As humans, we all have unique personalities. Some of us are fairly laid back, and some of us are perfectionists. Some of us fall somewhere in the middle. Whatever your child’s personality-type or predisposition is, at their core, they want your love, attention, and they want you to be proud of them. This may not always be obvious in the teen years, particularly with teenagers that are rebellious. But, make no mistake, kids with various types of personalities frequently feel extreme pressure to perform in school, succeed in sports, excel in extracurricular activities, and meet your expectations – even if they do not say it. As a teenager, that is a heavy load to take on and many teens feel like they are falling short of your expectations. It is natural as a parent to have high expectations for your child, but could your expectations and pressure be too high? Unfortunately, what we are seeing is that many teens feel like they are falling short of their parent’s expectations and are turning to substance abuse and prescription pill addiction as a result.
While it can sometimes be easy to spot an addict because they begin to struggle to get through the day, others may be harder to spot because they may be high functioning. Though addiction can be used as an escape, it can also be used in some cases as a way to better perform – assisting teens in meeting their parent’s high expectations. This is not to say that parents should have no expectations of their children, but it is important to consider the ways in which expectations are enforced and ultimately it is important to remember to have open dialogue with your child. Be aware of what is going on in their life. Ask them how they are feeling about certain situations, expectations or pressures. When expectations are not meant, a child may feel disappointment, resentment or self-loathing and as a teen those emotions may feel hopeless. There have been various studies that have shown that simply engaging in easy and effective communication with your teen can help protect against the risk of teen substance abuse and addiction.
Prescription drug, illegal drug, and alcohol abuse among teens is more common than you think. Do Something reports some eye-opening statistics, “By the 8th grade, 28% of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 15% have smoked cigarettes, and 16.5% have used marijuana…6.5% of high school seniors smoke pot daily, up from 5.1% five years ago. Meanwhile, less than 20% of 12th graders think occasional use is harmful, while less than 40% see regular use as harmful (lowest numbers since 1983).” While having expectations is important, it is equally important to have realistic expectations and a consistent presence in your child’s life. It can feel tricky to navigate the murky waters of teenage years and there is no “magic bullet” “one-size-fits-all” approach but what it ultimately comes down to is open, positive lines of communication between you and your teen. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that a “strong, positive connection with parents” is one of the best ways to prevent adolescent substance abuse and addiction. If you are struggling to effectively and positively communicate with your teen, Diebold Behavioral Counseling can help you improve the lines of communication, set realistic expectations, and foster a positive parent/child relationship.
It literally took an Act of God to get me to counseling. I was really scared and didn’t really trust that any counselor could help. I’m so glad I made myself seek help. It’s made a world of difference.- Charlie F.
I’ve thought about calling you almost every month I’ve picked up a chip. I haven’t had a drink since the night before I first came to see you…I remember sitting there with nothing but defeat and telling you I had no faith that it would be different “this time.” You told me it already was– that it was written all over my face…I hope you are well and thank you again for the boost and redirect you gave me.- D.M.
I had an issue with painkillers (opiates). What started as a lower back injury from working out turned into an addiction to vicodin and percocet..I’m proud to say, after months of counseling with DJ I am clean and sober and love my life again… If you need help with addiction, or are scared to talk with your family and friends, I strongly suggest you contact Diebold Behavioral Counseling. DJ Rocks!!!- Beth K.
Finally after seeing multiple counselors and at the end of my rope, I met someone who was able to get through to me. After a lifetime of off and on alcohol abuse and multiple DUIs, DJ helped me get my life back, emotionally, spiritually and physically as well as my personal and professional life and relationships. In my opinion, DJ is a true lifesaver!- Patrick P.