Your teen has just finished their time in rehab and a whole new world lies ahead. Walking out the door isn’t the end of the journey, however. The moment rehab ends is the moment your role becomes of the utmost importance. You are the guidepost. You are the support system your child needs to continue their success. As a parent, you may be thinking of any and all ways to help, scouring every resource for suggestions. Some may seem far off the mark, but there are plenty of easy options that are well within reach. Take a look at these 3 simple ways to support your teen post-rehab.
1) Be open to conversation
In this age of social media, the lines of communication between parents and children have become severely displaced. There is no need to be face-to-face for anything, be it a simple “what’s for dinner?” or a full-fledged fight. Every thought can be sent via text or email, completely avoiding any actual contact. Many times, it is this that aided in your teen’s addiction to begin with. Conversation is key. Conversation creates intimate connections that humans, not just vulnerable teens, crave. Show your teen than you are willing to give them a loving, non-judgmental ear. Not to mention, having consistent conversations will enable you to keep closer track of what is going on in their life.
2) Find creative outlets
If your teen was not already involved in some sort of art, enroll them in a class or find a club that sparks their creative side. Many of the arts – dance, drawing, painting, music, etc. – are outlets of emotion for those involved. What participants cannot say, they express through their art. Teens that have had a traumatic experience and have gone to rehab will have a lot of emotions to continue working through. Allow them to experiment with various art forms and it will give them major mood boosting benefits and the opportunity to fill a void in expression they may not have realized.
3) Join a support group
You may be thinking that your teen needs to join a support group, but this is meant for parents. Staying strong for a teen going through rehab or just exiting a rehab program is difficult enough. Not only does your child need a little extra self-care, so do you. As with most troubling situations, having a small group who are also coping with similar problems can really lighten the emotional load. Other parents can offer insights and ideas or introduce new pathways that may just be the right fit for your own teen.
Parents, you are not alone! You brought a child into the world, who, no matter the boundaries, will look to you for advice, support, and love for the rest of their lives. It is up to you to hold up your end of the bargain and fight for their success. You are on the same team and your team is in it to win! Not only does the prize include an addiction-free life, but it means a stronger connection with the one you love most.
About The Author
Alyson Monaco is a professional dancer by trade, performing, teaching, and choreographing out of her home base of New Jersey. A former dance major at the Boston Conservatory, her love of how the body moves led her to become a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor through AFAA. She is currently pursuing her teaching certification in dance. Alyson loves working one on one with people of all ages and abilities, and truly enjoys helping people find a better quality of life.