Yes it is true that the right boot camp can be a real help for your troubled teen. And yes it is also true that not all boot camps are the same. As a parent with a troubled teen, you will know that life can sometimes be tough. And if you are a troubled teen, living at home with your family is not always a bed of roses either. There needs to be an answer for both parties and that answer can well be a boot camp. But it needs to be the right type of camp.
If the teen in question has ADD/ADHD then as their parent you will know your teen needs security and a lack of surprises. That is where the right boot camp with its regular system of activities, discussion and lack of surprises comes in handy. All teens want predictable discipline. They need to know where they stand and that the discipline goalposts won’t be shifted mid game. This is where the ideal boot camp program comes into its own.
A good boot camp will offer plenty of positive activities during the day with open discussion sessions in the evening. Communication is a vital ingredient in the health and well being of every teen and especially a troubled teen. One to one conversations with a member of staff help but so too do the group discussions. The camp residents get the opportunity to express their feelings and hear from their peers. They learn the benefits of being open and honest and learn the skills in communicating with others. Often a troubled teen will feel frustrated believing no-one understands them. On top of that, many teens don’t have the verbal skills to explain their feelings. That’s why the regular discussion sessions have multiple benefits. The teens learn how to express themselves, hear what other teens are thinking and develop relationships with many other camp residents.
It’s natural for some parents to think that their teen will suffer a feeling of loneliness or even abandonment if sent off to a boot camp. This is never the case because the qualities of a family life are replicated within the boot camp. The staff members at the camp become the parents and the family which the teen has left behind.
So finally we come to the decision about selecting the right boot camp. They are not all the same and here are some tips to help in your selection.
Avoid a sterile setting. If your teen is used to a therapist’s consulting room, find a camp site which is the exact opposite. Look for a camp with plenty of fresh air, open space and the benefits of the great outdoors. Counseling is vital. Make sure the camp has a program which has discussion groups and one to one sessions for all participants. Always check the facilities beforehand. The choice of the right camp will have a positive and possibly a life-changing experience for your teen.
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