Teen Help: Deciding if Residential Therapy is Right for Your Teenager

Helping your teenager at any age is a priority.

Helping your teenager at any age is a priority.

We are rounding up second semester and looking at spring break.  Parents are worried as their high school student (teenager) is still failing, refusing to complete assignments and still believes that education is a farce.

On the other hand we know our child is more than capable of getting A’s and B’s yet they are barely bringing home D’s.  College?  We are praying they finish high school.

What is wrong with society? Why are kid of the notion that they can just drop out of high school and get a GED?  Years ago GED’s were frowned upon–only for those that were either adjudicated or maybe medically necessary.  Now it is too easy for these kids to just drop out.

Then we have teens that want to smoke pot on a daily basis.  You know it is legal in some states. You know their parents do it.  Really, is it that bad?  Well, as a matter of fact – it is.

Marijuana, especially when sold on the streets to our kids, is more likely to be laces with other ingredients – possibly even  heroin.   What happens then?  Do you have an addict on your hands now?  Anyway you cut this – teens shouldn’t be smoking pot.  Cigarettes?  Let’s face it – it is bad for your health, but it doesn’t alter your personalty – and there are times when a parent has to pick and choose issues.

I don’t condone cigarettes – I don’t smoke them, but I wouldn’t look for residential therapy for them either.

Back to drug use and failing academics.  If your teen is nearing 17 years old and you are watching them throw their life away, it may be time to consider residential therapy – an emotional growth program.  Once that offers academics, therapy and enrichment programs.

I don’t believe in anything punitive, primitive or harsh – this is about building a child back up again to make better choices.  Giving them that inspiration to reach into adulthood with a  passion.  Yes, there are great programs that can instill this into teens.

For more information contact www.helpyourteens.com.

Teen Help for Young Adults: Dealing with an 18 Year old Child

Helping your teenager at any age is a priority.

Helping your teenager at any age is a priority.

At this time of year, it seems we are contacted by more and more parents that have an 18 year old or a 17 year old that is almost 18. If you have been struggling with your younger teen and like many of us, keep hoping and praying it will change, take a moment to think about if it doesn’t. Don’t miss opportunities to give your child a second chance for a bright future. Whether it is local therapy, a motivational program or a Boarding School, as parents we do what is best for our kids.

“My 18 year old is out of control and I am at my wit’s end! What can I do?” Anonymous Parent.

18 – 19 year old teens can be the most difficult to address simply because they are considered adults and cannot be forced to get help. As parents, we have limited to no control. Practicing “Tough Love” is easier said than done, many parents cannot let their child reach rock bottom. As parents, we see our child suffering whether it is needing groceries or a roof over their head and it is hard to shut the door on them.

I think this is one of the most important reasons that if you are a parent of a 16-17 year old that is out-of-control, struggling, defiant, using drugs and alcohol, or other negative behavior I believe it is time to look for intervention NOW. I am not saying it needs to be a residential treatment center or a program out of the home, but at least start with local resources such as therapists that specialize with adolescents and preferable offer support groups.

It is unfortunate that in most cases the local therapy is very limited how it can help your teen. The one hour once a week or even twice, is usually not enough to make permanent changes. Furthermore getting your defiant teen to attend sessions can sometimes cause more friction and frustrations than is already happening in the home.

This is the time to consider outside help such as a Therapeutic Boarding School or a Residential Treatment Center. However these parents with the 18-19 year old teenagers may have usually missed their opportunity. They were hoping and praying that at 16 or 17 things would change, but unfortunately, if not addressed, the negative behavior usually escalates.

In the past 12+ years I have heard from thousands of parents and most are hoping to get their child through high school and will be satisfied with a GED. It is truly a sad society of today’s teens when many believe they can simply drop out of school. Starting as early as 14 years old, many teens are thinking this way and we need to be sure they know the consequences of not getting an education.

Education in today’s world should be our children’s priority however with today’s peer pressure and entitlement issues, it seems to have drifted from education to defiance being happy just having fun and not being responsible.

I think there are many parents that debate whether they should take that desperate measure of sending a child to a program and having them escorted there but in the long run you need to look at these parents that have 18-19 year olds that don’t have that opportunity.

