- 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
Troubled Teen Schools
Is your teen involved with drugs or is he drinking too much? Has he been in trouble with the police? Has your daughter ever run away from home? Is she flunking most of her subjects? Is your teen at risk for incarceration? Has your child wrecked cars and run up your credit cards? Has your family's life become a nightmare because of the way your teen treats you and because of all the trouble he has brought upon your family?
If this describes your situation, you may be considering placing your teen in a boarding school program. If you feel guilty about sending your child away and you don't know which school is right for him, have faith - you are not alone. Thousands of parents are facing the same difficult decisions about the best course for their out-of-control children.
Boarding schools can provide "breathing room" for everyone in the family. For the first time in months, you can sleep in peace because you know your child is safe. You can take time for yourself and for the needs of your other children. You gain the necessary distance to sort things out, while your child makes a fresh start in a supervised environment. The big question is: Which type of boarding school is best for your child?
Military schools. If you have a troubled teen, a good military school will not accept him. These top-notch institutions provide college preparation for students motivated to pursue military careers. Military schools for troubled teens are unregulated by the government. Often they spring up and then quickly shut down because of complaints by students and parents. In some programs, students have died of dehydration and heart attacks because they were pushed too hard or deprived of food, water, and warm clothing in order to "teach them a lesson." These programs usually cannot show proof that they produce results in helping troubled teens.
Wilderness Schools/Programs. These are short-term programs, often lasting a summer, in which adults go camping and hiking with troubled teens. Some programs are excellent interventions in the lives of troubled teens. A good wilderness program can make a teen quickly realize he has been on the wrong path and needs a new direction in life, while simultaneously increasing in self-esteem by knowing he can survive in a variety of environments and climates. Be sure to do your research when looking for a good wilderness program. There are many unregulated, pseudo-military wilderness programs that can do more harm than good. Ask for references, safety records and outcome-based studies; make sure the staff has top-notch educational and professional credentials and certifications.
Emotional growth or therapeutic boarding schools. These are intense programs, often with superior academics, designed to turn around a troubled teen's life, usually in less than two years. On a 24-hour basis, teens live with therapists who teach them better ways to cope without drugs or alcohol and to manage their anger and defiance. Residents study in small classes with teachers who have advanced degrees and work with them one-on-one so that each student can succeed and develop a love of learning. A good school will do a complete diagnostic work-up on each new student to uncover his psychological and educational needs. The best schools involve the student's family from the start, and have an intense follow-up program so that the student successfully transitions from the therapeutic school to a regular school at home. Finally, a good school will be able to provide you with a record of their successes and references from satisfied parents.
Residential Treatment Centers/Schools. Just a few decades ago, insurance companies would pay for inpatient treatment of mentally ill adolescents in local hospitals. Today, the trend is to keep inpatient care to a minimum of a few weeks or even days, even though many patients would benefit from longer stays. Residential treatment centers can offer intense treatment for teens suffering from bipolar disorder, anorexia, clinical depression, and other serious problems in a setting that is more homelike than a hospital. These centers should have a therapeutic staff with licensed psychological counselors and a full-time psychiatrist. They should provide art, music, drama, equine, and other forms of therapy, along with individual and group counseling sessions. Academics should be superior, with teachers working with psychologists so that each student can achieve his potential. These centers are expensive, but often can achieve lasting results in less than two years.
Fast Facts About Adolescents
By age 15, only 13 percent of teens have had sex. However, by the time they reach age 19, seven in 10 teens have engaged in sexual intercourse.