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Teenage Boot Camps – Advice for Parents Considering Boot Camp for Behavior Modification

The teenage boot camps for behavior modification are not the same as those designed for children who are in the juvenile detention system for having committed a crime. These are privately run programs which are regulated by the state. Their main purpose is to help troubled teens who have problems which cannot be solved within the family.

Teenage boot camps are not for every troubled teen so you have to consider the problems and personality of your child before you send him/her to participate in such a program. These programs use military style approach and tactics to modify the behavior of adolescents. They rely on strict following of the rules and on high level of discipline. If the child disobeys, he/she is punished. The punishment is usually physical, but you have to keep in mind that it never includes abuse of any kind. For instance, the child may be made to run a couple of miles with a heavy backpack.

Considering all this, it is obvious that these behavior modification programs are not for teenagers with physical problems. It is best to have your child evaluated by a medical professional before making a decision. Similarly, most teenage boot camps accept adolescents that are aggressive and violent while other programs do not. If your teen has such a problem, he/she may be better off participating in a military style program. However, if he/she is suffering from depression or a similar mental disorder, a program with counseling may be more suitable.

Teenage Boot Camps
by aalborgstift under CC BY



Evaluate each boot camp on its own merits before you make a final decision. You are also recommended to look into other types of programs such as wilderness camps. In general, some places offer a more diverse program that includes not only military training, but diverse activities and counseling. Maybe a combination of these factors will be most beneficial for your child. In comparison to other programs, the military style ones may seem tougher, but they are not. Your child will become disciplined naturally if he/she has to survive in the wilderness with the help of his/her peers.

All parents want to know whether teenage boot camps will help their child. The results depend on his/her willingness to improve and on his/her efforts. The staff at the camp will play a great role so you may want to interview them in advance. You as a parent have to make great effort as well. After all, your child is your responsibility and you cannot rely solely on others for help.

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