residential treatment

When Does My Kid Need Long-Term Residential Treatment?

When we feel overwhelmed with our troubled teenagers, we might not know where to turn. Some of us have tried nearly everything—therapy, support groups, psychiatrists, juvenile justice counselors, case management, family therapy, parent coaching, and school support—yet our teenager is not responding. Once our kids are 18, they can legally be out on their own, and we may have a more challenging time getting them into treatment for their behavioral issues.

When Is It Too Much?

Understanding our limits can help us determine the next right steps for our teenagers. Some parents could have support from a parenting partner or other family members. Perhaps, they have someone in their lives to give them a break to refresh and focus on self-care while the other person takes over for a bit. 

Other parents might have very little support. Some parents are raising their children outside of their hometowns and have no family nearby to rely on. Others might be single parents or have other kids that are not getting as much attention due to their parents running, acting more like a case manager than a mom or dad.

When our child’s behavioral issues are out of control and we are barely keeping our lives together, long-term residential treatment may be the next right step. However, even if we can manage our own lives with some support from others, we could potentially need to try something different if our teenager is making little or no progress during multiple therapeutic interventions. 

Benefits of Long-Term Treatment

Kids do not develop these problematic issues overnight. Maladaptive behaviors, like addiction, self-harm, promiscuity, excessive gaming, and others, take time and repetition before becoming habitual. We cannot expect healing and recovery to occur overnight either. Long-term treatment of a month or even longer can help kids stay accountable to a healthy routine to build new habits. Kids will have structure, accountability, and support during a stay at a facility like Fire Mountain Residential Treatment Center in the Colorado Rockies.

  • Structure
    • The environment of a long-term treatment center is built upon routines and consistent expectations.
    • While short-term facilities also have routines, kids will need much longer than just a few days or weeks to form habits.
    • Teenagers with problematic behavioral issues might experience inconsistency at home due to us as parents needing to balance everything in our lives.
    • As parents, we might experience burnout managing crisis after crisis. We could struggle to balance all other areas of our lives while helping our teens.
    • Long-term treatment centers maintain consistent expectations according to plans, as staff take turns on shift to avoid the emotional fatigue that leads to parents struggling to remain consistent.
  • Accountability
    • Holding our kids accountable for their behavior can be a challenge at home.
    • We need to work, maintain other relationships, pursue our self-care, and engage in other activities outside of managing our kid’s behavioral issues. Our kids cannot be under our watch 24 hours a day. 
    • While staying within a facility, teens can easily be held accountable for their behavior.
    • Many facilities have strict guidelines, like drug and alcohol testing, that can keep kids accountable for their recovery goals.
    • While in the facility, outside influences and accessibility to maladaptive coping mechanisms are nearly non-existent.
    • Staff is available and on-shift at all times, which is challenging for us at home. After all, we need to sleep and go to work!
  • Support
    • Teens engaging in problematic behaviors might feel all alone in their struggles. 
    • They are likely dealing with underlying trauma, depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.
    • When kids enter a facility with other teens who struggle, they can find peers in recovery.
    • During a stay at a facility, staff and peer support is readily available when things get challenging or when a teen is dealing with triggers.
    • Parents of teens who struggle can also find support with one another during parenting workshops and weekend seminars.

Getting Our Kids Back

One of the most significant challenges of having a teen who struggles is feeling like we are no longer parents. Instead, we may feel like we are case managers or counselors. We did not expect to be taking our kids from one appointment to the next, following behavioral plans, managing crisis after crisis, talking with police or school discipline officers, and other things.

When things feel out of control, both our kids and ourselves can benefit from long-term treatment care. As our child is away, we can take time to heal and get our lives back in order so that when our kid returns, we can have a loving relationship with our kids that we have longed to get back.

As parents, we could feel overwhelmed when we have a child who struggles. We can get rundown and burnout when a child is home engaging in problematic behaviors. We might have our kid in therapy and other forms of treatment yet still feel like there is little progress. Our kids could potentially refuse these treatments, which can only compound the issues and make us feel hopeless. When we just want to get our kids back, we might need to send our kids to a long-term facility to help them heal from their underlying issues. If you feel like you are more of a case manager than a parent, your child might benefit from residential treatment. Fire Mountain Residential Treatment Center of Estes Park, Colorado, is here for kids who struggle and their parents. Call us today at (303) 443-3343 to learn more about our long-term residential care, including academic curriculum and mental health treatment. We’ve got your back and want to help you get your kid back! 

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