Archives for February 2017

Uncommon Situations of Teen Aggression That Call For Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Boys

Few people will argue that being a teen boy in today’s world is challenging. After all, they are experiencing strong emotions and mood swings, experiencing a lot of social and academic pressure and start to become more independent, with all the anxiety and excitement that brings to both teens and parents.

Of course, emotional and social changes are all part of growing up, but there are certain teenage boys that struggle with mental health issues. When teen boys have difficulty balancing their emotions with appropriate reactions and they can be especially aggressive to parents and teachers. When teenage boys behave aggressively and are resistant to getting help and making changes, it may be time to consider a therapeutic boarding school. Especially when there are uncommon situations of teen aggression, parents should strongly consider a therapeutic boarding school for boys.

Why Some Teens Become Aggressive

Many teenagers that struggle with emotional development and mental health issues have problems with aggression. This can manifest in a number of ways, from harming others physically or mentally to self-harm. However, many teachers and parents don’t realize that there is more to teen aggression than just being a bully. Becoming more familiar with the different manifestations of teenage aggression can trigger the process of finding help sooner.

Tendencies toward aggression are typical in teens that struggle with different kinds of mental illness, emotional trauma and behavioral issues. Abuse trauma, neglect, fetal alcohol syndrome, exposure to violence, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and more can all trigger aggressive behavior. In extreme cases, teens may struggle with mental illnesses like borderline personality disorders, antisocial behavior and narcissism. Sometimes, teens that were bullied as children turn around and become aggressive to others as a reaction to how they were treated.

Teen aggression is not something that they will grow out of, either. In fact, aggression can be the gateway to a number of other problems that can hinder a teenager’s promising future. Aggressive teens are more likely to rely on alcohol and drugs and develop addictions. Teens with aggression issues are also at greater risk to use violence on others, on animals or on themselves. Parents of troubled teen boys that have aggression and anger issues should definitely seek out a therapeutic boarding school that specializes in this kind of treatment.

Profiles of Aggression in Teen Boys

Parents and teachers need to remember that aggression and violence are not necessarily the same thing. When most people think of aggressive teen boys, they usually picture a large teen that beats up on smaller kids around him. However, this stereotype is so dominant that it is often hard for parents and teachers to recognize other, more unusual forms of aggression. Missing the warning signs of other types of teen aggression could mean that the boys are not getting the right kind of help to break the cycle.

Aggression can be demonstrated in several different ways, as listed here, with some of them more unusual than others:

  • Hostile aggression takes place when the teen wants to hurt others physically or mentally. Examples of this are acts like bullying and violent encounters.
  • Relational aggression is not physical, but mental. Examples include cyber bullying, verbal abuse, intimidation, gossiping and social exclusion.
  • Expressive aggression happens when the teen engages in actions intentionally but does not mean to cause harm. Examples of this might be throwing a book at the wall when angry or kicking up dirt or sand due to frustration.
  • Instrumental aggression is physical domination over objects such as toys, electronics, money or food. It is often part of controlling behavior in teens.
  • Accidental aggression happens when the teenager doesn’t realize it and doesn’t really intend to harm someone. Examples of this might be pushing past another person or grabbing something and harming someone in the process.

Professional therapy is the best way for teenagers to figure out what is triggering their aggression and then to come up with a plan to manage it. However, when things are serious and teens are not finding much success in weekly therapy or in traditional schools with a counselor, it may be time to consider the healing benefits, safety and structure of a therapeutic boarding school.

Therapeutic Boarding Schools Can Help Aggressive Teen Boys

Parents of teenage boys that are demonstrating growing aggression may not know the best way to handle them. In fact, it’s far too common for parents to ignore the mental health issues and trauma that might be causing the aggression and just look at the problem itself. Grounding and punishments won’t do much to heal a struggling teen boy, but spending time at a therapeutic boarding school certainly can.

Therapeutic boarding schools are an ideal place for aggressive ten boys to learn new ways of handling challenges and overcoming their mental health issues that trigger the anger. Trained therapists with experience in dealing with adolescents work with troubled teens in individual and group sessions that address aggressive and violent behavior. Spending time at a resident boarding school gives teen boys a chance to figure out why they turn to aggression, learn coping techniques to handle their anger and control themselves better. Therapists help the teen boys manage their anger and frustrations and figure out ways to cope that don’t rely on aggression.

