Parenting is a lifetime of judgment. Let’s face it, there is no guidebook on parenting when you have a teen or young adult in crisis and we all make mistakes along the way. I can raise both hands on this and say I made aplenty.
I certainly was not as proactive as I could have been. However, I also did not understand mental illness or disorders either and most parents don’t in the beginning. I have come a long way since then and my failures and experiences are now the top key things I am very open about so that other parents don’t fall into the same trap as I did.
Find a Counselor – Kids hate counselors. Doesn’t matter their age whether they are a teen to a young adult, they all feel the same way. Why? First and foremost, the fact that the parents have picked them out is part of the reason. They didn’t have a whole lot of say in the matter or get to be a part of the decision making as to “who” they would be spilling their guts to. So…. it is important that they play an integral part in who their next counselor will be. The best route to go is to pick 2 – 3 counselors, meet with them, then ask your child to whom they had a connection with (which makes counseling all the easier for everyone involved), and then make a choice from there. P.S. – the child HAS to pick one of them. They cannot opt for no one.
Find Help! Resources are aplenty nowadays for hurting parents struggling with a child in crisis (whether it is a teen or young adult). However, the amount of those resources are overwhelming. Best way to get through it – ask friends and family to help you in your research. Give them the criteria of what you are looking for, and have them print out the details. E.g. – if you have a child with an eating disorder – find all Christian-based books. Programs, websites, blogs, FB support groups, and organizations that give support and one on one guidance. Write down the ten ideal things that you are looking for and have your family and friends decipher through the information and highlight it. This will save valuable time as well as frustration.