I use this term because it is unique to the traditional procedures for finding housing assistance for struggling teens. These are restless children who have enough problems and need a living experience where they cannot handle their parents or others around them. To succeed with these children, the residency program must have trained staff working with them 24 hours a day. Traditionally, when a father had a child “acting,” the usual procedure was to go to a professional to help.
The parent can go to the doctor hoping that the doctor will find a place or therapist to help him, or go to state social services and hope that the problem is serious enough that the state will put the child in a suitable place. Or, if the child is doing something illegal, the parent may report the child hoping that the court system and juvenile justice will provide the necessary assistance. In this traditional procedure, the professional was the decision maker and the parents were often passive spectators both in the search for a suitable placement and in the treatment. The paradigm that these professionals often had was the parents who were the problem, and the professionals who were the solution.
Although society has progressed a lot since those days, I still sometimes encounter this old attitude of some professionals who, by their actions, and sometimes by their words, seem to say to parents: “You messed up your child. Bring it to us. , and don’t bother us ”. And we will fix the baby. ”
With this attitude and philosophy, parents are optional. Of course, many professionals who work with children, employed by specialists, try to involve parents in the intervention. However, everyone knows that parents who participate in such programs are non-compulsory, defenseless, and may be excluded from interference at any time that some professionals believe to be of concern. The only antidote to this sense of powerlessness is the empowerment of parents with true parental responsibility and authority in making decisions about their children.
All the research I have read has concluded that the most important factor in the education, recovery or even education of a child is parental involvement. The internet is full of tips and ideas for professionals on how more parents are involved in each of the schools and the treatment of their children. The problem is that most of these efforts are attempts to get parents to do what professionals want them to do, in the way that professionals want them to do. The end result is that parents are still relatively helpless, with limited responsibilities, and often act accordingly, with average participation. Parents who find themselves in this situation not only feel powerless at times and therefore show modest interest, but also feel empowered, which means they believe they are worthy of service without having to do anything for themselves.
The dynamics are completely different when parents are responsible for both the choice of service and the treatment or education of the child. When parents see that they have a voice and responsibility in a situation, most parents will take the opportunity and be more responsible for their children’s success. If parents are hesitant to fulfill a responsibility, it is the responsibility of the program to help educate parents on how to work with the program and explain the benefits of this parental involvement to both parent and child. At least that’s how I found schools and programs on the net that I work with. Of course some parents will not be able or unable to participate, but this is not an excuse to exclude all parents and eliminate the positive impact of active involvement of these parents.
Many treatments aim to work with the child as part of the family system. This is not only consistent with Parental Choice, but a natural extension of it. When parental involvement at any stage of intervention or education is successful, the family is strengthened, the child recovers or matures, and parenting becomes the rich experience it was intended to be.