While you have this option, and it is a major decision that needs to be handled with the utmost reality of what will happen if things don’t change. The closer they are to 18 the more serious issues can become legally. If a 17+ year old gets in trouble with the law, in many states they will be tried as an adult.

This can be scary since most of these kids are good kids making very bad choices and don’t deserve to get caught up the system. As a parent I believe it is our responsible not to be selfish and be open to sending the outside of the home. It is important not to view this as a failure as a parent, but as a responsible parent that is willing to sacrifice your personal feelings to get your child the help they need.

At 18, it is unfortunate, these kids are considered adults – and as parents we basically lose control to get them the help they need. In most cases, if they know they have no other alternatives and this is the only option the parents will support, they will attend young adult programs that can offer them life skills, emotional growth, education and more to give them a second opportunity for a bright, successful future.

Do you need help finding young adult life skills programs?  Contact us at www.helpyourteens.com.

Parent’s Universal Resource Experts www.helpyourteens.com
Sue Scheff www.suescheff.com
Wit’s End Book  www.witsendbook.com

Risky Behaviors Teens Do and Parents Need To Know About

Many teenagers think they are invincible, and are always looking for the next thrill. While the stunts that were tried 10 to 20 years ago may have seemed daring and dangerous at the time, teens today are pushing the envelope in even more dangerous new ways. Parents truly need to be aware of the risky things that some teens are doing.

  1. Planking- Kids have taken what started out being a move done for strengthening the core to a trend that was kind of cute to something downright dangerous. Planking is where you lay face down on any surface and have your picture taken. The picture is then uploaded to Facebook or some other social media site. Teens turned this fun trend into a dangerous stunt when they started planking on things like escalators, moving cars, trains and rooftops.
  2. Car surfing- Instead of surfing in the water standing on a surfboard, teens are standing on moving cars. Some start by standing on the trunk with the car moving very slowly, and in an effort to continually raise the stakes they have moved to more even more dangerous locations on the car, and now teens have been killed doing this.
  3. Smoking Smarties- According to tutorials online, the candy is crushed to a fine powder and the end of the tube is opened and the powder is puffed and inhaled like smoke. On the surface the activity is not illegal or all that harmful, but it could lead to infections and chronic coughing. The bigger concern is that this behavior could lead to more dangerous experimentation with drugs in the future.
  4. Vodka eyeballing- To avoid getting caught with alcohol on their breath, teens have started pouring vodka directly in their eyes. The alcohol is absorbed through the mucus membrane and goes directly into the blood stream. This trend has been shown to cause blindness in a worst case scenario, but at a minimum it can burn the cornea and cause scarring.
  5. Chatroulette- Chatroulette.com is a site that connects users through their web cams with people from all over the world for live chat sessions. They do have filters which allow the user to speak to only English speakers or only females. While the policy on chatroulette is against nudity and other inappropriate activities, risky behavior still happens. Sexual predators could use this medium as a way to interact and ultimately harm kids.
  6. Purple drank- Drinking this mix of jolly ranchers, cough syrup with codeine and Sprite can lead to hallucinations and is extremely toxic. Kids love to copy the next celebrity trend, and for some celebrities, this purple drink it is.
  7. Rainbow parties- A group of girls at a party will wear various shades of lipstick and perform oral sex on the same guys. At the end of the evening the genitals of the guys have many colors of lipstick, thus mimicking a rainbow.
  8. Choking game- The choking game is where kids choke each other or themselves with various things like belts or scarves, to cut off the flow of blood to their brain in order to get a high. When the choking stops the blood goes back to the brain quickly and they get a natural high. Many teens who have tried this have passed out doing it and could, and have, died of asphyxiation.
  9. Distilling hand sanitizer- By combining salt with liquid hand sanitizer the alcohol can be distilled out of it. The alcohol is very strong and some teens who have drank it have ended up in the ER with alcohol poisoning.
  10. Rummy bears- Kids and adults alike are soaking gummy bears in various alcohols, like rum or vodka. The gummy soaks up the alcohol and kids are said to be eating them at school and getting buzzed.

Knowledge is power. If adults are aware that these trends are going on in other areas of the country they will be better able to spot them in their own kids or their friends.

