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How To Convince Teens Seeking Help Isn't a Sign of Weakness?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Child' started by Rainman, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    The one thing parents of teens who are addicts to drugs will always find hard is the animosity their offer to help is met with. This could range from denial that the said teen isn't on drugs even when it's obvious; to the more complex issue of the kid saying they'll handle the problem themselves.

    Knowing how hard addiction can be to beat, are there ways that can help a concerned party convince the teen that they should seek help?
  2. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think the best way parents could and should lead is by example. If they are competent enough as parents then they shouldn't have much trouble communicating their ideas and concerns and they should more or less be able to draw some sort of parallels in their own lives to show the child some examples of how they themselves at times needed help and somehow got through their own obstacles because of it.
    Rainman likes this.
  3. skullalif

    skullalif Member

    Sometimes teens have problems that we might not understand at all, but i'd reckon because they are mostly afraid of not being something or losing their pride on something that they trust.

    The best intervention that i have tried is by challenging them based on academics and interest, and rewarding them if they succeed afterwards. (My cousin once stopped using drugs when my aunt challenged him to get 5 A's in his final exam and 1000 dollar of savings in exchange for a new car, he succeeded the challenge and stopped using drugs to do so [as drugs would hamper his savings])
    Rainman likes this.
  4. Sarah

    Sarah Member

    I think any addict teen or otherwise has to accept they have a problem and want to be helped. For any type of help offered to them to be beneficial to them. I agree showing them the benefits there are to not taking drugs is a good thing. All you can do is be supportive and be there when they need you.
  5. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Hi Rainman. Yes there are ways but during the times I had counseled teens, I noticed that one thing that got me through them is letting them know I truly care and I don't intend them any harm. This creates trust and confidence.
  6. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Teens, unlike most older adults, are easily discouraged and prone to insecurity. You have to reassure them all the time that "it's all right." Also, by always being physically present, you reduce their anxiety. They always need someone they can lean on so they don't feel like they're fighting the battle alone. It's best for relatives or bosom friends to do the convincing.
  7. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    I think it's important to reiterate that everybody needs help at some time or another. There's no shame in reaching out. They should also know that they won't have to fear punishment or other repercussions for admitting their use. A lot of teens are probably afraid of being reprimanded or disappointing their parents/family. Assure them that's not the case.
  8. btatro

    btatro Member

    Also, parents should never be afraid to admit to and show their own faults and weaknesses. No one of us is perfect, and pretending to be so can certainly lead to misconstrued views of how a child needs to be.
  9. LadyMiles

    LadyMiles Active Contributor

    I believe communication is key. I don't know how many parent/child relationships I see where there is no communication, and if there is it is very limited as the child doesn't feel as though he or she can talk to his or her parents without judgment. I've worked with my kids throughout their lives stressing the importance of communication and letting them know that they can come to me about anything. I may not always agree with what I hear but they know I will listen, will not judge, and will stand beside them as a parent to help them through any and everything. It's not always easy, believe that. There have been times where they have kept things from me but eventually whatever it is comes out because I continue to provide them with that safe, non judgmental environment in which they can tell their story.

    In regards to convincing teens that seeking help isn't a sign of weakness I agree with Charli in allowing teens to know that it's OK to seek help as we have had to do so in the past as well. Notodrugs also mentioned the importance of ensuring the teen feels as though he or she can confide in you/trust you. Providing a safe environment where the teen can express him or herself and know that the one listening genuinely cares increases the chances of positive, healthy change.
  10. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    In my opinion, I guess it's important that the teen understands what's going on. If he becomes aware of what's being destroyed in his life by doing drugs, getting some help won't be a problem. There has to be some acceptance first, then things would fall into its right place.
  11. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    I think that it is important for parents to understand the dangers of drugs and alcohol and how easily available it is. They need to know that peer pressure can get anyone that is not strong enough or independant enough and it leads to all sorts of problems once they just try it. Some teens start this due to lack of parental presence and have an emptiness inside them that they cannot fill. Parents with teen addicts need to be strong, present and have got to be supportive so that the teen can get out of the addiction and never want to go back to doing it. Support groups for parents are available and they do offer these at the facilities where they teens can go for rehab. Getting them there is something that has to be done and even if it hurts you just have to do it. Parents who are unaware or uncertain that their teen is on drugs should become aware and understand that it is not too late to stop it from becoming a lifelong path of destruction.
  12. bourge_21

    bourge_21 Senior Contributor

    Leading by example is the best ingredient in preventing any occurrence of addiction within the household. When the parents influence their children to be good citizens, then things should not be bad. Parents always have the greatest impact on their kids.
  13. Kamarsun1

    Kamarsun1 Active Contributor

    Who ever is teaching a child that looking for help is weak is definitely the wrong voice. We all need help in life, in one way or another. If anything seeking help shows strength.
  14. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I think that sometimes it's imply a waste of time for the parents to try to convince their teenager of anything at all. Somebody else has to step in and do that job. There are times when talking alone won't change anything, but actions are required, such as the participation in some kind of group where like-minded people meet. Teenagers don't want to be treated like children anymore, any many families don't seem to understand that. In a safe group where there are teenagers like themselves and adults as well, they often feel less inhibited and open up.
  15. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    Teens are hard to talk to. Believe me, I have been there. I got one on the brink. I fear that my son is going to pick up some real bad family habits. We have a minimum of three generations of drinkers, if not alcoholics. I try to relate. Sometimes we can hook up, as we both have an interest in computers and RPGs. I will keep watching him close and hope it all pans out.
  16. Nate5

    Nate5 Active Contributor

    Oh man, I totally sympathize. I still remember my teen years, and I was a total pest to my parents. Luckily, I never found myself to be too much of the rebellious type. However, I think the important thing is to give them enough freedom so they don't start doing extreme things to be rebellious like taking drugs or consuming alcohol. If you love your children full-heartedly, they will definitely respond if you are disappointed in them. They're just mysterious creatures. Everyone responds differently.
  17. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    I know that as a parent I cannot keep them in a plastic bubble. Teenagers are adult-sized kids, but they are getting ever-closer to making the jump to adulthood. They have to explore some areas on their own. I want to protect my kids, but I need to give them some freedom too. I am just afraid I am going to give my son enough rope to hang himself when it comes to alcohol. That scares me.
  18. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Better to really have a one on one talk with your children or teenager. It is right that it can be really hard to even make them admit they are getting addicted to those substances. It is also possible to ask for help for support groups within your area or to other family members that might know how to deal better on these situations.
  19. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I agree. When parents raise their kids right then it doesn't really matter that much if those kids eventually experiment a bit when hey come of age. It doesn't even really matter if they pick up some bad habits because ultimately they would be content enough in their lives that they could easily lessen their intake or get rid of it completely when it starts to become a problem.
  20. c9h2ua

    c9h2ua Member

    Tell the teens that what good is and what bad is!!
    Try to show him or her how you love and care about him.
    That helps convince the teen because he/she would trust in you more!!