Someone once told me several years ago that I shouldn’t be as involved in my teen’s life and to let them make their own decisions and mistakes.
I partially agreed. You can say to most parents that letting your kids make their own mistakes is a good thing. It teaches them many valuable lessons.
However, if you have a teen with a mental illness, a debilitating disorder, or a teen who has an addiction, you should never accept that advice.
When a teen is in crisis, they have many strikes against them. Here are just two.
- Their comprehending and reasoning skills are not fully developed yet as a teen.
- They are more prone to influences that encourage them to act upon risky behavior that is harmful.
What kind of family environment did you grow up in?
I grew up in a happy, stable home environment. The town I was raised in was small and quaint. While attending the Mennonite Brethren Church with my family, my brother and I also participated in VBS, Christian Summer Camp, Youth Group, etc.
What kind of relationship did you have with God?
I accepted Jesus into my heart at age seven. I believe I knew what it meant but didn’t understand the dynamics of it. Around age eleven or so, I had many questions about God such as, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
This really affected my relationship with my “church friends” as I was “rebelling” against Mennonite culture by asking so many questions. Although others mentored and cared for me, I was already fairly lost and angry with God. My relationship with God continued this way into my young adult years.
I believed in God and wanted to believe He was good, but I never felt He loved me. The enemy also reminded me of how much I was a failure and not good enough. I know of course today that I don’t need to earn God’s love because of His mercy and grace towards me. Continue reading
Walking into the clinic, I surveyed the group of people sitting around the room. With my resume in hand, I walked up to the glass window. As I listened to the names being called behind me, the sliding of the window interrupted my train of thought. Re-focusing, I mentioned my name to the receptionist who knew why I was there and asked me to be seated.
During the next 20 minutes of waiting for the supervisor, I began to wonder what brought these patients to this packed office.
The door opened and I was requested to come to another room. This was not a regular physician’s office I had come to learn. I had stepped into the arena of a drug treatment and alcohol rehab center. As I sat down in front of Karen, she began to thank me for coming and wanted to get to the heart of the matter of what the job responsibilities would be.
Karen continued her discussion as to why the patients came to their clinic and the programs offered. In the end, the very last sentence she gave me left me speechless. Continue reading
Looking at the clock, she had at least another two hours before picking up Boo. Lovingly nicknamed Boo from the Monster’s Inc. movie, her daughter was sure a handful.
Almost an adult now, she allowed Boo to make more responsible decisions. She tried hard to teach Boo what she needed to know before she was really on her own out in the big bad world. She covered all the tough topics and even had a few crises here or there with Boo, but as time wore on, she felt Boo was making more wise choices about her life.
Looking down at the computer to finish her letter, the phone started to ring. She noticed it was Boo calling in. Most likely she wanted something or wanted to be picked up early from her friend’s house. Little did she know, it wouldn’t be her daughter on the other end of the line.
“Boo is sick and wants you to pick her up,” said her friend.
“Okay, I’ll be right there,” she said.
Not thrilled about the 25 minute drive, she got into the car and drove to the friend’s house. Tired and ready to get home after pulling into the driveway, the friend came out of the house and walked up to the car.
“You need to come inside,” she said.
Not knowing what to think, Boo’s mother went into the house where she saw the friend’s parent at the doorway. This parent was only informed that Boo was not feeling well. Encouraged to go up the steps to the friend’s bedroom, she turned the corner and immediately knew that Boo’s life was at risk. Continue reading