Archives for June 2017

Trials & Struggles Prepare Our Minds For Creative Problem Solving

None of us can avoid the trials and struggles life sometimes throws at us. The only thing we can do is learn how to navigate life’s curveballs and use these challenges to better ourselves. No one grapples with this more than the youth.

You see, by the time most of us attain adulthood, we have become quite adept at identifying problems and finding solutions to them, admittedly with varying rates of success. However, teens are still maturing and finding their footing in the world, so they tend to have a harder time managing adversity.

Adolescents who become overwhelmed by the problems they face sometimes end up engaging in delinquent and self-destructive behaviors. While therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers are available to help troubled teens ditch their harmful habits, prevention is always better than cure. Which is why it’s crucial to teach our children to see life’s hurdles as opportunities to come up with creative solutions instead of running away from problems.

Overcoming Challenges By Encouraging Creativity

As a parent, you no doubt want your kids to grow up to be successful adults who can make sound decisions for themselves. One thing to remember though is that kids learn best through experience.

While it isn’t easy to watch them struggle or fail over and over, continuously shielding your kids from harsh realities might stunt their maturity and eventually do them more harm than good.

A better approach would be to encourage them to seek creative and innovative solutions to their problems. So the next time your child comes to you with a problem, step back and adopt the role of a guardian and let them work their way through it.

Instead of telling them what to do, urge them to look at the issue from a different angle, to challenge their limits and to question their assumptions. This way, they’ll strengthen their minds and learn how to develop vital problem-solving skills that are sure to come in handy in their lives.

Another way to teach your kids to creatively generate unique solutions to problems is to encourage them to take up extracurricular activities. Your kids will inevitably encounter new challenges while participating in sports and other hobbies. To tackle them, they’ll have to harness their innate talents while learning how to work as part of a team. Also, don’t forget that exercise is an excellent way to get the creative juices flowing and let off steam after a stressful day.

When More Help Is Needed

While adversity is part of life, some teens do require more help to get by than others. If you notice that your teen is struggling with emotional, mental or behavioral issues, contact Liahona Academy and our skilled team of professionals will do all they can to help them get their lives back on the right path.

How A Technology Fast Can Benefit Your Family’s Mental Health

How A Technology Fast Can Benefit Your Family's Mental Health

Our phones, tablets, computers and TVs have become our constant companions and we can seldom do without them. Thanks to these devices, we can stay in touch with our loved ones, know what is going on around us and even take our work with us wherever we go.

However, you might be surprised to learn that the amount of time you and your family spend interacting with screens can have a negative impact on your mental and psychological health. For instance, excessive internet usage has been linked to an increase in depression and various mental illnesses in both teens and adults.

Teens are also more susceptible to social media addiction which can contribute to increased suicide rates, sexual promiscuity, cyber bullying and violence. Troubled teens who struggle with these issues often require individualized treatment at a reputable residential treatment center in order to reform.

Benefits Of Unplugging

While you can’t force your family to completely ditch technology, regularly minimizing its use can offer some surprising mental health benefits including:

  • Reduced stress. Taking a break from the virtual world for a few hours after work every day can help you reduce stress by giving you time to rest. You can use this time to unwind and reconnect with your family, becoming a better parent and spouse as a result.
  • Enhanced concentration and productivity. Most of us mistakenly think that multitasking makes us more productive. Unfortunately, trying to respond to work emails or social media posts while helping your kids with homework and trying to watch a TV show at the same time only cuts into your ability to get things done. Something as simple as turning off your social media notifications can reduce interruptions and allow you to concentrate on the important tasks at hand.
  • Better sleep quality. The light given off by computer and TV screens has been found to reduce the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your body’s sleep-wake cycle. As such, using your devices even a few hours before hitting the sack can decrease chances of having a restful night making you a prime candidate for a range of chronic health issues, not to mention a serious case of brain fog in the morning. A technology fast, therefore, allows you to get a good night’s rest which in turn makes you more energetic and alert during the day.
  • Improved memory and retention. Unplugging even for a day gives the brain enough downtime to reboot and recharge which goes a long way towards improving memory, enhancing retention and boosting an individual's mood.

Getting Help

If you are the parent of a troubled boy who is struggling with depression, substance abuse, porn addiction or any other negative effects of internet and social media addiction, contact Liahona Academy at 1-800-675-8101. We are ready to give your son all the help he needs to break these habits and get his life back on track.

How Siblings Can Aid In Helping Your Trouble Teen Feel Understood

How Siblings Can Aid In Helping Your Trouble Teen Feel Understood

There is no right answer when your teenager is in trouble. But there are ways to guide your teen, yourself, and your family on a path toward healing. There are avenues and resources to advise you on the right course of action. Wherever and whatever the situation may be, there is a therapy option out there to assist you.

A therapeutic boarding school's mission is to create positive change in a troubled teen's life. However, it is important to establish a strong and healthy communication bond in the family - especially between siblings.

Communication in the Key

Teenagers, although seemingly mature, are still developing and forming their own identities. Parents should be equipped with the right communication tools when talking with their teenager.

  • Open communication develops a bond between you and your child. If your teen feels like they can trust you, then they can speak up if they need help.
  • Establishing communication with your other children can help them process why their sibling is acting the way they are.
  • Letting your teen know you are available to listen to them without fear of consequences can allow for better understanding.

Your Teen is not the Enemy

Depending on what your teen is going through, it is important to remember to not make them the opposition of the family. How you talk about and how you communicate with them will send messages to other members of the family. For example, if your tone is always negative when referring to your troubled teen, their sibling(s) may begin to feel negativity toward them. Take into consideration that your children spend time with each other; if you make your teen the enemy then it will impact your other kids as well.

