Do you ever wonder if your teenager’s behavior is “normal”? When your daughter has trouble with her friends and locks herself in her room for hours on end, is that just a phase, or is it a sign of clinical depression? When your son erupts in a burst of anger over something that seems small, is he just in a bad mood, or does he have anger management issues? How are we ever supposed to know? You don’t want to overreact, but you don’t want to miss important signals either. What is a parent to do?

When my daughter’s behaviors changed suddenly and drastically over a period of a few weeks, I found myself with these very questions. Her attitude and actions confused me. I had no idea where to go for help. I will also admit to feeling some shame at the thought of my child needing help. I felt like I had failed as a parent, and I was afraid of how others would judge me. So the first thing I searched for any troubled youth treatments layton ut. The search results only added to my confusion. There were so many different treatment options! How do we get an evaluation? How do we find a good counselor? Did she need residential treatment, or a day program? And, how were we going to pay for all of this? Let me share with you a couple of things that I have learned since then.

The most important thing is getting help sooner rather than later. If you even suspect your child needs help, take them to see a doctor right away. There are several physical conditions that cause behavioral issues. Your doctor will perform blood tests to rule out many of these conditions. He/she can also be a great referral source for other specialists.

The other reason to not delay getting help is that after they turn 18, treatment options change drastically. After age 18, they will be treated with the regular adult population, which can be a lot rougher than pediatric treatment. Also, remember that after age 18, you will have no control over what type of treatment your child receives, if any. Your 14-year-old may not like having to see a counselor, but you are still in charge of that decision. When that child turns 18, you will have no say in what they do. Get as much help for your child as you can while it is still in your power to do so.

Another important point: Lose that shame. This world is hard on all of us. There is no proven cause and effect for kid’s behaviors. If you are looking for help for your child, chances are you’re a good parent with a child who is predisposed to certain challenges. There is no shame in seeking help when we need it. And help is available, although it may be a long hard road to get there. I did it, you can too.