Believe it or not, yes they do! In Florida, at the age of 16 your teen can sign themselves out of school – of course they need your consent, however if you don’t, truancy charges will linger.
Now what? Virtual school? Homeschooling? GED? Who would have thought – generations prior graduating high school was never an option. Today is a new world.
Let’s compound this and you suspect or know your teen is using drugs, drinking and seriously mom, it’s no big deal?! Really?
Now they develop an attitude of defiance, start sneaking out, completely disrespectful to your home and your boundaries…..
You find this is getting out-of-control and you realize that you have a limited time to get them help since at the age of 18 you no longer have control.
After exhausting all your local resources, therapy, outpatient programs, support groups – and some even send their teen to a relatives to live, you soon realize you need to take that big step – residential therapy.
You jump online after the sticker shock you find all these disturbing websites about all these so-called teen help programs, you find former students, disgruntled parents (which I was one at one time), as well as enough negative information you stop in your tracks.
I get it – I have been there -I fell for the fraud online – I won a major jury trial proving our experiences were true – even with our horrific experiences, I still believe parents need options.
Some of the wealthier ones will hire an Educational Consultant, believing they are safe with these professionals. Well, chances are good – you are safe, but are you being spun in the EC Shuffle? Yes, that is a name some of us call it – they seem to have a cookie-cutter program design – Most clients start in Wilderness (and I can name the top 3 most EC’s give out) then they go on to a longer term program.
Hmmm…. why not start and finish at the same place? Why not find a solid 6-9-12 month program that offers consistency?
Most EC’s or programs associated with Wilderness Programs will tell you that the time in the wilderness will break your child down? Really, I am sure it will – but isn’t our teen already broken if we are seeking this help? Isn’t it time to start working towards building them back up by working through their issues?
My best advice to parents is to know this decision to find residential therapy is one of the most difficult many parents need to make. You should take it lightly or make the decision when you are in crisis. If you see the road getting bumpy – do your homework early – so when that urgency hits, you are ready.
Also know this is not about “shipping off” your teen – it is about giving them a second opportunity at a bright future – after all, if you let things continue to escalate – what will be the ending?
My next post will have some hints to finding safe and quality programs. My experiences and sound opinions – they may be criticized by some – but at the end of the day, I am a parent that has been right where you are, at your wit’s end.
For more information visit www.helpyourteens.com and checkout the hints and tips there!
Need to learn more about transport services (yes, another step you will hear about) – click here.