Monday, February 4, 2013

Denial = Not my child

You are the adult, and you know that you are smarter than your teen. You have been there, and been "through it" so you know you will have the upper hand when the time is right. "He's too young to be experimenting with that." and, "My kids aren't like those other kids." "My kid doesn't do _______, we have always talked about staying away from __________ in our family!"

As adults, we have more things on our minds than our teens do. We have jobs, our car maintenance, get the dog to the vet, grocery shopping, clean house, etc... and that's just this morning. Your teen has one thing on his mind, and that is to push the limits you set, and get away with it. All the while making you look crazy in the process. Picture the look on your teens face... (wide eyed, you are cray cray!, who me?) while they lash out at you in every way, shape, form imaginable to tell you that you are SO messed up in thinking that way.

Their grades have fallen, their attitude is arrogant, and (s)he takes a "know-it-all" tone with everyone they come in contact with, including teachers and authority figures. They seem to have lost their motivation, for everything except their friends and social networking. They stay up late, ignoring any curfew you set, you are never quite sure when they went to bed. They sleep in late. You suspect they may have been sneaking out at night. You suspect they've been drinking, or worse. Are their eyes dilated? Are they acting funny??? You suspect you are going cray cray...

 Selections taken from Will Wooten's book, "Bring Your Teen Back From the Brink";
Parental denial of the problem is a very powerful tool that kids use to their advantage. You think this is a problem that will just go away because you tell them to stop. Somehow things just keep getting worse. Navigating normal teen behavior is challenging enough. Throw alcohol or drugs into the mix and you have a toxic combination that compounds the turmoil. Left unaddressed, it will leave your family in crisis for years to come.
If you suspect trouble with your teen that involves substance and/or alcohol abuse, the first thing you must do is stop living in denial. If you are doubtful, there is a strong possibility you have a reason to be suspicious. Listen to your gut (heart) on this, and take action before your teen can travel any further down this destructive path. Talk to a substance abuse counselor. Buy a book and get some concrete answers. Will's book is a great place to start. Buy it today and start finding some answers to the dark doubts that are swirling around in your head. You will absolutely not want to wait until tomorrow, to see what your teen will be up to next. I can guarantee one thing: it will not be pretty.

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