If Your Daughter Is Troubled…
Picture this: One day, you walk into your daughter’s room and find evidence that she has been engaging in dangerous or illegal activities. Perhaps she has been taking illegal drugs or alcohol or has been involved in sexually promiscuous activities. Maybe she has been engaging in violent or risky behavior. In any case, you have just now seen the evidence of your daughter making potentially dangerous choices and your stomach drops. You do not know what to do or where to turn. You have done everything you can to help your daughter, yet here you are in this unfortunate circumstance.
…The Faster You Intervene, the Better
That situation is never easy and is always painful. As parents, we all want the best for our children, and it breaks our hearts when we see them doing things that will ultimately bring them pain and/or sadness. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what to do or where to turn, but it is important that you do something and turn somewhere quickly. Because the faster you intervene, the easier it will be to get your daughter back on the right path. Here’s an example that illustrates this.
The Analogy of the Path
Let’s take a moment to picture life as a hiking trail. Every day, we make progress along the path, and for the most part, there is a clearly-defined trail that we know will lead us to where we want to be. Sometimes, however, the path gets difficult to see. Sometimes, the grass is overgrown enough to cover the path. Other times, there are trees and shrubs blocking our way.
Not only can the path sometimes be difficult to follow, but other times, it can be tempting to stray off the path due to the seemingly exciting activities we could participate in. Maybe there’s a rock wall that looks like it would be fun to climb. Perhaps we see a waterfall that leads into a refreshing pond. Or maybe our friends have wandered off the path and have asked us to go exploring with them.
At one point or another, we all find ourselves veering off the path. For the most part, it is easy to find the path again and return to it. There are times, however, when finding the path is not so difficult. Let’s say, for example, that a teenage girl and her friends are walking down the path and the girl’s friends decide to veer off the path to drink alcohol. If the teenage girl decides to follow her friends, it is obviously not ideal, but if she decided to turn around, it would be easy to find and follow the path again.
If, on the other hand, she decides to keep following her friends deeper and deeper into the forest and further and further away from the trail, it can almost be impossible to find her way back.
This analogy does well to illustrate the importance of getting help soon after the problem begins or is noticed. If your daughter participates in unwanted activities when she is a teen and she gets the help she needs early, she is much more likely to correct her behavior and continue along the path than if she engages in those activities for years. At that point, she probably won’t even want treatment and will resist any of the help that you want to give her.
So, as you are looking after your daughter, if you notice that she is beginning to show the signs of making incorrect choices, we urge you to get the help she needs as quickly as possible. At Trinity Teen, we are always here, ready and willing to help get your daughter back on the path to a happy and healthy life.