrong friends, has been caught drinking and smoking pot with friends, doesn’t play sports anymore. – Debbie, Bradenton, FL
My daughter is 15. Defiant and starting using drugs. She will not listen, she sneaks out at night and has gotten two curfew tickets. – Kelly, Dallas TX
My 16 yr old son is very bright and articulate. He does drink, smoke pot and take mushrooms, has a violent reaction to being asked to help do anything around the house, has a superiority complex and feels he knows more than anyone. -David, Seattle WA
Chelsea was a good student until sophomore year. She was bullied by a group of girls and beat up and then neglected from her group of friends and has steadily declined. Quit sports/poor grades and now as freshman in college, I believe she is doing drugs and admitted to high alcohol consumption. -Terri, Peoria IL
Trevor 16. Since last summer, he’s been smoking pot but denies current usage. He’s intellectually bright and musically gifted, but grades in HS are down the drain–3rd quarter: 2 F’s and 2 D’s in his academic subjects. -Andrew, Greenwich CT
Mark 15. We’re tired of being held hostage in our home–can’t leave him alone, afraid to say anything that might cause him to “snap” and go ballistic. – Linda, Richmond VA
Jeffrey was a victim of bullying for several months until he had enough and got into a fight at school and got suspended. He pretty much “beat the other kid up” for lack of a better phrase. Lisa, St. Louis MO
14 year old daughter. I feel like a hostage most of the time and forced to emerge through a mine field never knowing when I am going to be blown up with her mood swings. I am frightened for her and for us. – Leann, Laguna Niguel CA
My daughter is 13 years old. She’s in such a rage. The heart that use to be in her chest is now just a black empty hole. She doesn’t care who she hurts both mentally and physically. Samantha, Westchester NY
16 yr old son. We need something that he can’t just walk out of. My Wife and I are extremely stressed and it is getting worse. We feel like hostages in our own home. That is not healthy. -Bruce, Denver CO
And then there was me
My kids grew up in Broward County, only minutes from Parkland in Weston, Florida where you would never imagine the unthinkable could occur — until it does.
Living in areas like Parkland or Weston may seem like living in a bubble. What many don’t realize is what goes on behind these gated communities and inside some of these big homes is the same as what is going on everywhere. Parents are looking for answers as to how to raise difficult teens.
Many remain silent because of judgment they receive from others. Maybe instead of pointing fingers or shaming each other we should start talking and helping our neighbor when we realize they have a teen in trouble.
It’s easy to sit back and say this could never happen to you, especially if you never had a child, or your child is still young — however teen-hood has a way of playing tricks on your predictable life. Although many have had the typical ride of a bumpy teenager – some of us had to take the hard-way around.
It’s okay, we paved the road for you to learn from.
I had a good teen – she was/is my everything. She made some really bad choices. I had to make the leap to outside help after exhausting all my local resources (and her short stay at grandma’s).
Making the decision to send your child to a residential therapy is not easy. You don’t give birth to your children with the expectation that you will be sending them away before their college years. You feel, as a parent, like a failure.
I made a lot of mistakes that I hope parents now are learning from. With the conversation rising on mental health, don’t be afraid to advocate for your teen if they need the extra step that mine did.
By Sue Scheff, Founder of Parents Universal Resource Experts and author of Wit’s End: A Mother and Daughter’s True Story (HCI, 2008) and Shame Nation: Choosing Kindness & Compassion In An Age of Cruelty and Trolling (Sourcebooks, Oct 2017).
Today, shootings, especially school shootings, are not any easier to hear.
How do we talk to our teens about these tragedies?
It’s time to turn to the experts.
Dr. Michele Borba, a leading educational psychologist shares her 10 Tips to Talk to Kids About Tragedy including her T.A.L.K. model.
Ensure that your child has accurate information that come from you so as not to develop unfounded fears.
Every child handles a tragedy differently. There is no predicting. Tune into your child’s feelings and behavior. Watch and listen how he deals with the event so you’ll know how to help him cope and build resilience.
Use the “Talk. Stop. Listen. Talk. Stop. Listen” model as your discuss a tragedy. Listen more than your talk. Follow your child’s lead.
Dr. Robyn Silverman is a child and teen development specialist wrote an informative blog post on helping direct parents in try to make sense of this senseless act.
