When Parents Cannot Agree on a Substances Abuse Treatment for Their Teen: Talking to the Other Parent
Parents equally love and care for their children, but the reality is that not all parents see eye-to-eye. This difference of opinion is especially evident in instances of choosing a treatment for teenage drug use. In these scenarios, one parent may agree to consent to treatment and the other may not. While every situation will be different, there are some strategies parents can use to ensure they are on the same page.
Put Everything Into Perspective
Sometimes, the best way to make it through a tough situation is to put everything on the table. Start your approach by discussing, in detail, the challenges of your child's drug addiction and the likely outcome of their actions if there is no intervention. For many parents, this painful yet revealing glimpse of reality is enough for them to recognize the importance of professional treatment.
Tackle the Why
If your partner has discouraged the idea of sending the child to rehab and shared their reasoning behind their hesitation — you should address it. For example, maybe the other parent is afraid that their child's visit to rehab will not be confidential. Rather than dismiss the claim, contact the facility, and ask for specific details on their confidentiality terms and present this information to your partner. All rehab centers have strict privacy concerns so collecting this information should be easy.
Encourage Increased Input
Another way to make the other parent reconsider consent for treatment is to encourage him or her to be a part of the process. No parent ever believes that they will face a situation in which their child struggles with drug addiction. As a result, parents can feel overwhelmed and confused by the entire process. When you invite the other parent into the process, such as selecting a treatment facility, they can get their questions answered, learn more, and feel more involved and comfortable.
Talk About Family Support
When a parent sees their child suffering, it hurts. For some parents, the idea of sending their child to rehab feels painful, and it may be a pain they want to avoid. In this instance, you can help your hesitant partner by encouraging the idea of family counseling. As the child undergoes treatment, the family can also work to strengthen their unit so that they can best help their child and parents can work to overcome their pain.
Keep these talking points in mind as you approach this delicate subject, and remember, getting your teen the help he or she needs is what is most important. Talk to a teen substance abuse clinic for more information.