Therapeutic boarding schools also help teens in a number of other areas of their lives that are linked to finding success and healing. For example, when teens lack social skills they need to succeed in school, resolve social problems and build trusting relationships, they get frustrated and therefore angry. The anger can trigger aggression and lead the teen in a downward spiral of acting out over and over again.

At a therapeutic boarding school, teens get all the help they can to learn ways to express themselves, figure out ways to adjust to new situations and avoid disruptive behavior. Over time, teens in therapeutic boarding schools are successful at their anger management and gain skills to handle real-world situations.

Choosing the Best Therapeutic Boarding School for Aggressive Teen Boys

Not all therapeutic boarding schools are alike, so parents that have made the decision to look at residential care for their teen boy really do need to do their research. The best therapeutic boarding schools will have experience in dealing with teens and aggression, and they should be able to point parents toward testimonials and references of students and families that have gone through the program.

Parents should also check to make sure that all staff members are properly licensed and accredited. That means therapists, teachers, administration, mentors and more all have their credentials available and easy to review. The academic part of the program should be accredited with a legitimate education branch as well. Of course, the best therapeutic boarding schools have outstanding recreation therapy such as sports, drama, art, equine therapy, outdoor recreation and more.

Parents that do their research will soon find the best therapeutic boarding schools for aggressive teen boys. It’s only with regular therapy and a unique academic program will troubled teen boys find health and happiness as they move toward adulthood.

Finding Help for Placing Your Teen at a Therapeutic Boarding School

Therapeutic boarding schools offers students many new techniques and skills to target their individual needs which may be preventing them from properly learning or developing necessary life skills. There is a slow therapy process to be applied of different approaches to rectify a troubled teen’s issues, while making sure to give each one the personal attention and correct education they need. The public school curriculum and setting is based on the ‘average’ teenager, which simply does not meet the needs of numerous teenagers throughout the United States.

You may want to explore how placing your teenager in a therapeutic boarding school could be the answer to his or her problems, while increasing the likelihood of their long-term success in college and life. Help from this type of ‘therapy’ school enables your teenager with the environment and skills necessary to learn how to make responsible decisions and choices using strong coping skills, plus they are getting a stellar education.

Causes

  • Mental disabilities
  • Learning disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • Trauma
  • Social problems
  • Concentration issues
  • Negative influences at school/ in neighborhood
  • Eating / Behavioral disorders

If you have a teenager who is having difficulty at home or in public school, you may want to consider a different type of education. Teens that have been rude, disrespectful, disruptive, depressed, troublesome, anger, defiant, bullied, or uncontrolled for a long period of time may benefit from the setting and atmosphere of a therapeutic boarding school. Other red flags are “losing interest in previous hobbies or activities, or expressing hopelessness about the future, said Laura Athey-Lloyd, Psy.D, a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Manhattan, who specializes in adolescent and family therapy., PsychCentral.com, 5 Tips for Helping Your Troubled Teen.

Other Resources for Parents

There are adolescent organizations specializing in helping parents find the right therapeutic boarding school for their teenager, including:

HelpYourTeenNow – Over 20+ years of experience from professionals who have been working for over 8 years to provide tools, free education and help to parents searching for the right fit among therapeutic boarding schools and alternative boarding schools. Working as a teenager advocacy group, they help you navigate the channels, insurance options, program benefits, and all other considerations to ensure you make the right choice for your teenager.

AStart – Alliance for the Safe, Therapeutic & Appropriate Use of Residential Treatment- A community of family members, childhood abuse survivors, and professionals working to ensure families have access to effective local care, are safe from neglect and abuse in residential programs, and using every resource at their disposal to encourage healthy and safe development in teenagers across the country.

What to Avoid

Unfortunately, the troubled teenager industry has experienced rapid growth motivated more by dollar amounts than providing quality services to teenagers in need. The process in finding a good school or program can be frustrating, difficult, and frightening. Don’t be taken in by scams, overnight boot camps, or other frightening organizations claiming to change your defiant child overnight that are really just money hungry companies compromising the overall well-being, health, and safety of children already at risk. Only utilize help from professionals when making difficult choices and faced with confusing information.

Learning To Trust Your Teen Again After They Are Home From Boarding School

Learning To Trust Your Teen Again After They Are Home From Boarding School

Trust is a funny thing. It can be a bedrock foundation, unshakeable, and consistent. It’s often something on which we can rely when we have nothing else left. It’s a positive and healthy element in any functional relationship, and a necessary component to becoming a healthy adult. However, trust is also fragile. It can be shattered by a single act, word, mistake, or challenge. While it can take years to build, mere seconds can strip it away to nothing. Trust can be a scary thing, and even more frightening when it’s trust in your teenager.

