Making the Decision – Coming to Terms About Sending Your Teen to Boot Camp

Oftentimes, parents think of sending their teens to juvenile boot camps as a response to the frustration they feel. Some use it as a punishment, some just don’t know what to do with defiant, struggling teens anymore. Whatever the motivation behind it, most of the time, the real purpose lies at the heart of the matter; parents who don’t want to see their child struggling anymore, who want to see them come home and be part of the family and society as better-adjusted individuals. Parents often send off their children to kids boot camp in the hopes that they will come home “fixed” and better-behaved. Hopefully, better equipped to make right decisions in the future.Juvenile boot camps were initially designed for teens who had run-ins with the law and should not be lumped together with adult criminals. These days, there are troubled teen boot camps where teens can go to even if they are not required by a court of law to get in. The system uses similar techniques used in military camps to take newly-enlisted cadets and shape them into tough, disciplined soldiers. bootcamps for teens aim to turn teens’ lives around and help them gain a positive outlook and attitude towards life.Admittedly, these boot camps for teens have had their share of controversies. Taking the time to understand what happens in these camps and what other options are available for your child can be a significant help in turning his/her life around.Many parents fear that their child’s life may be put at risk when enrolled in boot camps. It’s best if you look at a camp closer and find out whether they have doctors and nurses in the camp with the cadets, what sort of physical activities and military exercises are done, whether they adjust these tasks based on the physical capabilities of each child, and what forms of punishment are employed for certain rules that are broken. You can ask how often you can communicate with your child and through what means. It’s okay to ask about the kind of experience your teen can experience in camp.It’s also important to consider whether the issues you are encountering with your teen merits time away to boot camp. If you’re having problems with your teen that involves little things that could still be corrected in other ways, maybe it’s time to consider what other things you can do before sending him/her off to a camp. It may be less drastic and a lot less expensive.It’s important to seek professional help and advise if you feel you just cannot handle your teen anymore. Talking to a therapist or counselor can help, even talking to a spiritual leader if you have a church can be a productive means of understanding your child and how to best help him/her.Oftentimes, sending your child to a boot camp with teens who have more serious struggles (sexually acting out, drug abuse, violence, etc) can do more harm than good.