"How long do we wait for therapy and medications to kick in."
"What will my extended family think?"
"Is MY child THAT bad?"
The biggest hurdle for a parent or guardian to get over is the question of WHEN
to make the choice to send a child to a program or specialty school. The answer
is sometimes clearer than they want to acknowledge.
When parents feel that they are at a Crossroads with their child and the family's
future. Things are NOT getting better. School issues, beginnings of legal problems,
choices being made with unacceptable possible outcomes, disrespect, lies, physical
altercations are just some of the issues that are at hand. Consequences, punishment
and counseling do not make a difference to your child. You cannot "Fix" the problem
yourself but the chaos brought into the home cannot continue. The child's behaviors
are affecting the whole family dynamic and tearing the very framework that you
have worked so hard to create.
Parents have choices:
INTERVENE by removing the child from the situation into a structured behavioral program
or specialty school. Usually the most successful option. Long-term treatment
allows for the internalization of the changes in attitude and behavior.
Let the child experience life and ride out the situations at hand - hope he survives
with out major bodily harm or lifetime emotional scars. The child may fly through adolescence and one day just make a life changing
decision to make better choices. Or he may not make it to that point without irreversible
Get therapy and family counseling - see how that goes, wait and see. Possible
short term mental health or drug treatment. This option is usually not long enough to make any long lasting changes in
the childs attitude or behaviors. The child manipulates the professionals and
it becomes an expensive "Dance of Perception" between the therapist and the child.
Get police involved, possible foster care or state placement. This option often places the child with harder, more experienced adolescents
in the area.