Case Study: Easing Parental Anxiety and Opening the Door to Communication

Initial profile

Mother:

  • Has found her son heavily intoxicated on multiple occasions.
  • Believes that her son lacks accountability, maturity, and overall responsibility, which causes her to have severe concerns regarding his drinking.

Son:

  • Attended private school in New York City and plans to attend an Ivy League college in the fall.
  • Finds his mother to be overbearing, intrusive, and over protective.
  • Does not believe he has any problem with drinking and constantly battles with his mother over attending parties and his curfew.

Engaged with Youth Prevention Mentors in October, 2018

  • One-on-one youth mentoring once a week for 2-3 hours
  • Parental coaching once every other week with Natasha and the mentor
  • Family Coaching once a month with Natasha and the mentor

Summary

In order to promote the teen’s autonomy, Youth Prevention Mentors (YPM) set a contract into action with the family where the teen was accountable for waking up on time, finding a ride to school, scheduling tutors, and having a pleasant attitude towards his mother. We have made significant headway, as he now independently operates day-to-day without aid from his mother. While the son still finds his mother overbearing, their relationship is significantly more open and less hostile than it was previously.

Since he began working with a mentor in the fall, the teen hasn’t had any instances of drinking alcohol or caused any issues as a result of being intoxicated. Over this time, the teen has sincerely taken to the mentor and reaches out on a daily basis for advice on approaching his mother, drinking in social settings, interacting with girls, and what to expect of college life.

There are two instances that underscore real progress shown on both the teen’s and mother’s end. In March, the teen and his mother were supposed to travel on vacation. Moreover, in April, they were set to visit his prospective college for the weekend. Both instances gave the mother extreme anxiety, as she did not know how to keep her son safe while he was out with friends.. The mother and YPM decided that the mentor would accompany the child on both trips, allowing for the teen to have his autonomy while his mother had peace of mind.

Both trips concluded successfully, as the teen was able to socialize with his friends without any instances of substance abuse and without feeling smothered by his mother. Furthermore, upon the teen’s return from his prospective college, he opened up to his mother about the substance abuse he witnessed while visiting. His mother had never heard this kind of honesty from him, which serves as a testament to the progress made in their relationship.

Case Study: Breaking the Bonds of Peer Pressure

Initial Profile

Parents:

  • Highly active individuals in their respected lifestyles
  • Father is a financial executive; mother is a teacher at a prestigious college
  • Discovered their son under the influence of alcohol and pot on multiple occasions; had a hospital trip on a family vacation as a result of alcohol poisoning.
  • Experienced heightened moments of struggle identified through sons argumentative outlook and oppositional behavior

Son:

  • Academically intelligent teenager attending a NY private school
  • Socially withdrawn from healthy peers
  • Baseless notions of the negative effects associated with marijuana, alcohol and certain habits
  • Emotionally susceptible to contentious outbursts

Summary

Based on parental hopes and expectations, the YPM designed an action plan that incorporated character building criterion with value linked responses. Through the action plan, the YPM devised a goal for the son to ultimately abstain from smoking or ingesting marijuana. Additionally, the YPM action plan stressed an improved understanding of emotional stability and style of living for the son.

By implementing a phase-down process, the YPM mentor moved from working 40 hours per week with the son, to 10 hours per week over the course of 60 days. Through consistent application of purpose driven scenarios, weekly drug testing, and integrity related guidance, the YPM mentor now only spends 4 hours per week with the son for drug testing and weekly check-ins. The son has since abstained from the use of any THC-related products and is currently practicing new means of reaction based goals on a consistent basis.

Two examples of successfully attained and practiced goals would be that the son is no longer cursing in the presence of his mother. Through repetition of reinforced respect, and by practicing restraint of pen and tongue, the mother and son are able to communicate on a more transparent level. This has led to certain privileges being granted to the son, including a lengthened curfew and consistent allowance.

A second powerful example came around 45 days into coaching when the son emphasised over dinner one night that he was disappointed that his best friend was not supportive of him no longer smoking marijuana. The son was no longer fixated on the best friend’s opinion, a dynamic with which all teens struggle. Instead, the son was able to gain insight into the duality between partying/instant gratification versus working hard and setting himself up for larger freedoms in the future.