5 Reasons Why A Boot Camp Is Not The Answer To Your Teens Behavioral Conditions

Boot camps promise to change your teens behavior, but does that actually work?

It seems there’s a boot camp for everything these days. There are boot camps for exercise, boot camps for married couples, and boot camps for computer coding. The general theme is to change something fast, with more force. This approach has even been taken with our kids to get rid of unwanted behavior in al boot camp for troubled youth. While they were once touted as the go-to for making your child behave, there’s little evidence that they actually work. Here are 5 reasons we don’t recommend boot camps for troubled teens.

1. Boot Camps Fail to Stop Offenders Reoffending

Studies have found that there’s about a 50% success rate of boot camps reforming their participants. Which means that about half of them have the desired effect (which is often temporary). It also means that half of these kids end up going home and continue to display risky behavior.

2. Rough Conditions Encourage Rough Behavior

We’ve all heard the clichés “violence begets violence” or “you can’t put out a fire with more fire.” Even when the rough conditions (yelling, force, shaming, etc) seem to effect a change in the teens behavior for a time, it also encourages the use of aggression to get a desired outcome.

3. Boot Camps Don’t Involve the Family

Your teen may be the one acting out, but the entire family often contributes to the problem. Boot camps don’t consider the whole picture when they aim to correct your teens behavior. Youth residential treatment centers involve the entire family in the healing process. Counselors work with parents and teens to open the lines of communication and learn problem solving skills. This creates a better foundation for change and maintaining that change once the teen returns home.

4. Boot Camps Are One Size Fits All

Boot camps don’t personalize their program to the teen’s unique emotional needs. A residential treatment center customizes treatment for each teen to give them tools for handling their home environments, unique triggers for bad behavior, emotional disorders, and academic needs.

5. They Don’t Dive Deep Enough

Boot camps focus on behavioral change. It’s an essential aspect for dealing with troubled youth. But it fails to look at the underlying problems that cause anger, depression, and other undesired behavior. If you don’t deal with the root cause, the behavior will never change.

All of this may leave you wondering, but what do I do? If boot camps don’t work, you still need a solution. Speak with an experienced advocate for residential treatment programs at Liahona Academy or Help Your Teen Now to get the full spectrum support your troubled teen needs.

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