Thursday, May 19, 2011

Advice for Parents of At-Risk Teens or Know What You Know...

A while ago my check engine light came on.

“Uh, oh.” I thought.

You see, my trusty old Subaru, like its owner, isn’t the spring chicken it once was and is starting to show its age. Despite that, and the fact that to me the internal combustion engine is akin to magic, I decided I needed to open the hood and take a look. After a quick survey, I came to a realization; I had no idea what I was looking for.

I actually started to laugh at myself as I realized that me simply staring at the engine isn’t going to somehow magically fix it. Alas, I realized, time to accept what I don’t know and take the car to a mechanic.

Once I got home and thought about the events of the day, it got me thinking about a session I did at the last IECA meeting entitled “Know What You Know, Know What You Don’t Know”. With three IEC’s leading the discussion, it was a great session exploring an issue we as IEC’s often grapple with; that of wanting to serve as many families as we can countered with how we must remain true to our acquired specialty. There was some wonderful and lively debate, but all of us came to the same conclusion that we all need to, as the session title said, know what we know and know what we don’t.

The advice we were giving ourselves in that session is the same advice I often give my families. I feel that they, as parents, have a unique and important perspective and that information they have is crucial to me offering well-informed and pro-active choices for them to consider. Too often families come to me defeated, thinking that somehow that because they have a child with behavioral issues then they are a failure as a parent and that they should just give up. They have been beaten up so much, that they sometimes forget how much they know, and therefore how important they are. I always advise my families to share everything, and to take solace in knowing that if I can’t help them, I’ll make sure we get the experts who can.

I think a lot of my parents find it a relief that I don’t expect them to know everything; just to know what they know…

So my car…

Turns out it was the catalytic converter; but because I brought it to the right mechanic, he was able to get the repair covered under warranty, so not only did it pay off to go an expert, but to the right expert; but that’s a blog for another day…

1 comment:

  1. Providing hope for the future to these at-risk teens is highly important. These teens lack the ability to become contributing members to society because of poverty and dysfunctional families. If theese teens are not led toward responsible adulthood, the burden to society may include an increase in crime and violence.