Letting go of fear and responsibility for your teen will be part of the therapeutic process that you will go through while in Shelterwood. Take a moment to read through some of the common internal dialogues that we often go through as parents when we have a fear of change.
1. Fear of the unknown
Parent: If I can’t change my child’s behavior, how can someone else? Will Shelterwood staff be manipulated? What if he gets sick or she is mistreated? Who else is going to be in the program?
Teen: Can I contact my friends? Do my parents care about me? Whom can I trust? Only losers are sent to residential group homes.
We are most at ease when we are completely familiar with our surroundings and sure of what the future holds for us.
2. Fear of failure
Parent: What if I spend all of this money and they don’t change?
Teen: What if I can’t change? Is this who I really am?
People expect to get everything right the first time instead of taking time to work things out and getting them right at some time.
3. Fear of commitment
Parent: What if we give everything to this process and our child remains angry and distant?
Teen: I don’t feel confident that I can achieve what I really want in life. If I focus on what I want and then fail where does that leave me? I think I might be better off not trying. I don’t want to feel trapped by high expectations and responsibility.
People should be honest with themselves and commit to a few simple goals.
4. Fear of disapproval
Parent: What if my teen never forgives me for this decision? What will my parents, friends, siblings think of my parenting if I need to place my teen in a program?
Teen: What if I commit myself to my goals and my parents still disapprove? If I change, are my friends going to dislike me?
You will learn very quickly who your false friends are and who is truly on the side of your self-esteem.