I Have Heard Bad Things About Troubled Teen Boot Camps, What Is My Next Choice? 


Your child is headed down a rocky path, and you want to help him or her before their life spirals further out of control. While you might be thinking about a troubled teen boot camp, you have heard some questionable things that make you wonder if that would be your best option. You know they need structure and intervention, but what’s the answer?

An Overview of Boot Camps

At a troubled teen boot camp, you will find a very strict program with a tight regime and schedule. The staff acts like drill sergeants, with all of the implications of a military boot camp. These facilities are generally run by the county or state and are the last stop for teens before transfer to the harsh reality of the adult criminal justice system. Your young person will probably need to be sentenced to boot camp by a judge. However, you might be able to find a program that will take your child, depending on the situation.

Similar programs, called wilderness programs, vary in length and rely on a tough experience in the outdoors in order to teach compliance, discipline, work ethic, teamwork and more. They vary greatly in length, depending on the parameters of the program.

Possible Dangers of Boot Camps

In addition, recent tragedies at some boot camps are additional reasons to be even more cautious when it comes to placing your child in this type of facility. Young people have lost their lives for a variety of reasons, including:

Dehydration Suicide Physical abuse Inappropriate restraint by staff members And other issues.

This does not even take into consideration the physical, emotional, mental, sexual and verbal abuse a child could experience in these facilities. In addition, the lack of emotional support and therapy fail to address core issues that could mean a significant setback for your already troubled teen.

A lack of regulation in the industry means that the boot camps are not held accountable via federal oversight. Inexperienced and untrained staff have contributed to the listed deaths in several cases. Parents would be well advised to thoroughly investigate any facility that their child might attend. Studies have confirmed that boot camps do not bring last results, which is the true test for your child.

Alternatives to Boot Camps

After reading and careful consideration, you might have decided that you are no longer interested in a troubled teen boot camp for your child. Instead, you might want to look into a therapeutic boarding school. These schools focus on structure, a routine schedule, strong academics, physical well-being, group and individual counseling and substance abuse issues. Your adolescent will be able to grow during the time they are enrolled in the program and make a new start for themselves.

Advantages of Therapeutic Boarding Schools

A long-term program, such as a therapeutic boarding school, might offer several advantages over a troubled teen boot camp. Consider the following as you make a decision:

Therapeutic boarding schools usually involve enrollment for at least a year. When you are dealing with a child who has been battling behavioral issues for more than a decade, their problems likely will not be solved through a short-term program. If you are looking for long-term changes, you want to instill new habits into your child that will last from here on out. A sacrifice of a one or two years at this point can mean a lifetime of new behaviors. These schools consider the whole child and treat them accordingly, taking a holistic approach. Areas of focus include academics, teamwork, individual and group counseling, substance abuse, mental health and attitude. Additional benefits your child might reap include taking responsibility for their behavior, self-discipline and learning to respect authority.

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