If your teen has been struggling at a traditional school and also seems to be facing challenges within the community and family, you may be looking for an alternate school option for him. If you’ve considered a discipline school, you may be under the impression that it’s very similar to a military school.
Military schools and discipline boarding schools are good alternatives for parents and troubled teens who could benefit from a different living and learning environment. While it can be easy to think that these two types of facilities are the same, the truth is that they do offer some key differences for teens.
A military school provides teens with a robust blend of education and discipline, often to help prep them for a future in the military. A discipline boarding school focuses more on providing a therapeutic residential environment that will help to prep teens for returning to life and home and in their communities.
Let’s dig in a little deeper, so you can better understand which option might be the better one for your teen and the future of your family.
What is a military boarding school?
Not unlike any other boarding school, at a military boarding school, the students will live in a dormitory environment. They will also attend classes that are structured to meet their educational needs and goals.
The education will often focus on values that are held in high esteem in the military. Some of these values could include rigid and unfailing discipline, strong character development, and personal accountability.
Another consideration about military schools is that many of them will have a strong focus on fitness, with athletic activities that will firmly align with the need to be in top physical shape for a career in the military.
Here are a few key facts to keep in mind:
- Parents who are struggling with teens who are belligerent, disobedient, or unmotivated may turn to military schools for help.
- Some teens struggle to adjust to discipline in a home setting for various reasons. They tend to respond better in the strict and structured environment of the military school.
- Military schools often have a no-exceptions, zero-tolerance regiment that students need to adjust to.
- Military schools can be more rigid than some parents are looking for in terms of discipline.
- A military boarding school is not always a good fit for a teen who is not likely to pursue a career in the military.
- Students in a military school won’t get counseling support or help for substance abuse concerns and mental health problems.
Military schools are not for every struggling teen, and some parents may be hesitant to send their teens to a military school. In these situations, a discipline boarding school may be the better option.
What are discipline boarding schools?
If your teen is struggling, another boarding school option may be the better choice for your teen. Also often referred to as a therapeutic boarding school, these educational facilities feature the structure and discipline teens need to thrive– albeit to a less extreme extent than what will be seen in a military school.
In a therapeutic boarding school, students will benefit from a blended program that will focus on academics, personal growth and development, and counseling for students struggling with a variety of concerns. This could include mental health, substance abuse, and more.
Students will live in a residential setting, with part of the learned experience being focused on personal responsibility and learning to be independent. Teens who have mental health concerns, problems with addiction, emotional challenges, and a range of behavioral problems can benefit from this therapeutic environment.
Here are a few key facts to keep in mind:
- Discipline schools offer more of a therapeutic approach than military schools do.
- Many provide a range of counseling options, including individual, group, and family sessions.
- Most will offer a fully accredited high school curriculum to help students catch up and keep up with their academics.
These boarding schools work well for many struggling and troubled teens. However, they aren’t always the right motivational environment for teens who need more discipline and a more rigorous structure.
What are the similarities between military and discipline schools?
You know the key differences between military and discipline schools. That can help you make the best decision to help your teen grow and learn. Evaluating the similarities can also help you determine whether this type of alternative education option is a good direction for your teen and your family’s future.
Similarities between the two options include:
- Both offer your teen an opportunity to learn personal accountability. This could be as simple as learning how to do his laundry, make his bed, and help prepare his meals.
- Both types of facilities offer a focus on academics. Military schools will often incorporate more military history in their curriculum. Still, both will ensure that students are allowed to catch up on missed work to refocus on their academic future.
- Both will offer teens the ability to develop leadership skills in varying ways. These skills can help teens to learn better communication methods that will stand them in good stead as they return to the world outside of the structured environment.
- Each type of environment will offer teens the routine and structure they need, at different levels of course. Teens can find themselves struggling if they don’t have a routine. With the introduction of a routine and knowing what is expected from them, troubled teens will better focus on the growth and forward-thinking they need to.
If you’re unsure which of the two options is best for your teen, it may be beneficial to speak to a counselor who can offer impartial insight. If your teen is interested in a life in the military, then it should go without saying that he can benefit from attending a military school.
He will find the structure he needs and focus on the future he wants. Teens struggling with mental health, addiction, substance abuse, and other concerns may be better served by time in a discipline school. Here they will learn how to adapt to societal expectations, life back at home, and the challenges they will experience.
Evaluate each of your options to determine what the future for your teen could look like. As much as you may not want to send him away from home, sometimes that new environment could be just what he needs.