Being a parent is never easy. There is no single way to do it, no hard and set rules to making sure you make the best decisions and we all make mistakes. When we are trying to navigate the difficulties of a troubled teen it can be such a heavy burden of guilt and uncertainty that we just don’t know what to do.
One thing to always remember is that you are not alone. Many teenagers struggle with behavioral issues and so their families are faced with the same difficult hurdles that you are.
When you have tried everything and feel like you are on your last leg, it may be time to give behavioral modification a try.
Isn’t Behavior Modification Extreme?
The term behavior modification can bring to mind media depictions of intense psychological dramas, or stories of experiments being done with electroshock machines. It makes people nervous.
But behavior modification is actually a very calm, safe practice that uses positive or negative reinforcement (usually positive) to encourage changes in lifelong habits and coping skills. If your child has been in therapy, there is a good chance they have encountered this method of therapeutic learning before.
What If My Child Has Not Responded to Reinforcement Before?
Your teenager has probably been around some form of this idea in their life. For instance, a class may allow students who complete the end of the year with a certain grade or higher to go on a planned trip. This would be an example of positive reinforcement. On the other hand, they might have been in detention or suspended as part of a specific form of behavior they were warned about previously. This would be a form of negative reinforcement.
Not all teens react to this in casual settings. You may practice it at home but it isn’t being performed by a trained professional as part of a larger program that they are taking part in. For that reason, behavior modification may not yet have been successful.
Behavior Modification In Therapeutic Board Schools
A setting such as a therapeutic boarding school is perfect for behavior modification. It works within a safe, secure environment where teens can begin to grow. It is also administered by trained professionals in two areas: therapy and academic. Not only is this form of behavior modification performed by well-trained staff, it is extremely consistent, and all students are held to the same standards. These three components dramatically increase the success of our program.
Find out more at Sundance Canyon Academy.