Monday, August 8, 2011

TEEN HELP: Who Do You Trust for Helping Your Teenager?

At any given moment, a parent in need of help with their child can make some very rash and costly mistakes.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you feel that you are at your wits end?
2. Do you feel you or your family is in danger?
3. Do you feel like something needs to be done now?
4. Do you feel out of control with your child’s actions?
5. Do you feel out of control with yourself?
6. Do you feel hopeless and no one will understand?
7. Do you feel completely alone in dealing with this child?
8. Do you feel you lack the capability to make the right decision?
9. Do you feel your child is running your life and the household?
10. Do you feel Desperate?

The feelings of desperation are very real and very painful, however it is not the time to make rash decisions. In most cases, the dysfunction has taken months if not years, to come to pass. It will not be resolved in an instant decision to “send your child away” the quickest and easiest way. This is the most important time to stop, think, research, evaluate and conclude what is best for your child and family.

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, it is time to reflect and begin planning your alternatives. It is not time to make any decisions. We feel that if you are working with a Psychologist, Therapist or Doctor, they should always be consulted first. Once it is determined residential treatment is needed, it is time for your research to start.

Information and resources will be a valuable asset. When calling the schools and programs, be sure they are looking for your child’s best interest. Any program that is quick to enroll your child is not in your best interest. Always keep notes, and document every conversation.  When contacting a program; does the Admissions Director ask you questions about your child or do the go directly into how their program can help them? How do they know they can help, if they haven’t taken the time to listen to your child’s needs?
As a parent, your heart and gut will tell you when you have found the right placement for your child. Again, the advice of a Professional (i.e. Doctor) is always beneficial, but not always the end result. Most Doctor’s are not familiar with the many residential treatments centers throughout the country, but can give you advice as to what your child’s needs are.

In some cases urgency is needed. Especially with some legal matters, however many can go into a local Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital for 2-3 days (usually insurance paid) until you can do your homework. Make the most of the 24-36 hours with your research. This can buy you time to find the most appropriate placement for your child.

When your search starts, use caution to a desperate sales person. Many Admissions Personnel are paid per enrollment. Although everyone is entitled to make a living, when it comes to your child, there should be a division.  It is more beneficial to speak with a program owner, Director or therapist at the facility.  These people are usually not sales people and want their program to succeed.  They will screen their potential students to be sure they are a fit for their program.

Parents’ Universal Resource Experts does not engage with  admissions and/or enrollments. We always encourage parents to contact the programs directly to determine if the program is appropriate for your child’s needs.  We do, however help educated you in this “big business” of teen help.

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