There is a certain amount of pop culture surrounding the myth that all a troubled teen boy needs is to attend a boot camp or military school to get him back in line. Problem is, the images portrayed in various TV shows and movies are far from reality.
For instance, most military schools are considered prestigious academies that prepare students for a career in the military. Many of these schools will only accept exceptional students and particularly discourage parents from sending troubled teens.
As parents discover that military schools aren’t the place for their troubled teen sons, they start to investigate boot camps. However, these aren’t the best solution either, especially when compared to the benefits of a residential treatment center for troubled teens.
Why Boot Camps Don’t Work For Troubled Boys
A significant amount of the appeal of boot camps is how they are marketed to struggling parents. Much of the messaging around boot camps tell parents that through a boot camp, their son will experience rigid, military-like discipline and structure. This kind of pitch can be very appealing for parents who are struggling with an out-of-control teenager. But, there are several elements missing from boot camps to make them truly effective.
The biggest issue is that boot camps lack therapeutic intervention. While there is a therapeutic element to exercise, and boot camps do provide plenty of physical outlets, troubled teen boys need therapy to reach their deeper issues.
For instance, say that your son is struggling with anger management. This condition doesn’t make your son a bad kid, but he does need therapeutic help to learn how to manage his anger. With a boot camp, all a boy with anger management issues learns is that someone stronger and in power can do what they want, which is not the lesson you want your son to take away.
Another critical issue is that boot camps do not address academics for attendees. Many troubled teens have fallen behind academically in one or more subjects, and the time spent at a boot camp can leave them further behind.
Speaking of the time spent at a boot camp, attendance length is often variable. Often, teens attend a boot camp for 4-6 weeks, though it can be longer. Because of the shorter duration, boot camp can be a more affordable option, making it appealing to parents. However, if you want your troubled teenage son to make real changes, 4-6 weeks is not enough time for real changes to take place. For the possibility of permanent, positive changes, residential treatment centers are best for teens.
Residential Treatment Offers Teen Boys More Help
Where boot camps fall short, residential treatment centers excel. Generally, teenage boys spend at least 6 months at a residential treatment center, allowing them to benefit from the full scope of the therapeutic treatment available. Some of the top things residential treatment can provide troubled teen boys are:
Immersive therapeutic environment – Therapy is a the center of a residential treatment program like Sundance Canyon Academy. To help teenage boys truly overcome their struggles, our residential treatment center provides immersive therapy, from weekly individual therapy sessions to group therapy. We also offer family therapy, with secure video conferencing, to help families work together and heal any wounds that may be dividing their teens from the rest of the family.
Accredited educational program – Poor grades are a common hallmark that indicates that your teen boy is struggling. While boot camps don’t offer academic help, your teenage son can find academic assistance at Sundance. At our residential treatment center, we have an accredited educational program, licensed teachers, and tutors to help your teen retake previously failed classes. Our program is also designed to help your teen son catch back up with his peers, and he can even graduate with a high school diploma, not just a GED.
Life skills development – In many cases, troubled teens often miss out on developing a variety of life skills as they are immersed in their own struggles. These skills can range from public speaking to personal hygiene. While attending residential treatment, teens are given opportunities to develop many new skills such as leadership skills, communication techniques, musical talents, and more. As troubled teens cultivate new abilities, they are able to gain more confidence in their ability to change their lives for good.
Personalized care and improvement – Many troubled teens suffer from low self-esteem, and a poor connection mind-body-spirit connect. Residential treatment helps teens foster these vital connections. Naturally, the spiritual aspect is dependent on the parents’ beliefs, and the staff at Sundance will respect the wishes of the parents in matters of spirituality. That way, teens can develop a complete sense of self as they rebuild their lives.
If you would like to learn more about Sundance to see if our program is a good fit for your son’s needs, feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to talk to you about our program and help you determine if we are the right solution for your son.