Source: Babysitters.net

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Do you have a troubled teen? Visit www.helpyourteens.com.

Teen Help Schools and Programs: The Internet Search and Confusion

Are you looking for residential therapy for your at-risk teenager?

Are they a good teen making bad choices?  You don’t want to place them in a school or program that has a hard-cord element, a type of teen that will actually create more negative issues.

After all, your teen is highly intelligent, was once a rising athlete, interested in sports, music or other clubs at school or even in your community.  Now they are hanging out with less than desirable peers and have become someone you don’t even recognize.

You hop on the Internet, as most 2012 parents do and start typing in all sort of key words – and before you know it – you are bombarded with all sorts of programs and schools and “sales reps” that seem to have answers – or so you think.

This is when you need to step back and understand that YES, you do need help, you do need an intervention and you do need to remove your teen from their environment enable to get them the help they need.  Let’s face it, therapy isn’t working anymore – if you can even get them to attend.

My mantra has been – learn from my mistakes when I wen through this.  Read – www.aparentstruestory.com – and you will see you need to take your time.  It is not to scare you – it is to educate you.


Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Look for programs that are not attached to “sales reps”.  You want to speak directly to an owner or director.  Someone that has a vested interest in your teen.  Someone that their reputation will be reflected on your child’s success (or lack of).  Someone who you can hold accountable through the duration of your teen’s stay.
  • Look for the ACE factor.  A=Academics – Always ask for a copy of their accreditation for education – be sure it is transferable back to where you live.  C=Clinical – Be sure the clinical staff is credentialed. E=Enrichment programs – These are critical to be sure your teen is stimulated in a positive direction to want to make better choices.  This isn’t about breaking your child down, it is about building them up.
  • Ask for parent references of parents with the same gender and age of your own teenager.  Also take it a step further.  Ask for families that are in your same geographical area.  This way maybe you will be able to meet with them and possibly even the graduate of the program you are considering.
  • Keep in mind – Short term programs – short term results.  Don’t get sucked into them.

I have many more tips and offer free parent consultation at www.HelpYourTeens.com.

Don’t reach your wit’s end and make a rash decision – made an education choice…. Be an educated parent – this a major emotional and financial decision.

Struggling Teens: When Parents Reach their Wit’s End

Raising teens today can be contentious and get your blood pressure boiling.  The lack of respect towards parents and most authority is very disturbing in today’s society.  I often say the sense of entitlement issue can be a large cause of today’s defiant teens.  Either way, parents are struggling with kids that are literally holding parents hostage in their own homes.

Here is a great guest post by Barbara Williams:

Working as a nanny can be a rewarding and fulfilling job for people who love children. However, getting along with the parents can sometimes be a challenge. The important thing to remember is, no matter how much you love the children, the parents are the boss. You need to make sure they are happy with your work because the parents are ones signing your paychecks. It might not always be obvious that you’re doing something to displease them, so here are 10 signs a parent is upset with you.

  1. Not speaking – Some parents aren’t good at communicating their displeasure so they’ll give you the silent treatment. Instead of a light banter at the end of the day they’ll only answer direct questions with short terse statements. If this starts happening you better find out if you did something wrong or if they’re just having a bad day.
  2. Exasperated sighs – Another unspoken sign a parent is upset with you is the exasperated sigh. Nannies who hear this better be on their toes. You should probably find out what the parent is unhappy about.
  3. Facial expressions – It’s important for nannies to be able to read the parent’s facial expressions. A furrowed brow or tenseness around the mouth could be a sign you did something wrong.
  4. Schedule a talk – When parents tell you they want to schedule a little talk, you may be in trouble. They may say something about having to go over a few things or the need to reevaluate your duties. Uh-oh!
  5. Send you home early – Another sign you made them unhappy is when they send you home early for no apparent reason. This could mean they are so upset they don’t even want to have you around.
  6. Day off for no reason – Getting an unscheduled day off could seem like a good thing at first, but you might want to beware. This could mean the parents are reevaluating your position. They may even be scheduling interviews with other potential nannies.
  7. Unreasonable demands – Some parents will do just the opposite and start making unreasonable demands when they’re upset with you. This could be their way of punishing you for whatever misdeeds you’ve done.
  8. Exaggerated niceness – Some parents will express their displeasure by treating you with exaggerated niceness. This forced and fake kindness that is dripping with sarcasm is a clear sign they’re upset.
  9. Kids tell you – Of course kids don’t have filters on their expressions like adults do, so they are more likely to tell you when their parents are upset and why. Nannies can often rely on the children to let something slip if there’s a problem the parents won’t tell them about.
  10. They tell you – Of course the best way to find out a parent is upset with you is for them to tell you. It’s much better for them to let you know right away if you’re doing something they don’t like so you can rectify the situation.

