Types of Placement
When parents reach their threshold of toleration for their teen, they are forced to seek outside help. There are a variety of options to consider. Once option is a troubled teen boarding school. Some of the boarding schools provide therapy, and some just concentrate on the teens negative behaviors. When the teen makes a good choice they are rewarded with increased privileges. When the teen makes a bad choice they are given a consequence or they lose a privilege. This type of program is some times called behavior modification. There are hundreds of articles and opinions about behavior modification. Opponents say that as soon as consequences stop the negative behavior returns. Advocates of behavior modification say that if a positive habit can be created the teen may continue to choose appropriately.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools
A therapeutic boarding school is similar to the traditional boarding school with the added component of professional therapy. These programs are usually pretty costly. The advantage to them is that many of them qualify for reimbursement from the family insurance policy. Not every insurance company will cover the costs, but there are still some that do. Some people are not interested in this type of option as many teens will not take advantage of the therapy. In order for therapy and counseling to work the patient has to be willing to open up and discuss their problems. In many families the teen thinks his or her parents need therapy not him or her. This attitude makes it difficult for the therapist to make any headway. Some teens will even manipulate the therapist and refuse to tell them the truth.
The theory behind the boot camp ties itself to the military. When a young person joins the military they must go through a boot camp. The boot camp usually includes a lot of calisthenics, running, and physically demanding activities. Some of the activities are team oriented. This requires the cadets to work together to accomplish certain tasks. This can develop a sense of belonging and brotherhood. In the troubled teen setting, a boot camp uses some of the same concepts. Teens are pushed and prodded in an attempt to push them into a different frame of mind. Many teens enter a boot camp or boarding school with a foggy mind from smoking marijuana or using some type of illegal drug or alcohol. When their head is able to free itself from the mind altering substances the teen is more likely to look at their behaviors. It is a good idea to follow a boot camp program up with a more permanent solution. These can include a military school or teen boarding school.
A wilderness camp is an opportunity for a teen to spend some time in the wilderness. Some of these options teach the teen to build a fire, make a camp, and learn to become self sufficient. This option removes the teen from the electronic world that many are addicted to. The Wilderness Camp has opponents and advocates like any option. Some people are against the Wilderness type programs because they are subject to the environment, and elements that staff and program directors can not control. Teens are all required to pull their own weight in this setting. Some gather firewood, some build the fire, some cook, and some clean. The teens are under peer pressure to accomplish their individual chores. If a teen is responsible to gather firewood so dinner can be cooked, her or she must do so, in order for everyone to eat. This type of rudimentary, yet important task, can create some interest dynamics within the group.
Christian Boarding Schools
Another option available is a Christian Boarding School. This is similar to other teen options, with the addition of a religious component. Most Christian programs include prayer and religious services in their program. In some cases the Christian schools are able to offer services at a lower price than traditional troubled teen boarding schools can. Some people may think that this option is not available to them because they are not religious. This is not the case. A Christian Boarding School is still an option even if the parents are not religious. Parents will need to agree to allow the teen to participate in the religious components of the program and render support as needed.
Scared straight is a term that has been used surrounding troubled teens for years. This is the shortened version of a troubled teen boot camp. Some are as short as 72 hours. The scared straight team meets with parents to establish a game plan. In this meeting goals are set and options are selected. The next morning the retired Policeman, former military, and interventionist, conduct an early morning wake up. The teen is taken from the home. The next few days can be life changing. They are designed to shock the teen into reality. The reality is that if they don't change they may end up in jail, or dead. This option is a little frightening, and not for the faint of heart. When a teen reaches a point of no return and needs to be sent to a program, the teen may undergo something similar. Many teens are escorted from their home when they go to a program. This is because the teen will refuse to go. The scared Straight option is a shortened version of the pick up by the transport team. This experience can send a message to the teen that their parents are serious about helping them change their negative behaviors.