Thing to Remember:

  • Your troubled teen needs allies and turning to their brother or sister may be the only people they can trust.
  • Having open and positive communication can keep this level of trust between them as well as include you as the parent.
  • Don't use your other children to gain information about your troubled teen - this could cause conflict later on.
  • Support all of your children to the best of your abilities.
  • Be honest and trust that your kids will understand and can reassure you and their sibling.

Parenting is difficult and it can be tough to know what the right think to do it for your children. But remember, there are resources to help you and your teen. Love then, support them, and don't be afraid to reach out for help.

When A Strict Parent’s Mindset Hinders The Family’s Growth Potential

When A Strict Parent's Mindset Hinders The Family's Growth Potential

When it comes to raising children, the common perception is that a strict parenting style leads to well-behaved children. From an external point of view, children of authoritarian parents certainly seem to be more polite, obedient, compliant and easy to manage.

However, research has shown that overly-controlling parents can cause their children severe long-term psychological damage.

Strict, Authoritarian Parenting

Parents who adopt this parenting style often have strict rules and regulations in place and expect their kids to follow them to the letter. Their word is final and their kids have no room to negotiate or express their thoughts or feelings. Indeed, children brought up in this rule-oriented parenting style are allowed little freedom of thought and independent decision-making or creative experimentation is frowned upon.

Most strict parents assume that they know what’s best for their children and impose their will with little regard for their kids’ opinions or emotional needs. Punitive punishment is the preferred means of getting children to behave. Additionally, such parents rarely show affection for their children preferring to use emotional withdrawal to enhance their authority and control.

Effects On Children And The Family

Ironically, strict parents often lead their children to develop the very behavioral problems they sought to avoid in the first place. Children from these households may develop a range of mental and emotional issues including:

  • Low self-esteem and self-worth because of feeling that their emotions or thoughts don’t matter to their parents.
  • Poor decision-making and lack of personal responsibility stemming from their parents’ controlling nature. As a result, these kids fail to internalize personal responsibility and self-discipline.
  • Defiance and rebellion towards authority.
  • A tendency towards bullying. Kids learn that might is right and learn to use force and fear to manipulate and control others.
  • Substance abuse, sexual promiscuity and other delinquent behavior as they seek love and acceptance outside their families.
  • Depression, loneliness and even suicide attempts as they often feel they are not good enough to earn their parents’ love and affection.
  • Poor parent-child relationship. Both parents and kids in such families fail to develop a close relationship based on acceptance and open communication.

Teens who develop these issues often need to be sent to a therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment center to receive professional help to reform and turn their lives around.

What Works Instead

Instead of adopting a strict and rigid mindset when raising your family, try a combination of discipline, empathy and understanding. Set age appropriate limits and rules and work with your teen to find out their passions, opinions and thoughts instead of imposing your own.

If you are the parent of a troubled teen who is struggling with mental, emotional or behavioral issues, we at Liahona Academy are ready to assist. Contact us today and let our team of highly skilled professionals help your son to overcome these issues and go on to lead a productive life.

The Stage at which Therapy, not Addiction Treatment, Is Needed for Your Teen

The Stage at which Therapy not Addiction Treatment Is Needed for Your Teen

If you are concerned that your teenager has an alcohol, drug or other form of addiction, you will want to take action as soon as possible instead of waiting until the problem worsens taking steps to intervene. A teenager’s body and brain continues to develop at this stage of their life. They lack the ability to effectively regulate their behavior as their brain’s reward system is fully functional, but their prefrontal cortex is still developing. This is somewhat like a car with a fully functioning gas pedal but without brakes. Since they are highly motivated to pursue pleasure but have extremely limited judgment and decision-making skills, they might not have the capability of knowing how to use discretion when it comes to addictive substances, which can be a dangerous combination that allows addiction to develop rapidly. Combine this with the long-lasting effect substances of these potent substances on the brain, and you can see why the sooner your teen’s addiction is confronted, the better. According to a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, many substance abusers develop their addiction as teenagers.

Intervention for Addiction

Because addiction is a chronic disease, many simply can’t quit using drugs cold turkey for a brief period and be permanently cured. Most addicts need long-term care to stop using completely before they are rehabilitated as well as counseling to help avoid relapse. If your teen’s problem has spiraled into a full-blown, out-of-control addiction that causes problems with their thoughts, feelings and actions to the point of hindering their normal daily living, he or she might need intense addiction treatment. But if the addiction has not progressed quite that far, therapy might be an effective solution.

Most teens will not believe that they have a problem. They will need to want to get better, and therapy will only work if the adolescent works with the therapist and puts into practice what they learn. As parents of teens know, convincing adolescents to do something against their desire is challenging.

Types of Therapy

There are three main types of therapy for teens: individual, group and family. Group counseling might consist of outpatient or inpatient treatment, which is more intense. The type of therapy that your teen requires depends on how severe the addiction and what type of addiction that he or she faces. Effective treatment will address all of the patient’s needs, not just their drug use. If your child is defensive and unwilling to see a therapist, family therapy might suit him since it will help your child not feel singled out, but sense that the whole family is there for him, working on the addiction together and bonding through the experience.

Counseling and behavioral therapy are the most common forms of treatment. These methods help patients with the following:

Since therapeutic boarding schools can cost thousands of dollars per month, you need to determine the severity of your child’s addiction before deciding on residential treatment. If your teen can benefit from therapy instead of addiction treatment, your whole family might reap the benefits.