Everyone handles conflict differently and some people are very uncomfortable with confrontations. They’ll do anything to avoid unpleasantness. The best thing to do is have good communication between both the parents and the nannies. It’s not good to let problems fester when they can re resolved quickly and amicably. Nannies should watch for these signs that the parents are upset and work hard to resolve the situation.

Source:  Find a Babysitter

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Teen Help: Hard Decision for Better Futures for your Teenagers

Yes, your teen is making bad choices.

Yes, your teen is failing.

Yes, your teen is experimenting with drugs.

Yes, your teen is hanging out with less than desirable kids.

Yes, your teen may be having sex.

Yes, your teen is disrespectful.

Yes, your teen needs help!  They don’t need to be harmed!

If you feel you are at your wit’s end and have exhausted all your local resources – therapy isn’t working or your teen simply refuses to go, it may be time to start thinking about residential therapy.

This doesn’t mean you are a bad parent, quite the contrary, you are giving your teen a second opportunity at a bright future.

Need more information? Visit www.HelpYourTeens.com.

Ecstasy and your teen: A deadly combination

Does it start with marijuana? Advance to pills? On to needles?

There can be so many different paths your teen can take to the road to addiction, but the one path they need to realize is they don’t need to start to begin with.  Understanding the risks and dangers is the beginning of teaching prevention.

October 31st through November 6th is National Drug Facts Week.

This is an opportunity to shatter the myths about drug and substance abuse as well as become an educated parent and build a stronger drug-free community.

What is ecstasy?

“Ecstasy” is a slang term for MDMA, short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a name that’s nearly as long as the all-night parties where MDMA is often used. That’s why MDMA has been called a “club drug.” It has effects similar to those of other stimulants, and it often makes the person feel like everyone is his or her friend, even when that’s not the case.

MDMA is man-made—it doesn’t come from a plant like marijuana does. Other chemicals or substances—such as caffeine, dextromethorphan (found in some cough syrups), amphetamines, PCP, or cocaine—are sometimes added to, or substituted for, MDMA in Ecstasy tablets. Makers of MDMA can add anything they want to the drug, so its purity is always in question.

What Are the Common Street Names?

There are a lot of slang words for MDMA. “Ecstasy” is one of the most common. You might also hear “E,” “XTC,” “X,” “Adam,” “hug,” “beans,” “clarity,” “lover’s speed,” and “love drug.”

How Is It Used?

Most people who abuse MDMA take a pill, tablet, or capsule. These pills can be different colors, and sometimes have cartoon-like images on them. Some people take more than one pill at a time, called “bumping.”

How Many Teens Use It?

According to a 2010 NIDA-funded study, over the past 10 years smart young teens have turned their backs on MDMA. Since 2001, the percentage of 8th graders who have ever tried MDMA dropped from 5.2 percent in 2001 to 3.3 percent in 2010. The drop among 10th graders and 12th graders was similar. However, between 2009 and 2010, some increases were seen in the abuse of MDMA by 8th and 10th graders. For example, past-year use of MDMA increased among 10th graders from 3.7 percent in 2009 to 4.7 percent in 2010. Also, fewer 10th graders saw “great risk” in occasionally using MDMA, which means that they may not understand the health risks of using MDMA as well as they should.

Is MDMA Addictive?

Like other drugs, MDMA can be addictive for some people. That is, people continue to take the drug despite experiencing unpleasant physical side effects and other social, behavioral, and health consequences.

No one knows how many times a person can use a drug before becoming addicted or who’s most vulnerable to addiction. A person’s genes, living environment, and other factors play a role in whether they are likely to become addicted to MDMA.

Learn more – click here.

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