Tips for Parents
We understand that when parents are exploring teen treatment options, there is a lot to consider and it can feel overwhelming. It’s very common that when parents reach out to us, they aren’t sure if their teen has a mental health, behavioral health, and/or substance abuse issue, but their concern leads them to begin asking questions looking for help. We understand there are many questions and concerns for parents during this time, and are happy to speak with you by phone, to discuss the nature of your teen’s current issues and to help discern what kind of support your teen might need. Beyond anything else, we’re committed to helping teens and families get the help they need, whether that be at Paradigm Treatment Centers or somewhere else. We are here and ready to help in any way we can.
You may reach us at 855-780-8336 every day of the year, 24 hours a day.
If you believe your child or another young person may be in need of professional help, we offer the following tips for you to consider.
Listen to your instincts.
There’s probably a reason you’re concerned about this young person and/or fear he or she might need help for a mental health and/or substance abuse condition. We encourage people to listen to their instincts and follow through. If you reach out and end up being wrong, there is no harm done and it only shows you care.
Be sensitive to timing.
When talking to a teen, make sure it’s a private, safe environment where you can talk freely and where teens won’t feel exposed and/or a need to defend themselves, in front of others.
Be honest and open.
Don’t be afraid to speak openly and honestly about your concerns. Sometimes trying to “beat around the bush” or mask motives can only confuse things.
Express your observations, not judgments.
Approach the young person by sharing your own observations, and avoid sharing judgments or anything that involves others’ opinions.
Express Your Feelings.
Share openly what you’re feeling, whether it be fear, anger, concern, confusion, or frustration. By expressing your feelings honestly, it makes it easier for your teen to hear what you’re saying and not react defensively.
The earlier you get help, the better. Early intervention and treatment of mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders is one of the most powerful factors in recovery and healing. This not only ensures the young person’s safety but will also help to limit the effects and behaviors which develop. The more time that passes, the more vulnerable the teens become to the struggles they’re experiencing.
If you’re concerned about a loved one, tell someone else, whether it’s a friend, family member, teacher, spouse, mentor, or someone at Paradigm Treatment Centers. While we understand opening up and talking about mental health and addiction can be scary, experience has taught us that secrets can be dangerous and even deadly.
Do Your Research.
Spend time learning about the treatment options available for your teen, especially regarding specific issues which may be important for them. Once you speak with your teen, he or she may have concerns or defensiveness about entering treatment, so if you have knowledge about what it will be like, it will greatly help to answer their questions and alleviate unnecessary fears. If you’re interested, contact us directly and we are more than happy to send you some basic treatment materials that can help to reduce teens’ anxiety about the unknowns of treatment, and can also providing a starting point for conversations with your teen.
Sometimes, helping someone you love may take more than one effort. Don’t give up. Facing these challenges and changing behaviors is deep, difficult work but is absolutely possible. If the first effort isn’t successful, another strategy may be necessary. If you need help finding a new treatment provider or option, contact us. We’re happy to help connect you with interventionists and/or professionals in your area who can provide you with support and information you need.
Ask For Help.
Now is the time to ask for help. Ask questions. Talk with others. Don’t attempt this alone. If you need help with anything, feel free to call us – that is what we’re here for. We’ve devoted our lives and careers to helping young people at times like this, because we’re dedicated to helping families through these challenges.