Read Dr. Robyn’s full post here.
Melissa Fenton, a former librarian, who brought us the compelling essay about parent shaming, “Put Down Your Pitchforks,” nails it again, when she pens on the website Grown and Flown, “Trying to be ‘Perfect’ is Killing Our Teens and We’re to Blame.”
Teenagers are suffering from depression and anxiety in record-setting numbers. Stumped researchers, social scientists, and psychologists have only begun to investigate the causes, many of which they have linked to smart phone and social media use, but is that really it? Could be, seeing as how they’re growing up under a selfie spotlight – with images of perfection constantly loading in their devices – perpetuating the great lie that everyone else has it more together and better than they do.
And we got here when we opened every conversation with our high schoolers about futures, goals, and achievements with the words, “I just want you to succeed,” instead of the words, “I just want you to be happy.”
Take time to read this entire essay. It’s a must read and share it with every parent of a teenager.
Do you believe you’re teen needs outside help? Have you exhausted your local resources?
Contact us for information about residential therapy. Don’t be a parent in denial.
Teenagers seem to come up with new phrases on a daily basis, and it can be hard to keep up with the meanings of their jargon. However, it’s important to know certain terms that are slang for dangerous activities, such as medicine abuse.
1 in 30 teens has abused over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan (also known as “DXM”) to get high. While DXM is a safe and effective ingredient when used as directed, some teens abuse it by taking up to 25 times the recommended dosage. This can cause dangerous side effects such as blurred vision and a rapid heartbeat, among others.
To hide this risky behavior from parents, teachers, and other adults, teens have come up with a myriad of slang terms to speak in code. Phrases such as “skittling,” “robo-tripping,” and “tussing” are among the list of slang terms you should keep your ears perked up for.
Being able to detect medicine abuse by recognizing slang terms and other warning signs is important, but even more important is what you can do to prevent medicine abuse before it happens:
There are over 100 OTC cough medicine brands that contain DXM.
Look for this icon to easily identify which ones include the active ingredient.
Stop Medicine Abuse is a prevention campaign working to alert parents and members of the community about the problem of teen abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM). You can learn more on by visiting the Stop Medicine Abuse website or connecting with the campaign on Facebook page and Twitter.
Bullying is a major problem for teens. It is estimated that at least 50% of teen suicides can be attributed to bullying, and suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people. Bullying also leads to depression, loss of motivation, personality change, self-harm, eating disorders, and substance abuse. It is already estimated that 1 in 3 teens experiment with drugs or alcohol by the time they finish the eighth grade. Bullying only increases the chances that your child will try drugs or alcohol. Spotting the signs of bullying before it becomes too severe can prevent teens from hurting themselves or developing an addiction.
Addiction can either begin rapidly or manifest over time. Bullying causes trauma, and trauma can follow a person for a lifetime. This trauma can cause a person to look for outlets and ways to feel better, or ways just to forget. Most addicts suffer from another underlying mental illness, and this often times was directly caused or triggered by emotional trauma. Drugs can often be a safe haven for someone suffering from trauma, anxiety, and/or depression. Drugs offer a false sense of confidence and happiness that bully victims lack; this is why it can be so hard for a bully victim to put down drugs.
Here are some ways to understand teens and addiction:
Bully victims often will skip school out of fear of harassment by their bully. This can lead to mischievous activities or risk taking. When a person begins skipping school or extracurricular activities they may begin to hang around people who are doing the same things. This can introduce your child to a “bad crowd” that may already be experimenting with drugs or alcohol. Teens who have friends or acquaintances who use drugs are far more likely to experiment.
Low self esteem
Bully victims often develop low self-esteem and self-worth. Drugs offer a false sense of confidence that seem to “fix” this problem. A person eventually finds that they need drugs or alcohol to feel normal or like they fit in.
Bully victims lose motivation and interest in others. When they begin to abuse drugs this is exacerbated. A child may begin to stay out late, avoid friends and family, or stay in their room for long periods of time.
Bully victims and those suffering from addiction both begin to have significant personality changes. They lose interest in their favorite hobbies and activities. If they were once out-going they may become more introverted and lonely. Bully victims often become very depressed and find drugs or alcohol a way to “self-medicate”.
Bullies are at risk, too.
