When teenagers start struggling with their behavior, academics, or social issues, finding the right help can be difficult. But have you ever thought of military schools? It sounds extreme, but military schools can help struggling teens.
As we all know, parenting is no child’s play. It is a fulfilling journey but often laced with many challenges. The defining adolescent years may require more than a little help for you as a parent if your teens run into trouble.
The military is gaining popularity as an option for parents who are looking for a balanced yet structured and disciplined environment to support their children. Military schools have a long history of creating a climate where troubled teens can improve personally, academically, and socially.
While they are known for military training and military career preparation, many military schools also provide academic and personal development programs for students who are struggling in traditional school settings.
In this article, we’ll explore why, what, and how military schools work to help struggling teens.
What Is a Military School for Struggling Teens?
A military school for troubled youth is a type of boarding school that combines military-style discipline with academic education and therapeutic interventions.
Military schools use both social and academic programs, as well as therapy, to help students overcome their challenges.
These schools aim to provide a structured and supportive environment that helps troubled youth develop discipline, responsibility, and academic skills.
Military schools for troubled youth aren’t a “one size fits all” fix. Although military schools have a high success rate, you’ll need to assess your teenager carefully to see if they would be a good fit for a military school approach.
Research and evaluate each school before making a decision.
What Do Military Schools Offer?
Military schools for troubled youth typically have a strict daily routine. They usually include:
- Wake-up calls
- Physical exercise
- Academic classes
- Therapeutic activities
Students are expected to embrace rules and routines. This includes marching drills, uniform inspections, and strict consequences for rule-breaking.
Here’s what military schools for struggling teens can provide:
Opportunities to develop self-discipline
Military schools provide a highly structured environment that is designed to instill discipline and order. This structure helps struggling teens develop a sense of routine and responsibility, which can be beneficial in the long run.
For example, mandatory class attendance will regulate their daily schedules. It allows them to find time to learn and participate in extracurricular activities. They will also figure out when it is time to study or socialize.
Mental health support
Military schools provide counseling and therapy services to help struggling teens deal with emotional and behavioral issues.
The campus therapists help create a secure and uplifting environment for the students to express their feelings and work constructively through their issues.
High-quality academic environment
Military schools offer rigorous academic programs that can challenge struggling teens and help them reach their full potential.
Military schools offer a smaller class size, which allows for more individualized attention for struggling teens. Typically, struggling teens tend to have academic difficulties.
Specially trained staff work with troubled teens to provide them with the support and guidance they need.
Tutoring and study groups are a normal part of military school student life. Access to these resources ensures that students are better positioned to succeed academically.
Military schools often have partnerships with colleges and universities to provide cadets with scholarships and other opportunities.
What Do Military Schools Focus On?
- Building a good foundation for character
- Physical health and fitness
- Leadership and confidence
- Community and belonging
Building a good foundation for character
Military schools place a strong emphasis on character development. They strive to develop young people of good character. They teach their students to be proactive, work hard, become responsible, and be respectful.
Military schools reinforce a strong code of conduct that values honor, integrity, and discipline through various daily routines. This includes exercise, leadership training, community service projects, and leadership opportunities.
These traits are foundational for success in any aspect of life and can help struggling teens overcome their challenges.
Physical health and fitness
Physical fitness is one of the key pillars of military schools—a core part of military school life. Sports and other physical activities are prominent in their education, physically and mentally challenging teens.
Their range of physical activities helps build confidence. These activities will give students a sense of accomplishment conducive to building their character.
Leadership and confidence
Military schools provide students with extensive leadership training, which includes classroom instruction, practical exercises, and leadership simulations.
Students learn how to inspire others. They are guided on how to make sound decisions under pressure and communicate effectively with their peers. These skills help struggling teens develop confidence and become effective leaders.
Community and belonging
Military schools offer a sense of community that can be very beneficial for struggling teens. Students live and work together in a structured and positive environment.
This helps them develop strong relationships with their peers. The sense of community is very empowering for students who may have struggled to fit in.
Military schools provide struggling teens with the opportunity to work with experienced mentors who provide guidance and support. Mentors serve as uplifting role models and help students develop the skills they need to do well academically and socially.
By having a mentor, struggling teens can develop a sense of belonging and feel supported as they work towards their goals.
Are Military Schools Effective?
There is a strong track record of military schools that have effectively helped troubled teens turn their lives around.
Military school students are more likely to complete their education. At the very least, they will finish high school and may even attend college. This gives them a better chance of having successful careers.
There’s a lower rate of disciplinary problems in military schools than in traditional schools. As a result, these schools may also come with higher student satisfaction.
However, military schools are not to be approached as a copy-and-paste solution for all types of struggling teenagers. They may not be suitable for students with severe mental health problems. Students dealing with substance abuse issues may also find military schools unhelpful for their situations.
Carefully consider the individual needs of your teenager and the circumstances impacting them before enrolling them in a military school.
If you are considering a military school for troubled youth, research different programs first. Don’t hesitate to talk to the school administrators. And, if you can, seek advice from professionals in the field.