It’s a question our team receives quite often from parents all over the world: “How do I know when it’s time to consider residential treatment for my child?” Our answer has changed over the years…
Over the years we’ve learned what it means to take care of ourselves as parents. But nothing we do, in terms of self-care, happens apart from being hands on as parents. We’ve learned that simple things, in the middle of parenting demands, make a big difference…
It’s the dead of winter out on the farm we just moved to north on Indianapolis, Indiana where we live. The wind is blowing so hard it sounds we fear the gigantic oak trees in our front yard are going to come crashing through our roof at any moment. It’s early March and this should not be! But this is Indiana. I’m huddled under a blanket in our front room watching a show on Hulu with all of the kids. Even though our thermostat is set to 70, I can’t get warm…not even close. Haven’t been able to in months.
In the unfortunate situation that your child has to live away from your home in a residential treatment facility, there will likely be a time when he or she transitions back home. But how do you do this as smooth as possible? We’ve walked this road a few times. Here’s what we’ve learned.
It’s important to note, right here from the start, that we believe in the preservation of family. And we believe in permanency. Children need forever homes. If that’s not with biological families, then it’s with healthy foster or adoptive families. Children need permanency in order to form healthy attachments and bonds that will last a lifetime. With that said, we never advocate that a child go into residential treatment unless their behavior or choices have reached a point of being unsafe for them or unsafe for you and the rest of your family.
Placing your child in residential treatment is a bridge no parent wants to cross. But what happens when you realize he or she is doing better there than they did in your house? It happens often. What do you do? How do you respond? Here are some thoughts…
It’s a warm sunny afternoon on a Saturday in early September when we load our kids up in our super-used Chevy Suburban to make the hour and half trek across our state to visit our kid in residential treatment. This is not our first rodeo with this scenario. We’ve been here before. It never gets easier. Sure, it becomes routine…after some time, but never easier. On this particular afternoon we’re confined to campus due to bad behavior in the days prior.
It’s a trial many parents find themselves in when their child ends up in residential treatment or juvenile detention. How do you continue to be a parent when your child lives somewhere other than home?
Twice a week, I visit my son. Twice a week, I sign myself out on a lined piece of paper. Twice a week, I retrieve my belongings from a locked box as a staff member walks me to the door. Twice a week, the door swings shut behind me and as I cross the parking lot. Twice a week, my eyes well up. Twice a week, I turn the key in the ignition and catch my breath as the tears are too much to hold back.
Holidays are wonderful family times, but holidays can also be are hard – especially for families with kids from “hard places.” The pressure of special events, increased anxiety, and disruption of schedules due to school vacations, can sometimes bring about true crisis.
Four years ago, I wrote a post to my readers on Christmas Eve. It was early in the morning; my family was sleeping and snow was falling outside the windows in the pre-dawn hour. I’d been silent, unable to write for several days as I tried to make sense of the crisis we found ourselves in.
We’ve personally been down this road 4 separate times with one of our kids. It never gets easier. How do you make it through the devastation of placing your child in residential treatment?
In today’s episode of Honestly Speaking, our co-host Nicole Goerges turns the microphone on us, and interviews us over this topic because we’ve walked this road several times in the past. It never gets easy, even when the absence of your child creates peace for the rest of your family.
It’s one of the worst decisions you may have to make for your child on the journey of foster care and adoption. Placing your child in a residential treatment facility is never easy. But how do you know when the time is right to do so?
We’ve been down this road 3 separate times in the past. We know exactly how it goes: Your family is on pins and needles. You cautiously move through your house on a daily basis as if you’re walking across a frozen lake that may collapse at any moment. Looking at your child the wrong way could send them into a tirade. Your spouse, and other children, have experienced so much secondary trauma you hardly know how you’ll recover as a family.