Supporting Children in Residential Treatment Centers

When parents decide that the best answer for their children is to receive the services of a residential treatment center, they likely receive mixed reactions. Some of the teenagers may breathe a sigh of relief because they know that they desperately need help or because they are tired of facing the same trying circumstances day after day. However, others will prove resistant and will verbally refuse to attend the treatment center. Parents want to let their children know that they are still supporting them. One way to accomplish this goal is to avoid making the facility sound like punishment. Parents should present the Lava Heights Academy Residential Treatment Center as a place where they are going to receive help.

They should also take their children to the center and help them to settle in. While staying around for too long can foster a counterproductive sense of dependence, parents can help their teenagers move into the facility. They may meet some of the doctors or counselors who are involved in the treatment programs, and they may take a tour of the facility together. Parents should reminder their children that once their treatment program is over, they will take them back home. They do not want their children to think that this situation is permanent. Parents should also ask the staff if they are allowed to visit at all and how frequently they are allowed to maintain contact with their children.

Parents should work to maintain their relationship with their children while they are in the treatment facility. They want to provide them with support and encouragement and let them know that they are there to help guide them. They should also give them space too, however. The teenagers in this treatment facility need the time to meet with their counselors, participate in activities, and meet with other people facing the same obstacles. The teenagers are not going to have their parents or support system around 100 percent of the time, so they do need to learn how to navigate through these difficult situations and how to make the right choices when they come to a decision.