Do you expect yourself to have all the answers when your kid is struggling? Do you feel pressured to know exactly what to do “in the moment” when a crisis occurs? Do you fear losing your parental authority by admitting, “I’m not sure what to do right now?”
Many parents struggle with these thoughts when a crisis occurs. They might believe that they should have all the answers right away, or else their kids will not respect them. However, parents of kids who struggle with challenging behaviors or problematic issues, like substance use or mental illness, might feel constantly treading water. They might feel lost, confused, and worried about their child’s future. Fire Mountain’s co-founder, Aaron Huey, often speaks about the importance of what he calls “resourcing” during his parent coaching calls.
Know That You Are Not Alone
Other parents can be your peers in this struggle to get your kid on the right path. When seeing kids engage in self-destructive behaviors, acting out, getting into trouble with the law, or attempting suicide can make us feel like we did something wrong as parents. We might feel like we are not good enough or suitable for the task. Kids today face a tremendous amount of challenges and are confronted with temptations daily. Just because we do not have all the answers does not mean that we failed them as parents. We can choose how to respond to the current crisis, which will define us as parents.
What Does “Resourcing” Mean?
Resourcing means seeking help, guidance, support, advice, or assistance from other sources. We can find answers to help our kids through many different places, like:
- Support Groups
- Professionals; doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists
- Neighbors or friends
- Credible online information
- Podcasts with the experts
Talking to other parents and finding information on how to respond to a crisis can help you find solutions for interactions with your troubled child.
Letting Go of Shame
One of the biggest influences on a person’s reluctance to “resource” is the feeling of shame. Shame is a negative emotion that many people experience from time to time. Feeling shame is natural when we feel exposed or that we failed in some way. When a parent has a child struggling with addiction, mental health issues, or even law enforcement, they may feel like they failed as a parent. They might deny or underplay the problems at home for fear of being judged by others.
The fear of being judged by others can be a block to getting the help that many people need. The truth about shame is that we can only conquer shame by admitting there is an issue or a crisis at home. Once we acknowledge that we are dealing with problems that we do not understand, we can connect with others and realize that we are not alone. However, if we continue to deny the issues going on or continue to underplay their severity, things will only worsen.
Keep the Eyes on the Prize
By focusing on the future and building a healthy home for our kids, we can look past our feelings of shame as just one obstacle on the road to recovery. What future do we imagine for our kids? What adverse outcomes are we hoping that they avoid? When we allow shame to overcome us, we are not moving forward. To let go of shame, keep your eyes on the prize and the bigger picture. Our child’s success, growth, and health depend on us getting the help that they deserve.
Resourcing: Where to Begin
Looking for help can be challenging, in part due to shame. We can accept that we need to overcome shame to build a bright future. However, going out to a support group or divulging information to others about our home life and children’s behaviors might be too big of a step right away. Start by researching information online, in the library, or at a bookstore. Many people find relief to shame by finding out more about the behaviors going on. They might be surprised to learn that they are not alone. If going to another person directly or a support group for guidance seems too overwhelming, begin by researching information about the issues.
Ultimately, resourcing can help us find both solutions and support for the challenges that are facing our family. By researching information on your own, you might realize that there are many parents out there with similar issues. You are not alone–there is help for you and your kids!
Resourcing information through multiple sources can help you find the best solutions for your child’s current crisis. As parents, we want what is best for our kids. We might not know where to start, or we might feel ashamed about the issues going on at home. Self-blame, guilt, or feelings of failure as parents are natural and part of the process. You can overcome shame by researching more information online or in books. Once you see that other people have struggled–and found success–you might be more willing to seek resources from person-to-person places, like support groups, professionals, or other parents. As parents of kids with problematic behaviors, we also need support to get through our family’s current crisis. If your child is struggling and you also need support, Fire Mountain Residential Treatment Center is here for you. We help not only kids with our residential program but offer coaching and workshops for parents. Call us today at (303) 443-3343.