If you are thinking about sending your teen to a residential treatment center for troubled teens, or a similar program, you might have some misgivings. There are numerous misconceptions about troubled teen programs, namely therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers, that have given the industry a bad name. Though some schools for troubled teens have earned their bad reputation, most others are quality programs with trained and certified staff members.
Hopefully, this list will help break the stigma of schools for troubled teens and clarify what you should look for in a good school.
1. Boarding Schools Are For Teens Whose Parents Don’t Care About Them
Movies and TV shows have made it seem like the only parents who enroll their kids in boarding schools are parents who really don’t want their kids at home. This is not true! Therapeutic boarding schools are for families who want the best for their kids and feel that traditional schools aren’t working for them.
2. Only Wealthy Families Send Their Teens To Boarding Schools
While boarding schools are not cheap, they also aren’t reserved only for the wealthy. Many boarding schools have scholarship opportunities and offer a variety of payment plans to relieve financial stress. When considering which school for troubled teens is best for your family, price should not be the only factor. When you find the right school, ask about financial aid opportunities.
3. Boarding Schools Are The Same As Boot Camp Programs
Boarding schools are very different from boot camp style “scared straight” programs. Those programs do exist, but they aren’t the same thing at all. Boot camp programs try to remove negative behaviors through strict rules and harsh punishments. Residential treatment centers provide a caring environment that encourages positive behavior rather than only punishing negative behavior.
4. My Teen’s Problems Are Too Big For A Boarding School
If you are considering an accredited residential treatment center, they will have staff members who are trained to handle the toughest problems. Their counselors are trained and certified to work with students who struggle with a variety of mental health problems and behavioral disorders. Your teen’s problems won’t be too big for them to handle.
5. Treatment Centers or Boarding Schools Don’t Allow Family Communication
Most boarding schools actually encourage family communication because it helps solidify the lessons being taught at school. Though you may not be able to visit your teen at the beginning of the program, you can still write letters. As the program progresses, you can expect to communicate with your teen regularly and to be part of the therapeutic process.
6. Boarding Schools Are Too Challenging For My Teen
Because accredited boarding schools can award a high school diploma at the end of the program, their schooling can be difficult. However, the students receive the support that they need to complete their schoolwork and move through each class.
7. Staff At Residential Treatment Centers Aren’t Trained Well
Unlike many of the boot camp programs that exist, accredited boarding schools have staff who are well-trained in working with troubled teens. As you search for the right program for your teen, ask specific questions about the program’s policies around how their staff address negative behavior from students. They should be able to give you clear, specific answers.
If you are considering a residential treatment center for your teen son, look for one that hires well-trained, professional staff. At Sundance Canyon Academy, we provide a caring environment for our students to address their behavior problems and form new positive habits. Contact us today to discuss your teen’s needs and see if we will be a good fit for your family.