We want to develop relationships of trust with everyone in our lives, and it’s often especially difficult to trust our teenagers. They struggle with judgement and impulsivity, and the often fail to understand the value of trust and how difficult it is to form and rebuild. Teens will test and break our trust - it’s natural. But how do we learn to trust again?

Building Trust With Your Teen

One particular issue that some parents face is how to rebuild a trusting relationship when their teen returns home from a boarding school or treatment program. It can be, for lack of a better word, a little awkward. Usually parents are happy to have their child home, and the teen feels some sense of accomplishment and relief to be home as well, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is fragile and testing the waters. How do you trust your teen again once they’re back home? How do you start fresh and create a relationship built on respect? There are a few strategies that make a big difference.

  • CHOOSE to Trust. As parents you have to decide, from the outset, that you will “forgive and forget.” Of course this doesn’t mean you act like nothing ever happened or turn a blind eye. It just means that you have to actually consciously choose as parents to say “I forgive my child for breaking my trust and making those decisions. I know they have come a long way and I choose to respect and trust them again.” Even a whiff of mistrust will be perceived by your teen and could be seriously harmful to the relationship. Choose to trust.
  • Don’t Wait to Set Boundaries. Sometimes parents like to move on quickly, pretending that everything is fixed permanently and that no parenting or discipline will be needed. Unfortunately this often means teens fall back into bad habits or push boundaries. Instead, set clear boundaries and consequences right away before there’s a need.
  • Allow Some Freedom. The only way you will build trust and recreate a healthy relationship is to allow them some room to breathe and be. Give them opportunities to show you they are trustworthy - such as completing chores, helping with a task, borrowing the car responsibly, etc.

The transition from a boarding school or treatment center to home can be a rocky and tenuous one, but learning to trust your teen again when they return home is a challenge well worth facing. You can build a happy, healthy life as a family again.

Why Boarding Schools Shouldn’t Be a Last Resort for a Troubled Boy

Emotional Trauma Commonly Faced By Teen Boys

Boarding schools can be extremely polarizing. Parents often fear and avoid them. The idea is unfortunately common that shipping your kid off to boarding school is giving up or abandoning them. It’s an admission of guilt and insufficiency - “I wasn’t good enough. I was a bad parent. I can’t handle my teen.” Many parents are so very afraid of this, and it prevents them from considering or even researching boarding schools. Others who dislike boarding schools argue that your child will be one of many, receive no individualized attention, or that the solution is only temporary.

The opposing side would make a stronger argument for boarding schools. So many troubled teens are struggling with depression that too often results in suicide. Others find themselves in juvenile corrective facilities for violence, drug use, or other criminal issues. Some drop out, run away, or wreak havoc in the lives of their families for years before being unleashed on society as ill-adjusted adults. Surely these teens would have been better off had they received the structured support and rehabilitation that comes with a boarding school, right? It is a compelling thought, especially if your life has been impacted by a troubled teen who never seemed to figure it out.

As with most polarizing issues, the wisdom falls somewhere in the middle. Both sides seem to view boarding schools as a last resort. Parents are afraid that sending their kid off is quitting, and advocates sometimes see it as a way to remove threats and prevent issues created by troubled teens. In reality, boarding schools should not be seen as a last resort by anyone

  • Not Permanent. The first reason boarding schools aren’t a last resort is that they aren’t a lifetime prison or exile. Your teen will one day graduate and reenter society.
  • Education & Recreation. Any good boarding school includes carefully developed curriculum and activities which will help troubled teens live a life that is normal and enriching. They will still get an education, plenty of exercise, new experiences, and relaxing fun time. It isn’t just a holding cell!
  • Family Interaction. Good therapeutic boarding schools like Liahona will actively involve family members in the process, so parents don’t need to worry about abandoning their child.
  • Rehabilitation. The goal of successful boarding schools is to send a healthy, happy, well-adjusted teen back into society. It’s never a “last resort” or “final solution” or “only choice left.” It’s a powerful option for parents who want to see their teen grow and improve, but have exhausted their existing resources.

Boarding schools are NOT a last resort. They aren’t giving up, quitting, or hiding your teen away like some kind of failure. Boarding schools are an excellent option for troubled teens who need a little more help and structure to overcome issues and reach their potential.