Drift & Rift Began at Age 13
Having a troubled teen is a horrible nightmare for a family to go through. Our nightmare started when our teen was 13. They hung out with the wrong kids, got into trouble at school daily and came home when it suited them; if at all. Whenever the phone rang I got chills just thinking about what could possibly happen next. Little did I know at that time how bad things can get and how quickly? Shortly after filing a missing child report with the police I was contacted to go to the police station. The police officer was horrified with my teen’s attitude and disrespect and suggested I go straight to Children’s Aid and see what they could do to help us out before things got much worse. Weeks later my teen was picked up for shoplifting. This is when the John Howard Society became a very important part of our lives and we enrolled our teen into the Extrajudicial Measures Program.
Eleven days after being charged my teen went for the first intake meeting with JHS. All of the sessions for this anti-theft program were completed five weeks later. I knew that my teen was lucky for such a program to exist and that they were given a second chance. I just prayed that my teen realized that it was a second chance and didn’t screw up again. I can’t explain how I felt as a parent knowing that my child was not bad; but still choose to do bad and unlawful things regardless; without having the maturing to know the implications and complications that would follow them through life because of their stupidity.
I was so thankful that this Extrajudicial Measures Program existed and that my teen would be given a second chance and that they wouldn’t have a record after completing the program. I think many teens make stupid life decisions during their teen years and if they could be given a second chance it would be much more successful in the long run for them. Many teens get in to trouble over and over again; they must think they have nothing left to lose because they already blow it. What a fantastic thing it is to actually get a do over or fresh start and a chance to make things right.
I spoke to the lovely and caring women at JHS many times and asked for them to continue to help me get the extra support needed to keep my teen on the right path. They did so much and so quickly for us that I can never thank them enough. JHS agreed to continue to speak with my teen weekly on a one to one basis after the anti-theft program had been completed. This helped a lot since my teen obviously had issues and thoughts that they didn’t care to share with their family but felt comfortable speaking with the counselors about.
Shortly after the one on one counseling started JHS contacted me about a Multi Systemic Therapy program that they could offer to us. We had our first meeting six weeks later. We were enrolled in the program for approximately 6 months and had home visits twice a week. Many issues were discussed and solved in that six month period and it was the beginning of a new and improved teen outlook on life as well as a new way to think about parenting. JHS also helped prepare a resume and find my teen a job that would give them experience and life skills and have kept them on the correct path. With the continued support from JHS that we received from day one I am proud to say that my teen is enrolled in school and finishing grade 12 and happily employed and loving their job and this makes us extremely pleased. It is a real blessing that all of these programs exist and that the help is out there if you need it. I know without the second chance that my teen got with the Extrajudicial Measures Program and all that it lead to the story that I am sharing with you now would not have the happy ending that it does.
I want to thank the many people that have helped our family out through this horrible ordeal and tell them that without your help and support my teen could have ended up another horrible statistic but instead they are a happy thriving teenager that loves life and is making the most of it in all the right successful ways that a family could pray for. We are so thankful for the second chance that that they got that made the rest of this story possible.