Programs for Troubled Youth – Family Component

Any program for troubled youth should have a strong family component.  It’s not enough to change behaviors and routines away from home.  Transferring the new skills back home is critical.

Research studies demonstrate the value of family involvement at any residential therapy program.  After all, we are preparing campers for success in the home environment.  Without family input and some training on the part of the parents, success is unlikely.  Be skeptical of any program that does little or no parental involvement.

Here is a list of what parents can do to best support your child after camp:

  • Attend the family workshop. At the workshop we learn practical skills to reinforce newly learned behaviors and skills.
  • Have your child participate in aftercare services. The aftercare service is a way to transition the relationship with clinical staff back home after camp is over.  You child will check in weekly with clinical staff to ensure things are still going well back home.
  • Be firm, supportive, but don’t nag. Nagging doesn’t work.  Setting firm boundaries does work.
  • Give your child the opportunity to succeed or fail. Success only comes after multiple failure attempts.  One failure does not mean all is lost.
  • Sign a behavioral contract and stick to it. Don’t feel bad about reinforcing negative consequences of the contract.  This was pre-determined when the contract was signed.
  • Use technology to your advantage! At the family workshop we discuss how to limit access to websites, set time limits on gaming devices, and more.  Agree with your child what is appropriate and have them implement these structures with you.
  • Replace online or screen based activities with other fun activities.  Getting your child involved in a sport or hobby is one of the best ways to produce lifestyle change.

We have a lot of fun at the family workshops.  We role play different situations, and discuss problem areas families typically encounter with excessive screen time activities.  Any program for troubled teens should have high levels of family involvement, and we are very proud of our workshop and aftercare services we provide.  Attendance at the workshop is very important and we hope to see you there.

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