How to Balance Structure and Safety for Your Teen After Treatment


How to Balance Structure and Safety for Your Teen After Treatment

When your teen has struggled with addiction, a mental health disorder, trauma, or a combination of these issues, treatment is often the first step. However, when your child returns home, as a parent, you will need to provide a lot of structure and support to help the healing process continue. Finding a balance of structure and safety will help your teen to continue to grow from the foundation of skills that they learned while in treatment.

Treatment at Sustain Recovery incorporates a similar balance of structure and safety. Therefore, when your teen returns home, they already have a good feel for what it is like to live in a structured environment created to help them learn and grow while prioritizing their safety emotionally and physically.

Balancing Structure and Safety

As a parent, you know there are many things you have to balance when supporting your teen. Two of these are structure and safety. An adequate structure is very important for your teen when they return home from treatment. Such structure helps them to remain on track in school, care for their health, and stay away from drugs and alcohol.

However, providing this structure can lead to conflicts and arguments that may lead to negative feelings between you and your adolescent. Finding the balance between maintaining and supporting structure often includes finding a good communication style, working with your teen to implement and create structure, and helping your teen to take responsibility for their actions.

Communication Style

It’s important to remember that your teen is a unique person. Sometimes they will be similar to you in many ways. Other times, you might find that your teen is wildly different. This is true in many aspects of who they are, including the way they communicate. A person’s communication style will dictate what kind of tone, conversations, and methods of transmitting information work well for them. For example, some teens do well when spoken to directly or engaging in in-depth conversations. Others may do better when given more time to think or by breaking the conversation into smaller chats.

When you, as a parent, are aware of your teen’s communication style, you will help them to feel emotionally safe. They are more likely to feel heard and understood. They will also have time to process in a way that is natural and helpful for them. Additionally, this facilitates good communication, which helps to create structure and helps them develop the skills necessary to build a healthy community after treatment.

Working With Your Teen

Structure after treatment is helpful and necessary for your teen. However, this structure does not have to be imposed on them. You can work with your teen to create and maintain a structure that helps them succeed. For example, this might look like creating a structure to improve overall mental or physical health. When your teen is working alongside you, they are more likely to stick with it.

Regardless of your teen’s enthusiasm and participation, they may struggle with maintaining a schedule or structure. This is one place where it takes a delicate balance to help them stick to their structure. However, you can keep them on a path where they feel heard and safe without losing structure in their lives. Having open and kind communication can help.

Helping Your Teen Take Responsibility

As a parent, you are watching your child grow up. This can be a jarring and surprising transition. After treatment, you may be tempted to try to hold onto the reins. However, this can be detrimental to your teen. Helping your teen take responsibility is valuable, helping them to feel safe and, over time, learn to care for their own needs.

When a teen has struggled with addiction, mental health, or trauma, they may not trust themselves. Getting home after treatment can be particularly difficult. However, with support, they can relearn how to feel safe in making their own decisions. This will slowly help them to feel safe emotionally and enable them to make safe choices for themselves – both now and in the future.

Value of a Balance of Structure and Safety

Having structure helps your teen to stay on the right path. Of course, the specifics of the structure will be unique to your teen’s needs. However, the structure itself can help your teen feel safe and give them something to lean on when unsure. This can help them both now and in the future as an adult.

Sustain Recovery believes that structure, both in treatment and afterward, is necessary for your teen’s success. Recovering from addiction, a mental health disorder or trauma can be very challenging. Giving your teen the most support and structure you can make a huge difference.

Learning to build structure in a teen’s life while maintaining a feeling of safety for adolescents after treatment is complicated. However, a structure can help your teen to feel safe when they return home from treatment. As a parent, you can enforce structure in a way that helps your teen feel safe. This involves working with your teen, improving communication, and helping them to take responsibility. At Sustain Recovery, we understand that parents play an important role in their teen’s success when they get home from treatment. Therefore, our treatment includes a safe and structured environment to help them build skills and provide a solid foundation to grow from. To learn more, call (949) 407-9052 today.