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Why Troubled Youth & Military Schools Don’t Mix

For many parents struggling with a defiant adolescent, military school for troubled youth can seem like the best option for getting them back on a safe and successful path in life. The unfortunate truth, however, is quite the opposite. 

According to the Marine Military Academy of Texas, the widely accepted historical view that military boarding schools for troubled youth are effective is no longer valid. In fact, the ideal military school candidates are competitive, focused, and driven youth looking to plan their future, not youth with behavioral issues.

What is Military School?

Most military boarding schools are private preparatory schools designed to model U.S. military colleges like Annapolis or West Point. Military schools are best suited for students seeking more rigorous structure, discipline, and academic challenges than those offered at traditional public or private schools. According to Military School USA, these schools often have a highly selective enrollment process, only accepting students who are self-motivated to enroll. While some military schools make exceptions for troubled teens with behavioral problems, they typically expel any who fail to adhere to their strict and rigorous codes of behavior.

The Problem with Military School for Troubled Youth

Adolescence (the period of transition from childhood to adulthood) is considered the most unique and formative years of a person’s life. It’s also filled with many physical, emotional, and social changes that can have a profound effect on their future, including their vulnerability to developing mental health issues.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that adolescents with mental health conditions are particularly vulnerable to a list of challenges, including behavioral and emotional disorders, risk-taking behaviors, and educational difficulties. These challenges can present themselves in several ways, including ADHD, anxiety, depression, anger or substance abuse problems, criminal behavior, and more.

The Bottom Line 

Military boarding schools are not intended for troubled youth, and they do not accept teens struggling with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or behavior disorders.

Now, think of your son or daughter. Do they suffer from mental health issues? Are they acting out because they are defiant, or is there something more going on under the surface? Is it possible they are experiencing typical teenage stress exacerbated by their mental and emotional issues? If so, they need therapeutic intervention, not a military school for troubled teens.

Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Troubled Youth

Rather than rigorous academic and behavioral programs experienced in military schools for troubled teens, therapeutic boarding schools create a supportive environment for your son or daughter to safely and comfortably express the complex issues affecting their daily lives. At the same time, they will enjoy a unique, personalized approach to getting back on track with their education.

The ideal candidates for a therapeutic boarding school are teens who face any number of issues, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger Problems 
  • Substance abuse
  • Academic struggles
  • ADHD, Conduct Disorder
  • Lying or Deception
  • Criminal Behavior
  • Eating Disorders

What You Can Expect From A Therapeutic Boarding School

Known for their safe and supportive environments, therapeutic boarding schools specialize in many remedial practices and academic recovery programs to put teens back on the path to graduation at their level and pace. At therapeutic schools, teens with learning disabilities like ADD, ADHD, or dyslexia get the necessary level of attention not available in traditional schools to focus on and excel at their studies.

While finding the best therapeutic boarding school for your teen will depend on their individual needs, many therapeutic boarding schools offer several behavioral treatment models, including, but not limited to:

  • Cognitive-behavioral
  • Dialectical behavior
  • Experiential
  • Crisis management
  • Addiction/Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Psycho-Educational Therapy
  • Trauma Based Approaches
  • Art Therapy
  • Rational Emotive Behavior

How Morgan Guidance Can Help Your Troubled Teen

When your son or daughter is crying out for help, you need answers. The educational consultants at Morgan Guidance understand and are here to help identify and create the best plan for your troubled teen. No matter what therapeutic and educational services your son or daughter needs, our wide variety of advising services makes finding the most effective therapeutic programs or institutions one less thing you need to worry about.

For more guidance on helping your son or daughter, contact us today!.