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Boot Camps for Troubled Teens

Parents of troubled teens look for "boot camps" for troubled teens as one of the first options for intervention. For many years boot camps were a "staple" for helping at-risk-youth. In the the last decade many alternatives to the boot camp for troubled teens have emerged.  Today, there are many very good alternativesfor troubled boys and troubled girls. At Strugglingteens.co we help parents assess their child's situation and coach them through their options.  A few of our parents choose the boot camp approach, however we rarely recommend boot camps as a viable therapeutic option. There are a few kids that do well in a boot camp experience, therefore we do have a few boot camp programs that we recommend for parents who insist on the boot camp approach.  Essentially, boot camps for troubled teens are a unique military-style solution for struggling teenagers and youth who are “at risk”.  If you are a parent looking for help for your child we can offer hope.  Call us and find out what your options are, as we have many affordable alternatives to offer. 866-439-4818.

The premise of the boot camp is to use a strong discipline approach by utilizing forced submission to authority. Military science, using discipline (hard work, harsh exercise regiment, and following authority) as the foundation, out of control youth are compelled and coerced into following the directions of authority, and receive harsh penalty for failing to do so. Many juvenile court systems throughout the United States still use “boot camps for troubled teenagers” as an early intervention strategy to prevent adjudicated youth from turning into habitual criminals. The idea is to wake up the young person before they become an entrenched troubled teen. In many areas throughout the US boot camps are utilized for both troubled boys and troubled girls.

The problem with boot camps is the fact that they use “outside/external forces” to pressure troubled youth into compliance with rules, policies and adult authority. This compliance is usually short lived, and once the external pressure is no longer applied, the youth has a tendency to quickly return to the old negative behaviors. When troubled boys or troubled girls defy the authority established by the boot camps, the authority uses coercision through harsh penalties (usually exercise) to regain compliance. When boot camp participants comply, they are rewarded, and the pressure is taken off. Once the boot camp participant completes the program, and returns to regular (civilian) life, there is no pressure to comply. Thus, the troubled teenager completes the boot camp and soon is back out doing the behaviors that led him to be disciplined in the first place.

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