Christian Youth Recovery Programs & Boarding Schools
Why are Christian Youth Programs the solution to help your troubled teen?
It is well known that the later teenage years are by rite a time of experimentation with independence and of testing the parent-child bonds. This can be a difficult and challenging period for parents and youth alike. However, help is available! By keeping the lines of communication wide open, maintaining a ready willingness to forgive and above all holding a sincere and abiding faith in our Savior Jesus Christ, miracles can not only happen but should be expected. This is where good Christian recovery programs can really help. Our troubled teen programs assist by focusing on spiritual cleansing and renewal - starting from the inside and working outward toward a salvation and rebirth of body and soul. Using individual counseling and a Bible-based structure, troubled teens are reached with a low-pressure, one-on-one program designed to help get them back together with their families as soon as possible.
Christian boarding schools are by no means exclusively for those teens from broken (or otherwise dysfunctional) homes. Troubled youth who fall into addictive, criminal or other problem behavior can emerge from even the most well-balanced and best-intentioned family environments. Even children in seemingly idyllic households are exposed to the adverse influences of bad peer groups as well as the insidious predations of the internet and other media. Unfortunately for parents, there is no blueprint for how to raise a trouble-free child. To some parents it may appear as if the world is overrun with opportunities and excuses for rebellion.
Many parents prefer the approach of Christian residential treatment centers to the more rigid protocols of the military boot-camp style programs. True Christian programs aren't ideally suited to help all troubled teens but just as the Lord works in mysterious ways, Christian programs often show remarkably dramatic transformations very quickly. Remain ever prayerful with hope in your heart, for there is no troubled child beyond the grasp of our loving Redeemer. Instead of sending your child to a cold and harsh troubled teens boot camp, make sure he/she is providing with a warm loving environment.
Why Boot Camps is not for Troubled Teens
Even though military schools have explicit admissions policies that state they are not reform schools and will not accept applicants with mental, behavioral or substance abuse problems, it is still a popular perception of the public that military schools and similar style boot camps are the solution for rehabilitating troubled teenagers.
The concept originally evolved from the state operated correctional agencies that proliferated in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As part of the government initiative to reduce youth population in prisons, give incarcerated youth a chance through rehabilitation and reducing their recidivism rates, correctional boot camp were established, first in Georgia and Oklahoma in 1983 and by the next few years, in 26 states accommodating around 8000 delinquents.
By late 1980s, the private sector began offering programs build along this premise. Their programs offered families a solution for managing difficult children – children who are in danger of academic failure or children who are in danger of delinquency. As the boot camp appeal grew, they are being marketed as an intervention for kids suffering from behavioral, emotional and psychological issues.
The most distinguishing characteristic of military schools and teen boot camps is the quasi military atmosphere that is derived from the actual military basic training camps of the armed forces. For the former, this is to prepare the cadets for the eventual rigors of the military life, and for the latter, it is supposedly to instill discipline, obedience, camaraderie, personal responsibility and other virtues that is hallmark of the U.S. Army recruit training camps, in hopes that the teenager can make an about face of his previous deleterious life, and start anew using the skills he has acquired in camp.
Why teen boot camps won't work?
Most programs include drill, ceremony, a structured environment and daily schedule of preplanned activities, it almost always include rigorous physical exercise.
For a cadet to succeed in the training camp, he must have the mental, emotional and physical toughness needed to withstand the hardship and abuse typical in boot camps. Already, these rules out kids that have behavioral, emotional and psychological issues, whose mental, emotional and physical toughness are not on the level that is required to withstand a boot camp program. And without proper motivation to succeed, troubled kids who are forced into a boot camp program by their parents will not only waste lots of money, there will also be a risk of permanent mental, emotional and physical damage.
Boot camp alternatives and recovery programs for troubled teens
A distinguishing characteristic of troubled, at risk and struggling teenagers is that they lack the mental and emotional fortitude to withstand difficulties and hardship they encounter in everyday life. They easily fold and give up. The intervention programs for these types of personalities should strive to work within the character as opposed to working externally through brute force, coercion, intimidation.
In many ways, therapeutic boarding schools are better alternatives to teen boot camps in regards to helping troubled teenagers. These programs espouse positive experience, close interactions and education from positive adult role models, motivation and encouragement in their rehabilitation efforts. These, according to various researchers (McKenzie, Muscar), show better promise in providing troubled juveniles with an opportunity to change their lives around.