Strict parents often prefer a military approach. There’s no fancy schmancy psychological business, just a straightforward, cut and dry attitude that the adults are in charge and the teens are supposed to follow their lead. There’s no room for back-talking, no opportunity to get into trouble and by the end of the year, when their will is broken, they return home, decided conformists, thankful to be out of service. They learn to play the game of life, not questioning authority, and following rules and societal norms because stepping out of bounds is dangerous.
In other types of alternative boarding schools, teens learn, through positive psychology, to set goals and are encouraged to meet those goals. Environments that reinforce individuality and personal decision-making skills, these boot camps are effective because they train teens to be responsible for the outcomes of their decisions and train them to think critically about the consequences of their actions in alignment with the goals they have set for themselves. These types of schools also tend to have individual and group counseling designed to foster communication skills that allow teens and families to cut through some of the negative behavior patterns to create an environment that makes success possible for everyone.
By evaluating all of the boarding school and boot camp options, parents can make informed decisions that measure each method and approach against their personal parenting philosophies and their child’s potential. Weighing all of the options can be complicated, since there are so many factors involved. Look also for scholarships and financial aid programs. Whether you choose the religious approach, the military approach, or the professional counseling approach, boot camp can make an important difference in your family.
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