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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. NikkiDesrosiers

    NikkiDesrosiers Senior Contributor

    I realize that admitting you have a problem and seeking help aren't exactly the cool thing to do - but you have to really be an advocate for what their lives will be without the help. You have to really show them the negative path their life is going to take if they don't get healthy.
  2. bourge_21

    bourge_21 Senior Contributor

    Teenagers have a mind of their own. They have persistent demands and aggressive behavior. To deal with them, parents should regularly talk to them.
  3. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think they already have a good idea of what good and bad is at that point but you're right the essential ingredient is trust, communication and affection. As long as the person doesn't feel alone then he or she has a better chance at stability.
  4. Mackmax

    Mackmax Active Contributor

    I think the best way to convince teens that seeking help isn't a sign of weakness is to humanize yourself and relate to them. Let's say that a teen has a successful ex-drug addict uncle that they look up to. Have him explain to your teen that he to was a drug addict, and look how successful he is. Have him explain to your teen that he would not be where he is today had he not gotten the help he needed.
    Long story short, be or bring someone that they can relate to. Teens are much more willing to open up to someone they see as s friend than they are to open up to a boring adult that does nothing but lecture them and feed them cheesy cliches such as "You can do anything you set your mind to."
  5. Giftbearer

    Giftbearer Member

    I found with my son the best way to get through to him was to have him talk with somebody closer to his age who actually had a drug addiction and got clean. I knew a guy who had had a pretty bad cocaine addiction and had several years clean and had him talk to him. That worked much better than my telling him that he needed to stop and why because coming from me, his mother he could always say I didn't know because I hadn't "done it" myself, and might see it as my just trying to control him. This guy told him about the permanent damage he had after his years of using, what made him decide to stop, and gave him some pointers on how to get and stay clean. My son really seemed to "get it" on a deeper level when coming from somebody who had been there and then got through it. He could identify that if he didn't do something about it soon that could be him in just a few more years, and he didn't want that. My son got clean and stayed clean soon after. It's been 12 years now since he quit doing drugs.
  6. Cryyo

    Cryyo Member

    This is an issue of culture in our society. Mental health has always been seen as a weakness when attempting to solve the problem. I think it stems from the fact that others cannot possibly know what you are going through. This is why having the person exposed to others in a similar situation that are receiving help is one of the best measures for treatment.
  7. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    If a teen knows that they're in a safe environment and has a safe place to go to get help, then they probably will. At the same time, a lot of teenagers turn to drugs and alcohol when they feel that they don't have a safe place or they're not in a loving and supporting situation at home. If a safe place is available to them, I would think that a lot of teenagers would take advantage of it to seek help.
  8. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    If it does not work when you try it, change your way of trying.
    I remember being a teenager well -- and the people who had problems with alcohol or drugs usually did not want their parents to know, and if the parents knew, the kids considered their opinion non-valid. Sometimes because the relationship between them was bad a long time ago and nothing said now would be respected; sometimes just because they thought their parents only wanted to impose a way of life on them.

    I would say it might be a good idea to try to have a better relationship where you show them you just want to be their friends instead of telling them what to do -- teens will often do the exact opposite of what their parents want just because.

    Maybe get in contact with the friends of them you know and try to work something from there. If the friends also have problems, maybe they'd hear it out better from a stranger than their own parents. Or maybe you could talk to their parents, too, and try to figure out a way to reach your kids together.
  9. 003

    003 Community Champion

    If teens see asking for help a weakness, then they are simply arrogant. So to change their notion, one must first eliminate their arrogance. So the question is: How to instil humility into them and ward away their arrogance. Teens are teens. They are stubborn and most of them just want to play it by ear. I don't mean this in a negative. I was once there, up until now. I'm still like them. But to probably clear away their arrogance, it'd be critical that we stoop down their level and be friends with them who'd be able to see the world the way they see them and understand them the way they asked to be understood. It's not to say to tolerate them. You'd still give them advice, but don't be fool they'd take in that right way. No matter what their decision is, love, care and be concern for them. There will come a time that they'd understand and appreciate your efforts, the time in which instead of you, they would go up to your level and see the world the way you do, and understand them the way you want yourself to be understood, which is that the advice that you give them is just to show your great concern.
  10. juno

    juno Community Champion

    I think with teens, it is important to be an example and let them know that admitting you weaknesses is only makes you stronger as you go through your learning experience. So, getting help only means you were smart enough to go out and fix things.