There is research that suggests that bullying perpetrators are also at risk. Amanda Nickerson, PhD, Professor and Director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at University of Buffalo stated that “A fair amount of research has found higher rates of substance use among bullying perpetrators.”
Bullies often have turbulent lives at home or other underlying mental health issues which leads to their mischievous activities like violence, sexual promiscuity, and drug use.
Parents also play a vital role in protecting their children. It is common for parents or teachers to brush of bullying as “kids being kids” or that it is just “part of growing up”. Parents who can support their children and report bullying effectively have a high likelihood of preventing their children from trying drugs. This is crucial because teens who experiment with drugs are far more likely to develop and addiction later in life. Avoiding the perception of neglect plays a vital role in parenting and prevents childhood trauma.
Another study at the University of Buffalo examined 119 teens who said they had consumed alcohol in the past month. “They found teens who were severely bullied and who had strong support from their mothers and family cohesion—such as family members asking each other for help and spending free time together—were less likely to drink than bullied teens without strong maternal support and tight family bonds.”
Always talk to your child about bullying and take their concerns seriously. Addressing bullying quickly can mean the difference between development of an addiction or childhood trauma.
Contributor: Trevor McDonald
Racism is spreading like cancer throughout the world. People often forget that they are all the same; no matter what family they belong to, what color their skin is or what God they worship. If one day we could rise above all the petty things like color, creed or language and start judging people on the basis of who they truly are, that will be the day we will be able to call ourselves civilized.
Unfortunately, that is far from reality. These days, young children get bullied because they’re black; adults have to deal with colleagues who criticize them only because they’re Muslims, people getting ragged in the subways and streets only because they’re disabled. Most of you are probably shocked by this; however, this is the reality. Racism has become a huge part of our lives – Such a big part that if we see a few children surrounding a black child, we don’t do anything about it. One thing we never realize is that Racism is the only thing that could kill a living person. They could be walking and talking normally, but from the inside, their self-respect is crushed and their conscious weighs down from all the hatred.
We’ve compiled a list of things that could happen when an individual faces more than a few racial comments every day…
It’s more than obvious that a person who is teased every single day by colleagues, co-workers, class mates, etc. will be depressed. They will absolutely despise every single thing about the place they have to go to every day of the week. Honestly, any of these things are enough to ruin anyone’s day. If you’re one of the people that teased someone for being a Hindu, then you probably should stop, because you’re probably the reason they are distressed for the rest of the day.
This is no hidden fact that a person who laughed at twenty times in the day would lose confidence in themselves. It can demoralize them and can reduce their capability to work. All of you are probably familiar with Martin Luther King. He is the reason black people have the rights that they do today. Martin Luther King realized the fact that if America keeps on usurping the rights of black people, they will end up with a half broken and battered nation. This would, ultimately, start a war – A war that will take place inside America. From this, you can easily realize the effects that racism has on someone’s consciousness.
There have been hundreds of cases when a teen that was abused at school ends up committing suicide. Even though there are a very small amount of cases of adults committing suicide, their frustration is no less than teenagers. Insults over insults are enough to ruin someone’s day. However, when the insults are directed to someone’s color, creed or religion, this might push someone to the extent of committing suicide.
So, what happens when teens witness racism all day long? Does a Christian kid become happy when someone mocks a Muslim? Does a white child feels amused when someone laughs at a black teen? The answer is Yes. Our society has become one where racism is no longer considered death to social life, however, people enjoy it. Think about it yourself, when was the last time you stood up for someone being teased? We are living in a world where racism makes people feel a false sense of superiority as compared to the minorities – and it is needless to say, this isn’t playing well for teens.
Whether your child is a racist, or if they are being mocked by someone else, as a parent, it is your duty to protect them from either one. The best way to protect your children would be to use Parental Monitoring Applications. They are able to monitor all of your child’s conversations on their Smartphone, and you can know if your child is cyberbullying someone. You could use their own device’s camera and microphone and see if they aren’t getting bullied by someone at school. Hence, making sure that you protect your children from the disease that is racism itself…
Nicki is a working mum writing blogs to help fellow mums use technological apparatus to make parenting easier in today’s era. Her work on cell phone tracking software has received great appreciation from a reader. To know more about her follow on twitter @nickimarie222