If you are just at the beginning stages of dealing with a defiant and troubled teenager, you may be desperately searching for a solution. Well meaning friends and relatives may suggest to you that military school is the answer. But is it?
Many parents consider sending their children to a type of boarding program like military school. A true military school is a preparatory academy for teens with an interest in a career in the armed forces or similar establishments. It isn’t set up to help or heal teens with mental or behavioral struggles. But don’t despair! There are facilities that can help your teen now!
Almost across the board, military academies and schools are not appropriate for troubled teens and won’t provide them with the help they need to improve. However, many of the effective methods that military schools use are adapted to therapeutic boarding schools, and they have the same goal, which is to keep kids up to speed academically, develop good habits and skills and get physically and mentally healthy.
Here are three areas where therapeutic boarding schools and military schools have the same goals:
Military schools have a heavy emphasis on academics, especially in preparing for college. Therapeutic boarding schools also stress academics and have licensed teachers and professional faculty members working with students to make sure they are operating at grade level and getting ready for college or vocational training. The heavy emphasis on education at both facilities is really good news and only benefits the teens.
Challenges, hobbies and extracurricular activities are important at a military academy as well as at therapeutic boarding schools. Physical fitness, sports, recreational activities and healthy eating are key components of health and wellness. Both facilities emphasize this and strive to provide opportunities for kids to set and achieve goals and learn how to take care of themselves. Learning and growing self-confidence is a benefit that will help teens throughout their lives.
Where military schools differ from therapeutic boarding schools is in the therapy component. Students that are typically accepted at military schools are generally able to handle challenges and stresses in healthy ways. Of course, that’s the goal of the staff and faculty at therapeutic boarding schools–to have healthy students eventually. Students at therapeutic boarding schools often struggle with emotional, mental or behavioral problems, like hyper aggression, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, substance abuse and more. An important part of healing and learning new coping strategies is group and individual therapy. The goal is to teach teens how to transition to the adult world using healthy methods and with confidence in themselves and theri abilities.
So the next time someone suggests that perhaps your troubled teen would benefit from military school, you can confidently correct their misunderstandings and proudly state that your teen is working on their challenges at a facility designed to not just teach them how to salute but how to teach them to thrive!
For guidance on choosing the right therapeutic boarding school for your family, please contact us at Help Your Teen Now.