Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Summer Teen Help Programs

Summer is almost here and parents are searching for summer programs to help their struggling teens.  Many hope that a good summer programs will make a difference in their negative behavior.

Today parents will complain about the following issues with their teenagers:

  • Underachieving.  Capable of getting A's yet satisfied with C's and D's.
  • Dropping out of their favorite sport or activity.
  • Smoking pot -- occasionally - though parents may blame it on the friends, please keep in mind, it is your child making the decision to inhale that joint or pop that pill.  
  • Drinking - again, it may be the friends you want to blame, but are they holding the bottle to your teen's mouth?
  • Sneaking out of the house
  • Defiance, lying, stealing
  • Maybe they have changed their peer group this year?
Let's face it, with a combination of any of these above, you could be traveling down a negative path.

Chances are very good a short-term summer program will not address a long term solution, however many parents need to give it a try.  It is better than not doing anything.

It can irritate me when I see parents get sucked into these very expensive Wilderness programs that give tell you they can turn your child around in 4-9 weeks.  Really?

I think if you interview most of the families that have dug deep  into their wallets and spent that $15K-20K on a Wilderness program (which is likely to have zero academics to get your child caught up), you will find that at about the 4 week point, the program is already prepping the family for the "next step" of a Therapeutic Boarding School or Residential Treatment Center (another $50K step).

Or if the family truly cannot afford, which I have spoken to many of them too, since they have spent their  last dime on this summer last ditch hope, they soon find that within 3-6 weeks after Wilderness, their  child is back to their old ways.  

What is the answer?  It depends on the child, but in most situations it is finding the right placement the first time around.  Not starting at one place - and "breaking him down" (aren't they already broken?) and breaking your wallet too, and then going to yet another to break your wallet again.

Most quality and qualified programs are designed to treat teens that come in with the anger and defiance.  There are excellent 6-8-10 month programs that can offer a complete package of academic's, emotional growth (clinical) and enrichment programs (which are so important to help stimulate your teen in a positive direction).

It is my opinion, and after almost thirteen years of watching parents and families in this big business of "teen help" get screwed (sorry for the slang) but until you walk my shoes and have taken the time to learn about what goes on behind the scenes - the word just about seems appropriate.

I firmly believe in getting our kids help, as a matter of fact, it is our responsibility as a parent to do that.  We also have to do our due diligent.

Google is not God -- the Internet has some very disturbing sites - and disgruntled kids, parents, employers. Yes, I was one of them, but I also have a lot of substantial legal facts behind my case.  I don't sit and rant.  As a matter of fact, I don't want to discuss it - I want to continue to educate parents about how they can find the best program for their child's needs.

I offer many great tips, questions to ask schools and programs and resources.  Visit www.helpyourteens.com.

If you are looking for a summer program, there are many out there.  Do your due diligence, it will be worth it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Crumpled: Your Words Matter

The power of a word is underestimated.

This is why we, as a society, have to take online harassment seriously.

Bullying doesn't discriminate. No one is immune to cyberbullying.

From schools to workplaces to playing fields to cyberspace -- at any age, you can become a victim of vicious keystrokes and harsh words.

Crumpled is the name of a video created by a group of students that are on a mission to Delete Negativity on Social Media with the #iCANHELP Campaign. The video speaks for itself, the message is powerful and one you need to pass on to others.

These students call themselves The Positive Warriors! It started when someone created a fake Facebook page to make fun of a teacher at their school. Instead of retaliating with cruelty, they decided to come back with kindness by spreading positive messages throughout social media and their school.

This crusade has spread through 100 schools in their state of California. Their goal is to go national.

Will it start with you? Talk to your school about it today.

Join #iCANHELP on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
The movement can start with you locally!

To crumple or uncrumple, the choice is yours...

Words matter, keystrokes counts, use them with care.