All Kinds of News for February 03, 2016
Making New Year’s resolution is a tradition in many parts. Sometimes they are articulated as general goals—“I’m going to get in shape this year!”—and other times into more actionable, measureable objectives like, “I will go to the gym three times a week.” A resolution itself is not change, though it does acknowledge the need for action and a readiness to engage in the real work of change. What are the other signs that someone is ready for change? How can friends and family support the change process? How does one know when change has happened?
Parents are often in the position to make difficult decisions with their young adult children. With emotions like pride, hope, concern, guilt, fear, and others involved, it is difficult to tell your 19-year old son that he needs to prove he is ready to return to campus before you will support him trying again. You can feel the urgency and earnestness in his plea to “let me try again—I know that I’m ready!” Unfortunately, a student without the opportunity to prove readiness can only talk and a parent without trust cannot offer the student a legitimate proving ground.
That crossroads is where young adult transition programs are able to offer something to parents and their young adult students. While at EDGE, measureable, achievable goals set by the student, parent, and staff can help clarify what work is required to earn another opportunity on campus or in independent living. Putting responsibility on the student to use the support and accountability of the program, parents can put themselves in the role of cheerleader instead of negotiator, supervisor, or evaluator. Students, instead of living at home, can separate from their parents and have the space to develop skills and demonstrate success in living autonomously.
Recognizing that change takes time and that multiple months of maintenance are the precursor to consistent, sustained success, EDGE Learning and Wellness recommends families commit to a minimum of six months in the program. Research by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983; Prochaska & Prochaska, 2009) on the Change process lays out stages that many go through as they work to improve some aspect of their lives. Acknowledging the need for change — making a commitment — is followed by developing a plan and taking action. Maintaining the change for a period of eight to twelve weeks without significant setbacks signifies a move into a maintenance cycle that becomes the “new normal.”
Even after the new behavior is established, the odds of relapse (a return to old behaviors) is high, which is why EDGE offers guidance and oversight throughout the process. Students who work toward change consistently for six to nine months at EDGE, practicing skills and maintaining healthy habits, confidently continue their journey of mastery by building a transition plan and successfully launching into their lives.
Contact Edge Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community at Info@EdgeLearningCommunity.com