Being a mother is a unique challenge. We give up next to everything in order to create, raise, support, and nurture children. We sacrifice to give them what they want and need, always putting them first. Our hearts grow and stretch, reaching around our children and expanding as they grow and experience new things. We ache when they ache, soar when they soar, bleed as they bleed. Being a mother is thankless, it’s true, but it’s also the most rewarding and wonderful calling on earth.
Motherhood is a 24/7 challenge with even the best of kids. But when you approach those teenage years the motherhood challenge intensifies. Suddenly that tiny child you raised and loved and gave everything for – that tiny child is practically an adult and he or she may not be particularly grateful for all you do and have done. Teenagers are tricky at best, and the difficulty can raise exponentially if you are dealing with a troubled teen.
A troubled teen can mean many things – drugs, sex, defiance, crime, mental/emotional disorders, anger, violence, or other problems. Each are dangerous in their own way and can be devastating to your teens future. Incarceration, permanent records, unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, violence and injury, anxiety, depression, and even suicide are some serious consequences that can threaten your child’s bright future if troubles go unresolved or untreated.
Your mom heart knows this. Your mom heart is concerned and broken for your troubled teen. But what can you do? You’ve tried talking, loving, supporting, treating. As a mother you cannot, will not, give up. It can feel hopeless, though, when you’ve exhausted all the immediate resources available to you. Does it make you a bad mom to turn to a residential treatment center? Are you quitting? Abandoning your child? Choosing convenience over conflict?
In fact, sending your troubled teen to a residential treatment center is one of the most selfless and loving things a mother can do when it is necessary. Coming to terms with your teen’s situation and the necessity of the choice is a painful and heartbreaking process, but the results are that your troubled teen will get the help that he or she needs to ensure a healthy, happy future.
Don’t listen to the nagging mom guilt that you’re “sending your child away” or giving up. Don’t hesitate because of the stigma or even the financial burden, because a good residential treatment program is more accessible and affordable than you may realize. Don’t wait. Trust your mom gut and get your troubled teen the help they desperately need, but that only you, a loving and caring mother, can choose for them.