- What Is a Military School?
- History of Military Schools
- Daily Life at Military School
- Military School Discipline
- Why Military Schools?
- Who Are They For?
- Who Are They Not For?
- Alternatives to Military Schools
- Is Your Teen in Trouble?
- Military School Lingo
- Military Prep Schools
- Helpful Resources
- Articles on Teen Issues
Can Military School Help A Troubled Teen?
Teenagers act out in defiant ways for a variety of reasons. Sometimes these reasons remain hidden from parents.
For example, a teenager with an undiagnosed learning disability, such as dyslexia, may have been struggling in school since kindergarten. By the time she reaches high school, she has a long history of failure and bad grades. This teen is at risk for becoming a school dropout, and at above-average risk for alcoholism and drug addiction.
Other teens have underlying issues that require prescription drugs and medical intervention. A teen with undiagnosed bipolar disorder may appear angry and moody - with the right drugs and treatment, she can become calmer and more in control. Another teen may have Attention Deficit Disorder that causes him to be overly impulsive, hyperactive, and unable to focus on his work. Drugs and behavioral therapy can help him achieve in school and behave more appropriately. He may also benefit from specialized educational interventions specifically designed for ADD.
Other underlying medical problems are often Asperger Syndrome, oppositional defiant disorder, Tourette's syndrome, post-traumatic stress, and clinical depression. Many teens have issues related to adoption. They may have spent their early years in foster care or orphanages where abuse took place. They may need counseling and therapy for what psychologists call "attachment disorders." Any of these problems can make a child difficult to manage and unable to function at school.
Many teens who fall into the wrong crowd at school and abuse drugs or alcohol have underlying psychological issues that must be addressed by medical professionals. These teens need counseling, medications, behavioral therapy, and special instruction and support to help them overcome their drug or alcohol dependence.
Well-meaning parents sometimes do not realize that their teen is acting out because of such underlying medical issues. They may have been through a long ordeal with this child - long nights of worrying where he is, involvement with the police and juvenile court system, automobile accidents, embarrassing confrontations with teachers and others in authority, and endless arguments and family conflicts. They have experienced a roller coaster ride of emotions ranging from anger to shame to hopelessness and despair. They literally do not know what to do anymore. At this point, they send their child away to a military school, in the hope that harsh discipline and structure will straighten him out.
Such schools will impose an outer discipline of rules and punishments upon the child. The staff may use humiliation and other demoralizing techniques to gain control and "break his spirit." The teen learns to salute and obey orders, but inwardly, he is only growing more angry and defiant. He may experience further psychological damage from abusive techniques and harsh treatment used by the school. For example, many students report sexual abuse and beatings that occur when students are left unsupervised at night.
Therapeutic boarding schools are the more modern approach to helping troubled teenagers. They provide parents and siblings with breathing room and the opportunity to work with trained therapists while their teen is away at school.
When a teen enrolls in a good therapeutic boarding school, he will undergo a complete examination by a team of psychologists and doctors who can rule out any underlying psychological or mental disorder that requires medical treatment. Teens with drug or alcohol abuse issues will address those issues with licensed substance abuse treatment counselors. They can find out why they abused substances and learn new methods to cope with stress and anger.
Psychologists and counselors work with each individual child on an intense and constant basis to get at the root of their problems and to help them understand the need to change and how to do it. Once a teen understands her emotional issues and becomes ready to embrace a more positive, productive attitude toward school and family, then she experiences real, healthy growth as a person.
Therapeutic boarding schools also provide aftercare programs to ensure that the teen's success continues once he goes home and returns to his old environment. After leaving a military school, the strict outer structure goes away and there is no aftercare program. Since the teen has not internalized discipline or structure, he will usually go back to his old ways. There is no real permanent and healthy growth.
Learning to march in formation and to salute like a soldier does not help a troubled teen overcome complex emotional problems. However, trained and licensed professionals who guide teens in a firm but kind way can help your child can become the happy, productive person he was born to be.
Fast Facts About Adolescents
In general, one in every three (37%) articles in leading teen girl magazines includes a focus on appearance, and most of the advertisements (50%) appeal to beauty to sell their products.
Stone Mountain School
Stone Mountain School offers boys with learning disabilities (ADD/ADHD) or emotional and behavior problems a safe, structured environment in which they can thrive and succeed both academically and socially. Students work through a stages system that includes requirements in personal hygiene, social behaviors, academic performance and independent living skills. Parents whose children have attended Stone Mountain School report that their children get along better in the home, perform better in school, and have a more positive outlook on life. Enrollment in Stone Mountain School is the start of "A Journey to Manhood." Call 866.858.4883 to learn more about Stone Mountain School for boys.