How to Write Good Letters to Troubled Teens in Treatment Programs
Writing to a troubled teen on a show is a difficult task for a parent. Teenagers may not understand why parents are forced to send them to a reform and rehabilitation program. Some teens may be angry at their parents for not understanding their problems. Parents should carefully word letters to their troubled teen so that a healthy relationship is maintained when the teen completes rehab and returns home to the family.
Complimenting the teen in the letter will go a long way in building the teen’s self-esteem. Parents should emphasize how much they admire the teen for making the effort to reform. They should congratulate the teen for following the program. However, parents must be careful not to overdo the praise to the point of sounding insincere. Parents should expect a letter from the teen informing them of her progress and any problems she may be facing. Parents should not overemphasize that the program is good for the teen.
The letter should be a query letter, not an instruction letter. The adolescent is in a program and is being instructed by professionals. The parent should ask the teen about the program activities. They should show interest in what the teen has learned. Parents should ask if the teen enjoys learning about the more positive aspects of life. Ask the teen what changes she needs to make. Parents should tell the teen that they are also part of the rehabilitation plan.
The humor is a happy interlude in a letter from parents to a teenager on a show. Adding humorous anecdotes of something that happened in the family or in the neighborhood can bring a smile to the teen’s face. Humor can lighten the relationship between parents and children, even if it is tense. The teen is going through a traumatic experience of reforming a negative lifestyle and will need something to smile about when on a show.
The letter should reflect the trust and faith that parents have in their teens. Parents should show through their letter that they are proud of the teen. They should tell the teen how much they are missed and how much they hope the teen will return home to a happy family existence. Parents should explain how important the teen is in their life and how much they look forward to seeing them at the end of the program.
Parents should monitor through their letters the activities in the program and whether the teen feels he or she is doing any good. Parents should make it clear that the teen does not need to continue with the program if she is not doing any good. They should make it clear that they are there for the teen and that they are willing to listen to any issues they have with the show and if the teen wants to leave the show for a good reason, they are willing to take it back.
Writing a letter to a troubled teen in a program is a tricky proposition for any parent. With thoughtfulness, kindness, and humor, parents can make their troubled teen in a program welcome her letters.