When struggling with a troubled teen and finding all your local resources aren’t able to help them, your family may come to the decision to send your teen away to a residential treatment center so your teen can receive the intensive help they need.
A difficult side-effect of choosing residential treatment for your teenage is explaining to those who don’t understand your family’s decision. We have helped many parents explain to family and friends why they sent their teen away for treatment and have created a resource for you to reference when you need to explain your decision.
Explaining Residential Treatment Centers
Explaining what a residential treatment center is and what they do is likely the first thing you will need to explain. As there are many resources for troubled teens such as wilderness programs, residential treatment centers, boot camps, and more, many people are unaware of the difference between the programs.
The simplest way to define a residential treatment center is that it is a long-term therapeutic solution for teens struggling with a variety of problems. At these centers, teens can receive therapy, academic assistance, and are taught healthy ways to cope with their problems.
Overcoming Questions Concerning Your Parenting
Unfortunately, many of the questions parents face concern their ability as parents. While you have no obligation to answer any probing questions, there are some graceful ways to overcome questions concerning your parenting.
- “Did you try therapy first?” – It is incredibly unlikely that your family would go from no local intervention to sending your teen away, which makes this question ridiculous. However, many parents are commonly asked it by well-meaning friends and family. You don’t need to detail how much time your teen spent in therapy, but simply respond that your family has tried therapy and found that your teen needed more intensive therapeutic help.
- “Have you tried setting strict rules?” – You likely tried to provide your teen with greater structure as they spiraled out-of-control. The personal rules of your family are no one’s business, so you can simply respond that there was outside influence you could not control (ie- when your teen would be at school) with just family rules.
- “Why didn’t you just send [teen name] to family?” – Many times, relatives ask this question as some have the idea that all a teen needs is family help to become happy and successful. A good response to this is to say your teen needed help in several facets of their life and required professional help that family members could not provide.
- “Are you sure it’s safe to send [teen name] away?” – The best response to this is to say your family has done their homework on the residential treatment center and are comfortable with the choice.
It can be difficult to make the decision to send your troubled teen away to a residential treatment center. You shouldn’t have to struggle with explaining your family’s decision to those not involved in the decision.