The most effective way to help a troubled teenager is to find people who have experienced and understand how to help at-risk youth. An online search will show results for many troubled teen programs designed to help the parents help their kids but did you know that there many local programs in your state, county or city that offer assistance. Speak to your church, school counselors and city or county services to see what programs are available in your own community. Often the local courthouse or police department can provide referrals.
You can also search for:
- Teenage Treatment Centers
- Adolescent Community Programs
- Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers
- City Youth Centers
- At-Risk Youth Community Programs
- Psychologist and Counselors
- Therapeutic Boarding Schools
- Troubled Teen Schools
But what if you’ve already tried all the local resources and you are still struggling with an out of control teenager?
If your teenager is struggling with serious behavioral issues these local programs may not be enough. Often after trying these programs your teenager may improve for a while but over-time return to their old habits and friends. This usually results in even worse behaviors, more anger and defiance.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools, Military Academies and Residential Treatment Centers are an alternative that many parents choose to help teens whose behavior is out of control. This intensive residential programs have a higher success rate due to the quality of care and having the necessary time to help your child to get better.
How does a therapeutic boarding schools, boot camps or other troubled teenager programs work?
Therapeutic boarding schools usually offer 8-16 month programs allowing your teen to address core issues that are often the root cause for the bad behavior. Self-knowledge results in personal growth that leads to learning and adapting new habits. Longer term teenage therapeutic programs are more intense and offer in-house counseling, Twelve Step Programs, behavioral therapies, academic programs and much more.
If you don’t know what program would be best for your son or daughter, we recommend you consult your Pediatrician, Psychiatrist, Guidance Counselors or an Educational Consultant to discuss the options available and how your struggling teen can benefit from a long term, immersive residential program.
The only way for your teenager to improve and correct his behavior is to understand the reasons they are making poor choices and find the right motivation to form new habits. Understanding the impact of their choices is key to avoid regression. Guidance and support without judgement in a positive environment away from peer pressures is often the first step to a new life. If your child can not easily walk away physically or emotionally and return to his everyday, he will begin to adapt. Once the anger subsides, in this new healthy environment free of temptations and distractions these teens excel.
How do I choose the right therapeutic boarding school for my troubled, struggling teenager?
The best therapeutic programs are licensed. They have strong boundaries but offer compassion and counsel. Many have merit based rewards and privileges. These are good motivators to get your teenager thinking about how to reach the “next” level. These rewards provide new growth opportunities, free time, fun time, adventures and more.
We see it over and over again, a rebellious teenager who is angry and resentful starts to let down their guard, and soon starts to be thankful that their parents loved them enough to to make this life-altering decision.
In this environment, there’s no one to prove that they were right. Its a clean slate of sorts. With some distance from the every-day ‘normal’ they begin to think about their behavior and how they ended up in this situation. They get less angry and start to think about their behavior and the consenquences. It is at this point that a child can begin to think about his actions and plan for the future.
Together with his new support team, counselors and peers he can develop a growth plan. Consider what they truly want and learn new skills and strategies to turn his life around and reclaim his future.