They say that sometimes in order to be kind, you have to be cruel. When such ‘extreme’ behavior appears to be necessary, there are those who say that this is nothing more than an expression of tough love. Dealing with highly emotional and sensitive adolescents and teenagers in this day and age, if only it were true. Any mature adult with a modicum of common sense within him should know how tough it can be during these developmental but critical stages of life.
It is not easy growing up in today’s environments. Just ask any reasonably well-adjusted kid and he or she could give you an essay or two on why the kids have their issues and appear to be finding it hard to deal with them. Then again, the kids of today will be texting about it and they’ll be on at least one social media network having a field day about their emotional issues and the challenges they are facing.
Many of them would have been on the right path in the sense that this form of communication could be a constructive means of channeling the emotions. But given the scope of social media networks today, this is not practical and could even be dangerous for an emotionally unstable boy or girl. Directed and supervised troubled teen youth programs could very well be the better alternative. Critically, at such programs there is a form of adult intervention.
When a teenager is troubled, becomes disoriented and has a tendency to drift and lose direction, panic even, the adult in charge if you will should be able to guide and shepherd the troubled youth back into the pen. And let there be a barnyard story or two to help inspire the kids who have this tendency to believe that nothing makes sense anymore. You wonder how long these programs for youths run for though.
Because while they may make sense to you, the agitated and nervous kid wants to know when is it all going to end. Indeed, any organized youth program with serious intentions behind it is not going to be what the kids might like to prefer as being an overnight sensation. It takes time to get things right. Starting over is always a major adjustment in life. Having to make necessary changes in life can be quite frightening.
And yes, it is all too easy to coax the kids into thinking that change is just as good as a vacation. The troubled teen youth programs are for a good cause. It gets positive results. What makes it happen begins with the exemplary leadership of the adults, some of them not much younger than the troubled kids themselves. As a ‘kid’ parent yourself, don’t be scared to take this leap of faith. Just know this, and don’t feel guilty about it.
Packing your troubled kid off to a youth camp is not a bad idea at all. It’s good parenting actually.