Celebrating Milestones and Achievements in Adolescent Treatment Programs: A Guide for Parents

Celebrating Milestones and Achievements in Adolescent Treatment Programs: A Guide for Parents

Treatment at Turning Winds typically takes a much of a  year—nevertheless, it is only the beginning of a new life for your teen and your family. “The real test, for both you and your teen, comes after discharge,” author Tim Thayne advised parents in his book Not By Chance. “While both of you have made personal changes, those changes will be put to the test in day-to-day living. Your job will be to provide the stable leadership and the proper structure at home (or in the ‘real world’) for the final transformational process to take place.”

At Turning Winds, we believe the success of our teenage clients is based on a combination of therapeutic and educational experiences that provide the best possible outcomes for each patient we treat at our residential treatment center. 

Celebrating milestones is part of the program at Turning Winds. One motivational element of our therapeutic approach is the Stars Program. “It represents different mile markers that these kids can achieve,” explains chief operations officer Carl Baisden. The Stars Program is all about promoting change. The mountaineering-inspired markers our teenage clients can achieve are called Start, Trail, Approach, Ridge, and Summit. 

“What makes the Stars Program special and different from other level systems is that it’s the kids’ process, says Baisden. “When they come in on their very first day, when they go through orientation and the intake process, they’re handed their little “Stars” folder and it basically is designed to put them in the driver’s seat of their treatment process.” 

The Stars Program is intended to give the kids daily wins and parents can encourage their teens by showing their pride in the ongoing achievements and by maintaining this important momentum after their child has graduated from our program. 

Graduating from Turning Winds is a crucial milestone in itself. Our students are not simply discharged from the program but celebrated for their tremendous achievements. Parents are an important element of that celebration, of course. 

Stretch the Goals

“Your job will be to gently encourage your teen to go forward,” Thayne wrote in Not By Chance. “Remind your child of past successes while expecting him or her to continue putting one foot in front of the other, even if he or she can only muster tentative steps.”

After graduating from Turning Winds, your teen has a base of confidence built upon achievements that they couldn’t have imagined previously. It is important to stick to realistic expectations now. 

“If you expect things that are too far out of your teen’s knowledge base, comfort zone, or belief in himself or herself, you are setting them up for failure. Be patient and introduce some stretch goals, something a little beyond your child’s comfort zone but not too far outside it.” With feasible stretch goals, the next milestone to be celebrated should be well within reach. 

Over the past two decades, Turning Winds has been able to help many families overcome what seemed impossible odds. Our mission is to rescue teens from crisis situations, renew their belief in their own potential, reunite them with their families, and put them on a sustainable path to success. Contact us online for more information, or call us at 800-845-1380. If your call isn’t answered personally, one of us will get back to you as soon as possible.

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