Most parents know to expect a bit of defiance and anger from their teens as they approach the often-tumultuous adolescent years. For some, that defiance seems to be amplified and overwhelming.
Your teen may be acting out in ways that you certainly did not expect. You may find yourself struggling to find the best way to discipline him or help to keep him from behaviors that can impact his education and his future as a whole. Poor decision-making as a teen can result in very serious adult consequences once law enforcement gets involved.
Once you’ve made this difficult decision, you’re now faced with your next challenge.
How do you find the right disciplinary school for your teen?
How do you find the right boarding school to meet the needs of your struggling teen?
If you’re at your wit’s end and are interested in getting professional help with your teen, you may be ready to consider a disciplinary school for troubled teens.
Getting started with a defiant teen
Your teen may be struggling in a variety of ways. He may be struggling with depression, anxiety, and undiagnosed trauma. He may also be dealing with peer pressure, drug and alcohol experimentation, stealing, and even risky sexual behavior.
All of it may contribute to his struggling with keeping up with school. He may have even decided that he’s uninterested in school completely and refuses to go.
How can you step in to help him understand that he needs to change his behaviors and his views on life?
How can you help him move forward in the right direction with the right influences?
- Begin with speaking to his counselors and teachers at school. They may be willing to offer solutions to help your teen get caught up on his classes until you can get him into the right boarding school.
- His school counselors may also refer you to additional resources to help him and the rest of the family adjust and cope during this difficult season.
- Speak with your teen, if he is willing. Ask him what he would like to do next. It could be that your teen recognizes the value of getting help from an outside source.
- If your teen is aggressive and violent, you may need to get more immediate help from law enforcement to protect the other more vulnerable members of your household.
Helping to temporarily stabilize your teen and household while you’re looking for the next option to help him can help to reduce stress levels for everyone.
How to find a disciplinary school for teens
You know that there is value in speaking with your teen’s school counselors to access more resources to help him. Your family therapist can also often provide recommendations to help your teen and your whole family.
Beyond that, how do you search for and select the right disciplinary boarding school?
Do an extensive search to come up with a list of options
Some may be in your state, but you may also find some out of state. It can be tempting to keep your teen closer to home, but in reality, you may find that an out-of-state facility can offer him better treatment options to meet his needs. Don’t discount a disciplinary boarding school because of its distance from your home. The focus should be on getting your teen the right help to meet his individual needs.
Learn more about each facility and its criteria for admissions
This goal is to make sure that you are selecting a school that will provide your teen with the right type of environment to help him recover and refocus. Some of the therapeutic boarding schools you look at may not have very strict admissions criteria. Others may be quite restrictive.
Rather than getting frustrated at restrictive admissions criteria, view them as an excellent way to determine whether this facility is the right match to meet the complex needs of your teen in crisis. Your teen will be spending a significant amount of time in this environment. It needs to be the best fit for him.
Get adequate therapy and services and ask for the facility’s credentials
Don’t ever feel like you can’t ask to see the licenses and credentials of a facility that will be caring for your teenager. The on-staff counselors, nurses, and other staff members should have the appropriate credentials to practice in their profession.
The same should hold true for the teachers who will be helping your teen to get and keep his academic future on the right track. If you’re not entirely familiar with the credentials and licenses required in the state, you’re researching. Do a bit of online research to learn as much as you can.
Educate yourself about the type of therapy programs
Therapy is such an important part of your teen’s healing and recovery process. The disciplinary schools you are researching should be able to share with you the types of therapies they offer. Science-backed therapeutic approaches are often the best option for teens in crisis. The facility should offer individual therapy options, group therapy, and family therapy to benefit.
Connect with families that have graduated from those programs
They may put you in touch with parents who have gone through the same struggles that you are facing. This is helpful as it can help you to better understand what type of results to expect from the process.
Be patient, do your research, and be thorough
It’s easy to rush into a decision when your family is in crisis. But it’s important not to make any rash decisions when you’re looking to find the right boarding school for your troubled teen.
Remember that your teen’s future and mental health is dependent on him being enrolled at the best disciplinary school. Look beyond the glossy brochures and flashy websites that claim their facility is the best. Take your time to browse through all of your options. The right option is waiting.
When you speak to the counselors at the disciplinary schools you are considering, ask plenty of questions. The right facility will be happy to offer you the answers to your questions, and then some. They will provide strong communication, an empathetic ear, and also will be able to suggest the therapeutic direction to help your teen get his life back on track.