When deciding on your child’s education, parents often feel overwhelmed by the wide variety of choices on offer.
For parents with a troubled teen, this is possibly even more difficult, especially when they’ve opted for a residential treatment center like a therapeutic boarding school.
To help you understand more about therapeutic boarding schools, what they have to offer, and how to choose the right one for your child, we’ve compiled this useful guide.
Below, you will find more information about this type of treatment center and how to tell if your teenager is going through some sort of distress.
Warning Signs Your Teen Needs Help
The teenage years are filled with raging hormones, drastic bodily changes, and a shift in how their minds work.
This is all part of the teenage condition, but on odd occasions, environmental factors and internal challenges cause teens to act out and behave in harmful ways.
Here we list some red flags that may indicate to you that your child needs help:
- Decrease in academic performance or a reluctance to go to school
- Changes in appetite or sleeping patterns
- Evidence of self-harm or suicidal tendencies
- Sudden differences in how they behave around others, as well as social isolation
- Engaging in illegal, reckless, or risky behavior
- Emotional instability that manifests as erratic mood swings and irritability
- Lack of interest in activities that used to bring them joy
- Any form of substance abuse
If you suspect that your child is dealing with a mental health issue or is in any kind of distress, get help for your teen now before it’s too late.
One way to seek assistance is through enrolling your troubled teen in a residential treatment program, such as a therapeutic boarding school.
What is a Therapeutic Boarding School?
Much like a traditional boarding school, which focuses on structure, routine, and character development, a therapeutic boarding school has the added benefit of therapy.
Enrolled students are allowed to work on healing themselves in a supportive and nonjudgmental environment. At the same time, they receive learning support through tailored academic programs.
All of this happens in a place free from the negative influences they may have experienced while living at home.
Therapeutic schools are also beneficial for teens who have otherwise resisted traditional schooling models or have been reluctant to seek professional help for their challenges.
In essence, your child and entire family could benefit from what therapeutic schools offer, especially at a school where family therapy is offered and encouraged. This will help close relatives improve communication while providing coping strategies at the same time.
But how do you choose the right school for your troubled teen? There are so many available, and they all seem to offer the same thing.
The following advice may be able to help you with just that.
Tips For Deciding on the Best Fit
Your child matters—their future matters. And so do the decisions you make around their schooling. The best fit for your teen and your family suits your individual needs and preferences.
Whether you are looking for a Christian-based or wilderness program, there will surely be a therapeutic school that can cater to your every wish.
The most important thing, though, is to connect with your teen. So that you can understand exactly what they are going through and which options will help them best.
When choosing a school, here are some steps to follow:
Research, research, and then some more
It goes without saying that you should conduct rigorous research into the school/s you are considering. Without proper information on the treatment center, you may be unpleasantly surprised when you arrive to drop off your child.
It’s good practice not to limit your research to online sources. Speak to other parents at the school, former learners, and anyone else who may have information about what goes on inside the school.
Thorough research will also help you ask the right questions during your first visit to the school giving you more peace of mind about committing to a certain therapeutic school.
Physically go to school.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to meet the teachers or principal and to survey the school property and lodgings.
This will be your teen’s home away from home. You want to make sure that it is not only well-run but also suitable for your child’s personality.
For example, if your adolescent is keen on the outdoors, you’d want a school that offers ample opportunity to be outside in nature.
On the other hand, a tech-driven school may appeal to a child interested in computers and gaming.
It’s also important to consider the safety features at the school, such as adequate fencing and security at the front gate.
Ask about the therapy options.
A therapeutic boarding school will offer therapy, but you want to make sure that these options are varied and can be tailored to your troubled teen’s situation.
A good school will offer more than just two options for therapy. Some even offer art therapy or animal-assisted therapy.
This gives your child more opportunities to explore and work through their challenges.
Make sure the academic side is not neglected.
Your teen’s mental and emotional needs must be met. However, you don’t want them to fall even further behind in their academic performance.
Ask the school about their curriculum and also about their teaching methodologies. An added bonus would be a remedial program to help your teen get back on track with their grades.
Consider the methods of communication.
Your teenager will not be with you physically, but that doesn’t mean you’re no longer a part of their daily lives.
This is where continuous communication between the school and parents comes in.
Without regular updates and progress reports on your child’s development and adjustment to the new schooling environment, you may never know if the therapeutic school you chose is the right fit.
You Are Not Alone
Sending your child to a boarding school is not an easy decision. It requires significant research and open discussions to make the right choice.
While it is overwhelming to decide where to go, know that you do not need to make this decision in isolation.
At Help Your Teen Now, we offer expert advice and access to our knowledge to help you decide on the best therapeutic school for your child and your family.
Give us a free call today so that we can help you select the right school for your child and your family.