The myths of teen boot camps and scared straight programs.
Years ago parents would threaten to send their children, especially defiant and belligerent teens to military school or boot camp. Then some sheriff’s departments developed Scared Straight programs through through their jails.
Inmates would speak to the youth about their experiences, both inside and on the outside, hopefully giving them enough of a jolt to realize they don’t want to be in their shoes.
If you are interested in scared straight programs, sometimes they can be effective with certain teenagers. Check with your local sheriff’s department to see if they offer them.
Going back to military schools, parents are making false threats since they will be quick to learn that these type of boarding schools are typically a privilege and honor to attend.
Your child will need a good GPA to be accepted as well as be willing to attend. Not to mention, if they are struggling with any type of experimentation of substance use, military campuses are not immune to students bringing in drugs or alcohol. They will be reprimanded, and like a traditional school – will be expelled within their school policy. However, you will forfeit your tuition with that too. Keep in mind, military school tuition usually starts at about $25,000 a school year and up.
Boot camps are what parents think about initially. They are very difficult to locate at this point. With a lot of negative press as well as results, most have been closed and no longer in operation.
If you break it down, boot camps were usually a weekend where teens were literally placed in a military-style environment with rigorous physical exercise in an effort to break your child down. It is an in-your-face type of discipline that isn’t resolving any of their emotional issues that is causing their negative behavior at home or school.
Many of these teens are already broken – emotionally. They are usually depressed and struggle with low self-esteem, placing them in an environment that only degrades them will likely build more anger and resentment – especially towards the people that put them there – the parents.
We challenge parents to switch places. If you are going through a rough time in your life, whether it be a divorce or a friend that is not treating you well, how would you feel if no one was speaking with you and you had people screaming at you constantly and degrading you as you are struggling just to get by?
Residential therapy, which includes emotional growth programs helps your teen work through their issues. Having conversations with counselors, peers and also participating in activities that can help build their confidence to make better choices is what can help start the recovery process.
Residential treatment centers is about building your child back up again, not breaking them down.
Before you think your child needs a good punishment, think about what it will really achieve? Being a teenager today is not easy. Being a parent is even more of a struggle – we all have to do our best to make it work and give our kids the best future.
Do you have questions or want to learn more about quality residential therapy? Contact us today.