Truancy, experimentation with alcohol or drugs, bullying, uncontrolled rage, gang affiliation, violence, criminal behavior and more — these are all signs that your teen has seriously rebelled and is headed down a difficult path if you do not seek immediate help. However, all is not lost, and your rebellious teen can change with the help of residential treatment.
Proactive Steps for Parents
You are not completely helpless or without resources as you confront your teen’s rebellion. The following tips can help you deal with your teen and confront their behavior.
- Review your discipline style. Consider that discipline is training, not a negative action against your child.
- Establish boundaries. Let’s face it — teens need boundaries for their own safety. Make sure that the rules are clear.
- Maintain consistency. Enforce the rules as needed so that your teen understands that you mean business.
- Stay engaged. Don’t ignore infractions.
The Next Steps
However, you might implement all these steps and more to no avail. Your teen continues in rebellion, jeopardizing his or her own safety and the welfare of others. In these cases, you will need to take serious steps in order to prevent further damage.
You will need to continue to exercise your authority and enforce a consequence so that your teen understands the gravity of the situation. When curfews, restrictions, loss of privileges and more all fail, your teen might need the intervention that comes from a residential treatment program.
Considerations when Sending Your Teen to Residential Treatment
A residential treatment program addresses numerous issues, including substance abuse, mental health problems, academic deficiencies and a myriad of behavioral challenges. These programs often motivate young people to change without the restrictions of hospitalization or incarceration. However, the federal government does not provide oversight for therapeutic facilities or for boot camps for teens, so you will need to exercise due diligence before enrolling your teen in a program. Ask lots of questions and follow your instincts to make sure the program is right for your child. In addition, review the facilities website. Once you have narrowed down your site choices, visit each location in person if possible. You will have a much better feel for how the facility operates. Ask the following questions:
- Is the residential treatment program licensed by the state? What specific licenses do they have?
- Do they have any complaints or negative reports against them? What steps have they taken to correct these deficiencies?
- What type of academic curriculum do they offer? Are classes online, or do they have teachers on site? What credentials do the teachers have?
- Will school credits transfer? Is the school accredited?
- What credentials do other staff members hold, especially those at the highest levels of authority? Do these individuals pursue continuing education?
- Is the treatment portion and the mental health component of the program certified? By what agency?
- How do they screen students for admission into the program?
- What are the policies regarding individual and group therapy?
- How does the facility handle medical emergencies? How do they handle serious discipline infractions?
- What are the policies regarding contact with your teen while he or she is in the facility?
- How do they handle insurance and payments? What if your child needs to withdraw?
- What about aftercare?
Once you have made the decision to send your child to treatment, take some time to educate yourself. Your teen will needs the best possible care during this difficult time.