In short, yes they are. But there are misconceptions about boot camps. One misconception is that they are brutal places intent on handing out harsh discipline. In many cases this could not be further from the truth. Boot camps with the right type of program are helpful venues for unhappy young people. The right experience in a boot camp can change a troubled teen into a confident and self-disciplined teen.
Parents with a troubled teen are often at the end of their tether. They love their son or daughter and don’t want to be a tough disciplinarian. No parent wants to spend their life yelling at their kids or imposing penalties. And that is where a well run boot camp has so many benefits – for the troubled teen and their parents.
The best way to look at a time to be spent in a boot camp is to see it as a fresh start. Life is tough at home. Maybe there are problems with teachers and other figures of authority. Getting away from their environment is good in itself. Moving into a completely new environment is better. The staff members are there to help. The other teens, if they are honest, want to make new friends and get rid of their past. The fresh start is often the best part of the boot camp.
There are different ways to approach discipline. One way is see it as a transgression and have appropriate punishment in place ready to be applied. Another approach, and a far better one, is to explain to a troubled teen how their misbehavior benefits no-one and particularly not them. By learning self-discipline the teen removes the threat and application of any punishment, possibly earns a reward and best of all, gives the troubled teen self-belief and self-confidence. This a major benefit of a boot camp. It changes the thinking of a troubled teen from that of being a loser and a victim to that of being a winner in every meaning of the word.
Sometimes the best form of discipline is to remove the opportunities for the troubled teen to get into trouble. That’s a real plus of a boot camp. They have plenty of healthy outdoor activities. The residents go hiking, kayaking, camping and more. Their active hormones are replaced by using energy on positive physical events. This results in further benefits. Their bodies are given a healthy workout. They top up their fuel tanks with lots of nutritious healthy food. They sleep well having spent so much energy during the day.
Boot camps are also renowned for their timetables. Teens and troubled teens in particular enjoy a reliable and constant structure to their lives. This is what they get at a boot camp. The rules are clear and well explained. Teens feel secure within the tight framework. This is a case where discipline adds to the recovery process.
Yes, boot camps certainly are ideal places in which a trouble teen can receive helpful discipline.
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