I am in need of some serious advice. I have just bought your book and am through about 5 of the 10 commandments of raising a teen. I truly, truly wish I would have had your book a long time ago.
I am the parent of two teens, one 17 and one 15 and until your book I honestly thought I was the craziest person alive! Thank you for showing me that I'm not. Anyway, I had my oldest son Ryan sent to a specialized behavior modification school in July. I just didn't know where to turn with his behavior, i.e., undisclosed drug use (drug paraphanalia in his room), sneaking out, truancy and huge--HUGE--fights with his stepfather. There are holes in every door upstairs. I had these problems for Ryan for a few years, so I truly felt that my back was to a wall.
I am having some similar problems with my 15 year old boy Daniel as well. The same sort of stuff without the tantrums so much. So now, let me get to the point as I am sure you don't have all day. Did I make a mistake sending my son to this behavior modification school? Was this the total wrong thing to do? With your book and finding a decent counselor I feel that I may have some hope. I am so confused. Every time I tried to reach out to the community or the schools to help me, I felt even more lost. I feel as I read your book that my sons could use a counselor such as yourself, (that we as a family could use a counselor such as yourself).
What are your thoughts on these schools that I have sent my son to-- Big mistake or big help? And one other thing, do you have any recommendations of counselors for my type situation in the San Antonio area? I and my husband are miltary so any place that accepts Tricare would be ideal but not mandatory. I just really need a counselor that....well....is like you. Do you live in the San Antonio area?
Thank you for listening to me.
I would not use the behavior mod schools (I assume that you're talking about a residential treatment program?) until you've exhausted the counseling/family therapy route. But as a last resort to gain control over an at-risk teen, they do serve a purpose to stabilize behaviors in order to allow the counseling to be effective. If your present counselor seems good then stick with her/him since that is the best way to heal the pain that your kids exhibit. Be sure to ask about the possibility of bi-polar disorder especially if that runs in your family genetics.
I appreciate your confidence in me but the fact is that there most certainly must be therapists in San Antonio who are at least as able as I am, and your present helper may indeed be one of them.
Dr. Mike Bradley
Good Morning Again,
Thank you for the advice; however, my problem is is that I have already sent my 17 year old to a program in South Carolina. He has been there about 90 or so days. I am not sure that he has gained anything from it as yet. I am told these things take time. I am just now having serious doubts about having sent him there in the first place and am wondering...will I now confuse the heck out of him if I pull him from the program? Or will it just prove to him that I am not consistent with him and basically make the situation worse.
My son was out of control, but then again, so was I. Meaning that everything in your book that says how parents react badly, I did...(along with his stepfather). I am willing to work hard to make a family with my children, but we do not have a therapist. I need to find one that you may recommend, (if you can). I tried taking Ryan to a therapist at one time and he ended up just telling me how to dole out punishments. I wasn't looking for that at all. I wanted Ryan to have someone to talk to that wasn't me and it didn't work out. Unfortunately, I just kind of gave up and figured Ryan would "grow" out of it. As you can imagine, life became way worse. By the way, I have thought that Ryan might be experiencing Bi-Polar symptoms but figured I was just being paranoid.
I now have his 15 year old brother doing some of the same sorts of things. Smoking weed, sneaking out, failing school dismally and basically being disrespectful. I want to follow the advice in your book, find a therapist and make my family whole again, but I just need some additional guidance. If there is any assistance you can give me, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a wonderful day and thank you for the book you wrote.
It's likely best to let your older son complete his program unless you have concerns that he is being treated poorly. With your second child work hard to find that special therapist with whom your kid connects in order to not have to face that agonizing decision of sending your child away.
Dr. Mike Bradley