There's been a few times I've been asked about different resources available for teenagers that are either completely defiant, or teenagers that are mentally ill and are hard to control at home or what I call independent seeking their own way. Also running away, not listening to the home rules, not accepting consequences and are either a risk to themselves or others at home. Or all of the above. The big question is, "What do you do?" "Where do they go if they can't be at home?" So, first off I'm not a professional. I'm only a mother with some experience that I'm going to provide. While I'm providing some of the resources I've learned that's available, I'm not going to discuss onto whom we've either needed it for or tried to access it for, for privacy reasons. First off , we have learned that there is not much you can do. Although I would suggest to always remain firm on your own home rules and conditions. You can control what's happening in your own home. It's taken us a few years figuring out different techniques and luckily for the rest of our children, we hope to be one step ahead of their game. This means prevention. We have our medicine cabinet and a pantry locked at all times. All our bleaches and other harmful chemicals are stored locked in our garage. We have two security cameras that can be moved in several different locations. (not bedrooms) No, we are not a prison. We are solving (hypothetically speaking) future scenarios and keeping our children protected. Our Internet access is limited. We found out that any electronic gadget including game systems (DS's for example) Ipod's, cellphones extra can access the Internet. So we have one main computer located in our kitchen where it's supervised with a password. Our home router has a password now that controls any wireless connection. We have motion detectors for movement in our home just in case the security system doesn't pick up an opening door. We are not paranoid, we're controlled with security like most homes these days but it not only keeps strangers out, it can warn us on when someone is leaving. Right now we don't have any issues......I'm just purely writing out ideas for other parents that are having issues that need help as I've had several questions come my way. Sorry, getting back on topic. Teenagers are never homeless. I've written a past post on this before. http://hohnsteins.blogspot.ca/2012/03/housing-run-aways.html But if they can't come home because A. they don't want too B. they have too (because they've made themselves homeless) but they will not follow the family's conditions which leads to C. What then? There is some resources. Before it gets to this point.....if you're noticing signs from your teenager (mainly lying and sneaking behavior) and your teen is diagnosed with a disorder or mental illness, I would get a referral to the Queen Alexandra Centre. This centre has absolutely everything available and an area for youth mental health. Your child will begin receiving help being an out-patient and it will provide specialized inpatient mental health services if needed. Assessments for complex behaviors and much much more. It's a rehabilitation centre. Unfortunately our Government has given more rights then should be allotted for teenagers, for example; they have to consent. This is where I say, if you're noticing a problem - start intervention early. Young teenagers usually consent therefore you've established a paper trail within a controlled established with professionals. Document absolutely everything, letters, emails, facebook messaging, texting, keep a file on your child. Every time your teenager is involved with the Ministry, it's documented. Document the same way at home. Anything you can collect on your teenager the better.......(of course you're the enemy) you're the parent. Eventually years down the road, they'll thank you for being that consistent person that actually cared to take the time making their life as a teenager miserable. Parents that don't care, will allow their children to do whatever they want with no consequences. Another tip - stop believing a chronically lying and manipulating teenager. Stop supports such as money. And one tip once given to me, "Don't jump on their boat" State your piece and that's it. Now moving along, if the situation is beyond control and you believe that the teen is harmful to themselves and perhaps others, first call 911 and try consulting the Queen Alexander Centre to hopefully admit your child into the inpatient care unit. If it's housing a teenager away from home there is several different options. Try theYSA (Youth Services Association) It's affordable youth housing for 17-19 year olds under a safe and supportive atmosphere with conditions of no drugs, alcohol and violence. Of course there's an application process and limited accommodations. Another option, there is tons of places (furnished) housing with other young adults. Renting rooms. They start at $300.00 a month. With these options there's rules, regulations and conditions - it's still not ideal for a teenager unfortunately. So once the offer has been made and it's been refused there's nothing more you can do. In the end, if you've done everything you can - it's up to the independent seeking their own way teen and as rocky as it will be, eventually with their own determination and will.....they could succeed on their own. Who knows? That's a question without an answer. Raising behavioral teenagers sometimes doesn't have any good answers nor solutions, we just do the best we can do and proceed from there.
What I do know for sure, we all have a path. Even mine has taken different turns, it will continue to take different turns and so it will with our children too. We can do our best to direct although we ALL have a plan laid out for us and that includes the difficult teenagers with their own road as rocky as they choose it to be. I was told once, "I'm not the social worker for the world" "Nor am I God" No I'm not......I am the one still searching for all the answers too with just a glimpse of experience. So above is a few hopefully helpful tips to either try in your own home and a few resources to investigate for yourself if need be. For the ones that have asked for some ideas, I hope this helps and I made some sense. If anything, research and you'll be surprised what's out there that most of us are unaware of! "Good luck"