Time in residential treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction is structured. From rise to rest, kids in a rehab program are given a structured schedule for their day. Every day they take medication at the same time, eat at the same time, participate in groups around a similar schedule, and have lights out at the same time. The structured life of treatment gives adolescents and teens the time management they need to stay busy, stay focused, and stay on track. Incorporating academics into treatment helps adolescents develop a discipline for their homework and their studies while balancing time with their treatment and recovery. After graduating through levels of treatment, clients will create a cohesive transition plan. Together with their families, a core strategy for time management, recovery management, and academic management is put into place. Theory, however, is always different from practice. Kids will be kids. Post-treatment, it can be easy for kids to want to digress into old behaviors and run on their own schedule, feeling that they’ve “earned it” after being so good in treatment. These tips can help you enforce time management while inspiring kids to continue enforcing it themselves.
Have a public family calendar
Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are full of ideas for creating fun, colorful, functional calendars that keeps the whole family organized. Kids in recovery are easily isolated when they feel like they are the only ones who have to run on a tight schedule because of their recovery. Keeping an open family calendar allows the whole family to decide on spending time together and make time for family bonding.
Make a family counter system
Harry Potter, the popular youth fiction series, includes a school where a tally of “house points” are constantly kept, open to the view of the school. The large glass cylinders are filled with a magical “powder” that adds or detracts to the cylinder. At home, each family member can have a designated glass jar or vase and a designated color of jelly bean, marble, sand, or glitter. Together, the family decides on a measurement system. When everyone acts on time, gets their chores done, and meets their daily requirements, add to the jar. When they don’t, subtract from the jar.
Your child is more capable and resilient than they might be at their age after going to treatment. Instead of creating systems for them, you can empower them to use the systems they have created for themselves. Ask them what works best for them, remind them to write things down, use their phones, or utilize their planner. Always encourage them to do what they are capable of and remind them that you are there to help them where they feel like they are falling short.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center is a residential treatment program for adolescent and teenage boys. Our long term treatment programs for addiction and alcoholism incorporate clinical treatment and academic progress. Call us today for information: 662-598-4214