Every other day, I have been tracking the news story of Elizabeth Thomas, the young teen who was kidnapped by her teacher Tad Cummins from Tennessee.
Parents across the country are shocked that this could have happened. The term “grooming” is a word often used when an adult figure manipulates, deceives, and earns the trust of the victim through various forms of coercion.
Sadly, more and more authority figures are “grooming” young teens at their most vulnerable times. It can happen in schools, churches, and sports teams. Many have questioned or made statements about Elizabeth Thomas such as, “She chose to be with him,” or “She can run away.” However, they do not understand the psychological control this teacher has over her that started a long time ago under the guise of a teacher mentoring a student in school.
Teens don’t just jump into a relationship with someone older. There are many factors when combined set the perfect stage for the grooming of the victim.
So what types of teens are targeted for grooming? Continue reading
How many times do you think you should have been fired from your job as a parent? Your teen is out of control, getting in trouble or having a meltdown. You step in to pull it back together but find yourself making things worse. Maybe you added to their problems. Maybe you gave the wrong guidance. Maybe you weren’t there when they needed you the most.
We can beat ourselves up over and over and be left with extreme guilt, shame, and a teen in crisis like ever before. You say to yourself the following words… Continue reading
Years ago I watched the movie called, “The Impossible”. It was based on the true story of a family engulfed in the waters of a large tsunami in Thailand. Confronted with unimaginable obstacles, the parents were desperate to find their children and each other. They would not give up no matter the cost. The physical, mental, and emotional waves of agony from their circumstances would cause any parent to be fearful, distressed and in crisis.
Today, there are waves of crisis pulling many parents under through their hurting teen. In the eyes of the parent, their problems look too big and impossible to change for the better. These types of crises vary from family to family: suicidal attempts, mental illness, drug overdose, self-harming, risky behaviors, running away, etc… Continue reading
A while back I spoke with a young woman whose daughter was in a program appointed by the court. Her daughter would be staying in the program for about a year. This was really hard on the mom but if the program was going to help her daughter, then she would do her best to be strong and support her child while they finished out the year being separated.
Being away from her daughter was going to be very difficult. However, her hopes and desires for her daughter would be for her to succeed from the program with improved behavior and get the therapy that she so desperately needed. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long in which this mother began to quickly understand the undermining of her authority by those in the program. Continue reading
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.