Just a word of encouragement to parents: don't give up. Tonight I was able to sit across from what seems like a miracle.
A teenager who has begun to value their life and who is making wise choices that are overflowing into school, family (yes they do chores voluntarily!), and their social life. As the teen and I reviewed their worldview shift from the past year we were able to laugh together and I was astonished as I listened to the genuine thoughts of this newly wise soul. I was impressed once again by our ability as humans. I was impressed by our ability to take pause, reflect, and weigh out the consequences of our actions. Then if necessary, we can engage all the courage we can muster and risk the change of course.
Please don't be deceived, this wasn't a quick fix, and it didn't come without a lot of hard work, diligence, persistence, focus, simplifying, and the regrouping and re-rallying of parents(of a blended family! They continue to work HARD at creating an environment that is conducive to healthy choices).
I'm also not saying that Stribling Counseling Services is the answer or holder of all of the secrets to unlocking the teen you knew you had. What I am saying is TAKE HEART! There is help available and there is hope. The parent's job is hard, with long hours, no overtime pay, and at time there's little thanks. But stay the course, it's worth it. YOU ARE DOING A GOOD JOB.