Even though your planning for an intervention for children is informal, that doesn’t mean that planning is not necessary. In fact, by virtue of its informality, in order to achieve the best results, you need to have an intervention plan in hand.
You should know the particulars of that plan before starting a family intervention for children. Below, you will find a 4-step plan that can help you initiate the process.
Prepare Your Approach
It is important to approach your adolescent in a loving and caring way — without anger or judgment. Of course, given that there is so much at stake during this family intervention, it can be difficult to do so. This is why it is important to rely on your support network of friends and family.
Bounce ideas for wording your statements about your child’s behavior off them. Cry on their shoulder and rant about your disappointment and how frightened for your child you are. Role-play different scenarios that are likely to occur — including your reaction to your child’s anger and denial — as well as admittance of their drug and/or alcohol use.
Observe and Make Notes
Chances are, your child is going to deny being involved in drug and alcohol activity during the informal part of the intervention. This is why you need to make sure you have written documentation of any observations of behavior that makes you believe that she or he is involved in drug and alcohol. This will ultimately help the intervention process.
Making and noting these observations does not need to be complicated — a few words such as “David came home from Ryan’s party with red-rimmed eyes and smelling of smoke. — August 21, 2015″ are sufficient enough so that you can levelheaded state your reasons for your concern and the informal intervention.
Choose a Time and Place Carefully
There is a time and place for everything, and this is especially true when you want to stage an intervention for children. A private place where your adolescent feels comfortable and at ease — such as your home — is best. Be sure to plan the family intervention for a time when neither you nor your adolescent is angry.
You also want to make sure that you have followed this guide so that you are prepared. Do not try stage an informal intervention when your child has been drinking or using drugs.
Know Your End Goals
While placement in an in-patient facility might not be the particular goal you have in mind, this doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t mention it. Of course, there are other possibilities available that could be a better fit for your adolescent:
- Outpatient care
- Individual alcohol and drug counseling
- Group alcohol and drug counseling
Presenting your child with all the available options can give him or her the information and control they crave. The earlier you schedule an informal intervention, the more likely you will be able to divert your adolescent’s slide into addiction.
Speaking with a Professional
Planning an informal intervention can be a stressful and frightening event. While it can be tempting to put it off, the longer your adolescent has to become entrenched in the drug and alcohol lifestyle, the more difficult it will be to reach them simply by using an informal intervention. In the cases where you are worried about something going wrong, it is wise to have a professional interventionist or a intervention services provider help with the intervention process.
Speaking with a professional who specializes in intervention services and adolescents can offer you ideas, support and resources to get through this difficult time.