Disciplinary boot camps for kids with behavioral problems

Written by ily goyanes
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Disciplinary boot camps for kids with behavioral problems
If your teenager has severe disciplinary problems, boot camp may be in order. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

One of the treatment methods available for children with disciplinary problems is boot camp. When a child has disciplinary problems it can be very hard for a family to cope due to the disruption and anxiety such problems lead to. When traditional outpatient therapy is not enough, a residential boot camp might be in order.

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Signs

First, a parent needs to ascertain whether or not their teenager's behaviour is standard acting out or indicative of deeper trouble. Some signs that indicate a teenager is in trouble: he or she is more secretive than usual, steals money from relatives, lies often, regularly misses curfew, suddenly changes friends and does not want parents to meet them, has extreme mood swings and a noticeable drop in grades.

Purpose

The function of a boot camp is to serve as a "wake-up call" for children who might be headed towards worse behaviour. These programmes are not for severely troubled children who exhibit violent or suicidal behaviour. Severe emotional problems are better treated at therapeutic boarding schools.

Features

Boot camps are exactly what they sound like. Children are exposed to a traditional military boot camp training and experience adjusted for their age. There are exercises, military drills, strict rules and regulations about appearance and duties, and yes, also screaming sergeants. The point is to instil respect and proper behaviour in these children just as soldiers are expected to respect their superiors.

Potential

The truth is that attending a boot camp can definitely help your troubled child and help curb his discipline problems. There are child behaviour specialists and other mental health professionals who disagree with the alleged benefits provided by boot camps. There is some controversy as to whether truly troubled children, who may be suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses, might be actually harmed by attending a boot camp.

Considerations

The cost of sending a child to boot camp can vary widely, but usually ranges from a few to several thousand dollars. Some of the programmes offer financing options to help parents afford the programme. Parents should look into every option available before deciding to send their kids to a residential boot camp. If deciding to send a child to boot camp, research the facility extensively and speak to parents whose children have gone through the programme.

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