Are you looking for treatment for your teen? The National Resource Center can help you choose the right program to help your teen get back on track.
Residential programs are often the answer if a child is completely out of control. Parents exhausted by having to police their child's activities have this option of enrolling their child in a boarding school that specializes in treating teens with alcohol or drug issues.
When does a parent know that the situation is out of their control and they need to seek outside help for their child? If you notice changes in and of the following areas, seek the advice of a physician and/or therapist/counselor to further determine if you child needs intervention.
Persistently sad and/or hopeless
Cries suddenly and often
Regular extremely angry outbursts that seem like an overreaction
Phobias or fears that seem exaggerated
Child states he or she feels "controlled" by bad thoughts
Excessive worry or anxiety
Bizarre behavior (temper tantrums; rambling speech; paranoid)
School performance declines dramatically
No longer interested in activities child once enjoyed
Isolates him or herself; avoids friends and family
Changes peer group and avoids introducing new friends to family
Significant change in how they express themselves (more agitated than usual; more depressed than usual; confused speech; unreasonable)
Destructive toward self, others, or property
Dramatic changes in appearance (clothing, body piercing, tattoos) accompanied by changes in behavior
Change in level of hygiene (no longer cares about appearance)
Where to Seek Help
Your child's school may offer counseling services, or may be able to recommend a therapist to help your child handle the stresses of adolescence. First talk to your child and try to find out how they feel and what issues they are facing. Let them know you support and love them, but that you feel the situation warrants seeking professional advice and counseling. Your child may be resistant at first, but then may find relief in having a neutral third-party person with which to discuss their concerns, fears, and struggles. Expect a certain amount of resistance, and don't let it prevent you from following your instincts and intervening if you feel this is in your child's best interests.
Test Your Knowledge
Does Your Child Exhibit Any of These Signs?
answer each question then review your score at
the end of the test.
"I probably waited too long. I kept thinking she would snap out of it, that these were just the normal things a teen goes through. I wish I'd acted earlier. Maybe I could have kept it from getting so bad. She has a long way to go now. Two years ago, when she first started showing she was in trouble, I think it would have been a lot easier to get her back on track." A Parent
Create - Connect - Communicate
Learn strategies to keep in touch with your children before they become teenagers and you will be in a better position to understand the pressures they face and communicate your concerns and expectations.
Create a safe, supportive environment for teaching about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
Connect with teens to find out what they know, how they feel. what pressures they face.
Communicate clearly what you expect and what the consequences of use will be.
The word "expectations" may have negative connotations, but by letting your child know what behaviors you will and will not accept, you help set the tone for their adolescence.
Teens who know their parents will not tolerate illegal drug use tend to resist peer pressure better than those whose parents avoid the issue.