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Why The “Quick Fix” of Boot Camps Doesn’t Stick

There’s nothing like having a teen acting out, yelling at you, slamming doors, and being out at all hours for your average parent long to send them to a military school or boot camp. The crisp imagery of lined up young men and women, following orders and generally behaving properly, is incredibly appealing. However, it is also a fantasy when it comes to troubled teens.

While it is possible to send your misbehaving teen to a military school or boot camp, that may not be the best environment. Because, while these programs can force teens to line up, march, do push-ups, and more, that doesn’t mean it corrects the underlying issues. And, in many cases, teens come back worse.

Boot Camps And Other Programs Can Have Opposite Impact

Parents who send their teens to boot camps, wilderness camps, and military schools generally do so to help scare their kids straight and in the hopes that the military-style discipline will create change. Instead, all this kind of troubled teen program teaches is that their feelings and struggles should be shoved aside for arbitrary discipline.

In fact, there is research that is highly critical of programs that advocate for boot camps as a method of behavioral modification. The researchers were able to point to data that showed that for many of the teen boys, they would have been better off if nothing was done, rather than resort to a Scared Straight program, boot camp, or other similar programs.

Instead of these programs helping troubled teens, it teaches them that as long as someone has power over them, they have to obey. It does nothing to address the trauma or mental health struggles that have likely led to the behavioral issues. Rather, teens are disciplined until they can finally leave and go home, where they will likely restart their previous bad behaviors.

Struggling Teens Need Therapeutic Support With Discipline

Troubled teens do need structure and discipline to start to thrive again. However, this discipline needs to be leavened with kindness and therapeutic interventions, which can be found at residential treatment centers for troubled teens.

In residential treatment, a teen’s individual issues are assessed so that they can be properly addressed, rather than trying to push teens through a one-size-fits-all kind of program. Instead of being taught authoritarian tactics, teens at residential treatment centers learn how to communicate their feelings, struggles, and learn appropriate coping mechanisms to deal with hardship.

Also, unlike boot camps, therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers provide attending teens with an accredited education. That way, teens who have struggled academically can get the support they need to thrive again academically.

Choose Residential Treatment For Troubled Teen Boys

Rather than waste the time, money, and potentially have a worse situation develop with your teen, skip the boot camp, and look into a residential treatment center like Sundance Canyon Academy.

Several parents that we have worked with first sent their teen to various boot camps, Scared Straight programs, and wilderness camps. Unfortunately, those programs did not employ the therapeutic practices that are the heart and soul of Sundance, and their teens ended up attending our treatment center to get the help they desperately needed.

If you are interested in learning more about our program and whether it is a good fit for your teenage son, feel free to contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and tell you all about Sundance and what we do here to help troubled boys become excellent young men.

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