Are they a good teen making bad choices? You don't want to place them in a school or program that has a hard-cord element, a type of teen that will actually create more negative issues.
After all, your teen is highly intelligent, was once a rising athlete, interested in sports, music or other clubs at school or even in your community. Now they are hanging out with less than desirable peers and have become someone you don't even recognize.
You hop on the Internet, as most 2012 parents do and start typing in all sort of key words - and before you know it - you are bombarded with all sorts of programs and schools and "sales reps" that seem to have answers - or so you think.
This is when you need to step back and understand that YES, you do need help, you do need an intervention and you do need to remove your teen from their environment enable to get them the help they need. Let's face it, therapy isn't working anymore - if you can even get them to attend.
My mantra has been - learn from my mistakes when I wen through this. Read - www.aparentstruestory.com - and you will see you need to take your time. It is not to scare you - it is to educate you.
Here are a few tips to remember:
- Look for programs that are not attached to "sales reps". You want to speak directly to an owner or director. Someone that has a vested interest in your teen. Someone that their reputation will be reflected on your child's success (or lack of). Someone who you can hold accountable through the duration of your teen's stay.
- Look for the ACE factor. A=Academics - Always ask for a copy of their accreditation for education - be sure it is transferable back to where you live. C=Clinical - Be sure the clinical staff is credentialed. E=Enrichment programs - These are critical to be sure your teen is stimulated in a positive direction to want to make better choices. This isn't about breaking your child down, it is about building them up.
- Ask for parent references of parents with the same gender and age of your own teenager. Also take it a step further. Ask for families that are in your same geographical area. This way maybe you will be able to meet with them and possibly even the graduate of the program you are considering.
- Keep in mind - Short term programs - short term results. Don't get sucked into them.
Don't reach your wit's end and make a rash decision - made an education choice.... Be an educated parent - this a major emotional and financial decision.