Why Attend a Parent & Teen Support Program by Stephanie Weiss

 

 
This column space usually belongs to Cary Quashen, founder of the Action Parent & 
 
Teen Support Group Programs, which meets 52 weeks a year around the Los Angeles, 
 
Ventura, and Kern Counties. 
 
 
 However, today it becomes my space, space to share the importance of seeking help and 
 
attending a parent and teen support group. 
 
 
I am a Mom. I have been described by some as Donna Reed, Erma Bombeck, and 
 
Roseanne. I would like to think I have a smidgeon of Indiana Jonie tossed in for good 
 
measure just for the days I need to be invincible and persevere. 
 
 
The teen years are tumultuous at best. Having said that, I can tell you I survived the teen 
 
years, my kids are now grown. Both have become successful individuals in their own 
 
way, learning life's lessons along the way. A fact, that I am just now allowing myself to 
 
take great pride in, yes it's their life, not mine and they are learning. 
 
 
Raising our two teens wasn't always easy. And for those of you who know me, many 
 
know that with our second teen we found ourselves in crisis. A crisis that turned our lives 
 
upside down and honestly, a crisis we weren't prepared for. A crisis that has changed our 
 
lives forever - and that's not a bad thing. 
 
 
Just recently, a friend asked me how we survived and in unison, Jim (my husband of 40 
 
years) and I replied "we got on the same page" and "bent and broken we walked into the 
 
loving arms of a parent and teen support group." 
 
 
There I said it, "we couldn't do it alone." We needed help. As parents, we were easily 
 
caught up in the storm of emotion surrounding our one teen in particular. We expended 
 
energy in head butting contests, parent/teacher conferences, court dates, sleepless nights, 
 
and endless days of arguments, until were ready to drop from exhaustion, stress, despair, 
 
depression, and the hopelessness of our situation. We felt alone and everywhere we 
 
looked we saw other parents raising perfect children and perfect families, or so we 
 
We now know many families find themselves in "stormy" situations when their teen goes 
 
through the difficult period of development called adolescents. These crises are often 
 
accompanied by rebellion, drug and alcohol abuse and dependency, poor communication, 
 
low self-esteem, disrespect for authority, lack of motivation, academic problems 
 
and conflicts associated with divorce, death, peer pressure and the stress and strains 
 
associated with living in today's society. 
 
 
So what's a parent to do? Some simply hide their heads in the sand; continue being 
 
miserable and say "this too shall pass." Others find help in the form of a support group, 
 
a group of others who share our predicament and have professional resources to assist in 
 
crisis management. 
 
 
Support groups for parents of unruly teens are full of Moms and Dad who are currently 
 
going through the same problems and can empathize. Support groups allow you to vent, 
 
feel validated and encouraged, learn and problem-solve, socialize and help others, as well 
 
as build and keep realistic hope for the future. 
 
 
When you tell them, you were frustrated and yelled back at your child, they will nod in 
 
full understanding because they've been that frustrated. When you tell them, you just 
 
don't feel like getting out of bed in the morning, they'll understand exactly how you 
 
feel because they've been that depressed. In short, there is little to nothing you can't tell 
 
them that they haven't experienced or know they may well experience in the future. A 
 
particularly good group will make you feel as though you've come home to an open and 
 
accepting family you never knew existed.
 
 
A good supportive group will also be able to tell you what has and has not worked for 
 
them in managing their teens. Brainstorming problems is one of the greatest advantages 
 
to being in a support group with other parents. Corporations have departmental meetings 
 
where employees working on the same projects get together to identify problem areas 
 
and find the best solutions. Think of your support group as the Department of Parenting. 
 
From each parent in the group you'll gain new ideas and insights for helping your teen 
 
from how to avoid yelling contests to logical consequences. They will also give you a 
 
podium to voice your frustrations, fears, anger, terror, and last, but not least, your tears.
 
In this day and age, there is no excuse for not finding help when your family is in crisis. 
 
Parenting advice abounds on the internet, in our churches, temples and schools, as well as 
 
from professional counseling services. 
 
 
What makes the Action Parent & Teen Support Group Program so special? First, it is a 
 
parent and teen support group. In one room, Action offers parents a safe place to talk, cry, 
 
laugh, and to discuss teen behavior with others who offer practical solutions that work. 
 
Trained parent group facilitators lead each group.
 
 
While parents are meeting in one room, teens attend an Action teen group meeting. 
 
Growing up in today's world and making the wrong choices can sometimes be deadly. 
 
Teens are faced with pressures and decisions that can be confusing and frustrating at best. 
 
The teen group is lead by trained licensed and certified counselors who are experienced 
 
in working with young people. ACTION offers a place for teens to learn positive 
 
behaviors that will work for them. They learn skills to promote healthier and happier 
 
lifestyles. Remember there are "no" bad kids, however there are kids who "make" bad 
 
choices. Teens learn (with their parents) how to re-integrate themselves back into the 
 
family structure in a positive and communicative way.
 

The Action Parent & Teen Support Group Program also has a 24-hour crisis line, 1-800-367-8336. When one needs immediate crisis intervention, support is there.

 
My teen's out of control, at-risk behavior drew me to the Action Parent & Teen Support 
 
Group Program. It was the presence of 40 other supportive parents and the Action Parent 
 
& Teen Support Group Program Mission Statement that encouraged me to stay. 
 
"Action is a non-profit parent and teen support program We believe that by taking Action 
 
and learning new methods of parenting our families can improve. We offer hope and we 
 
care. Each group is led by a parent who has been trained as an Action group facilitator. 
 
You are not alone. Remember, we cannot cure all your problems in one meeting. Action 
 
takes a commitment of regular attendance."
 
 
Stephanie Weiss is an Action Parent & Teen Support Group Program volunteer and a 
 
member of the City of Santa Clarita Mayor's Blue Ribbon Task Force. She has lived 
 
Santa Clarita for 41 years and operates Strategies For Success, a full service public 
 
relations and marketing firm.

With drug and alcohol residential treatment locations in Santa Clarita, Piru, and Bakersfield; Intensive Drug and Alcohol Outpatient in Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Ventura, Pasadena, and Bakersfield, Action Family Counseling is here to help you.

For information regarding admission, intake, and services please call Action Family Counseling at    (800) 367-8336 or visit www.actiondrugrehab.com

Being a teenager today is a lot different than when we were kids.
 
The social and academic pressures are different. Drugs, alcohol, sex and gangs, are today’s 
pressures.
 
For some kids these pressures become too great. That’s where Action can help. Action is the parent and teen support program that families depend on 
to help when the stress becomes too much for your teen. 
 
If you are having trouble with your teen call (800) 367-8336