For anyone who hasn’t temporarily lost a troubled child to drugs, criminal activity, or other dangerous behaviors, it’s truly difficult to know what to say to a parent going through this challenge. However, as someone who has seen the change that can occur when your kid gets help from the right treatment therapy, the value is incomparable.
Seeing my children’s lives turn away from a lifestyle that would almost surely result in their premature death was nothing short of a miracle. My advice is always “Get them help now!” But what about when therapy is not enough?
Help for Parents With At-risk Teens
Therapy can and usually does help most people, but only if they are mentally prepared and wanting to change. When a patient is in a treatment program unwillingly, the difficulty factor rises considerably. Fortunately, many of the programs for at-risk youth understand this and use the group/family setting to apply positive peer pressure, as well as one-on-one counseling to get to core issues that have arrested the child’s development. However, it is never a simple or quick fix.
Modifying behavior must start at the heart and soul of the person, something many young people have a difficult time comprehending.
So what’s a parent to do when therapies fail for their child? Since we can’t give up on them, we keep trying. Keep searching, talk to other parents, join support groups, try different tactics at home. Ultimately the responsibility lies with the child, and through their teenage years, it is a parent’s role to protect and provide as best they can.
Even though it’s scary to try, sometimes we just have to let our kids fail. Hitting rock bottom might be the only thing that will give them the inner desire to change and begin healing.