Troubled Teen Boot Camps

Teen Boot Camps

One of the most popular threats today for motivating a defiant child is that of a Teen Boot Camp. How many times have you threatened your child or heard someone with a problem child say, “you’re going to boot camp”? There are many sites on the internet today advertising boot camps or information about them. Many do not actually have military style boot camps but instead offer structured boarding schools. Boot Camps can sometimes be controversial and there have been many newspaper articles written and no shortage of television shows produced about this style of treatment.

Individual Education Plans

If your child has an I.E.P. or an Individual Education Plan, your child’s stay in a program may qualify for some type of loan assistance. If your child does not have an I.E.P. we may be able to help you learn how to obtain one. If a child is not able to fit into a regular class room setting and the public school system does not offer alternative education you may be able to receive funds for educational purposes. Our understanding is that each child is to receive an education, and if he or she is not receiving one at home, they can be sent somewhere to receive it. An I.E.P. is not an easy option, it can be very time consuming, and is not available to all schools. To qualify for an I.E.P. a child typically must have been diagnosed with an emotional disorder, be a danger to themselves or others, be failing in or kicked out of school, or a school district. Parents will have to have documented the attempts made by the school district to help, and the school district may then agree to help fund placement for the parent. This placement will usually have to be approved by the school district.

Positive Aspects of a Boot Camp

There is much to be said about a group of young men or women up early marching in formation, counting cadence, and doing calisthenics. These are youth that just days or months prior would not get out of bed for anything. They make their beds. They address their leaders as yes sir no sir yes ma’m no ma’m. They are getting good grades and usually maintaining a B average. Prior to camp they were not going to school, or if they were they were failing. They are in bed by 10 p.m. and clean and sober. Sometimes when a teen gets away from the lifestyle that he or she has been living they realize that it is not really what they wanted. For some, the structure and discipline becomes a way of life even after they return home.


If a teen is in with a negative group of friends before he or she goes to boot camp there is always a chance that he man return to them. If a parent is going to spend $30,000 to send their child to a boot camp they are more than likely going to make arrangements to have them return to a different school when they finish their camp. Some families relocate before their troubled teen comes home to give them a fresh start. The boot camp should be long term. Short term boot camps and programs have been referred to as expensive babysitting. If your child has been progressively getting worse for 5 or 10 years it is unrealistic to think that he will be cured and ready to come home after a 60 or 90 day stay. Some schools and programs advertising teen help will simply encourage you to enroll your child for 60 or 90 days and see how things go. Things will go well especially if your child knows all he has to do is behave for a while and he can go home.

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