Finding Independence At A School For Troubled Teens

An aspect of a school for troubled teens which surprises some parents is how the program works to help teens find independence. But as teens struggle with depression, substance abuse, or other issues, it makes sense to help teens learn how to become independent and overcome these life roadblocks.

Importance Of Independence For Teens

While many troubled teens seem to be too independent, the kind of acting out which characterizes troubled teens is really just another form of dependence.

Consider this—say a teen is defying their parents to stay out late and party with friends, sometimes engaging in underage drinking and drug abuse. Some may call that being independent, but if you examine the root of why the teen is acting that way, dependence is one of the key issues, as the teen depends on their friends' acceptance and the uses of illegal substances to feel better.

Breaking those chains of dependence and developing healthy independence takes the coordination of a healthy environment where the teen can grow and a program designed to assist teens in reaching the right track, which is where a school for troubled teens come in.

How Schools For Troubled Teen Promote Independence

For teens who attend an all-boys boarding school like Liahona Treatment Center, changes and healthy independence can be worked toward thanks to various program emphasizes.

  • Personal development focus - While many adults eventually learn how to set and reach personal development goals, this can be a hard skill for teens to acquire, especially if they have already fallen into bad habits. While attending a school for troubled teens, personal development is a focal point, and teens learn how to set and achieve personal goals.
  • Learn necessary life skills - Troubled teens often miss out on necessary life skills ranging from proper hygiene to socializing soft skills needed for jobs and interpersonal interactions. At a school for troubled teens, these skills can be learned and practiced.
  • Improve academics - Having low grades can hold teens back from many opportunities, leaving them dependent on parents and low-skills jobs. To help troubled teens reach a more independent future, they can work with licensed teachers and tutor to improve their grades and rejoin their peers academically.
  • Therapy-guided growth - To help make permanent changes, therapy is needed to assist troubled teens in overcoming their struggles. By working one-on-one with a therapist, as well as daily group therapy and weekly family therapy sessions, teens can make real, permanent changes in their lives by identifying the root of their struggles and developing appropriate coping tools.

At Liahona Treatment Center, we have helped countless troubled teenage boys learn how to become independent and happy young men who are ready to meet the challenges that life throws at them. If you would like to see if our program could help your son, contact us. One of our program advisors will be happy to talk with you and determine if Liahona is the right for your troubled son’s needs.

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Signs and Causes Of Sexual Deviance In Youth

A certain amount of curiosity and interest in sex is to be expected from teenagers. With all the hormones coursing through their bodies and their brains still developing, it is not surprising that some troubled teens go astray and fall into deviant sexual activity, no matter what your family rules dictate.

What Drives Teens To Become Sexually Active

While research has shown that the rates of teens engaging in adult activities like sex, alcohol consumption, and other things have seen a marked decrease, there are still many teens who engage in sexual activity. What many parents struggle to understand is why.

There are a variety of common reasons for your teen's sexual activity.

  • Sexual curiosity - The hormones surging through your teen’s body plays a part in greatly heightening your teen’s natural curiosity and interest in sex. Parents who prefer to keep their teens in the dark about sex often find their teens go out to satisfy that curiosity firsthand, but without the tools to keep themselves safe. This fact, in part, is why it is so important for parents to take the lead in teaching sex ed to their children.
  • Pressure from partner - Teens with a boyfriend or girlfriend may undergo a good deal of pressure to have sex or be physically intimate in other ways. Their desire to be accepted can lead many young couples to engage in sexual activity before they are ready.
  • Peer pressure - Both teenage boys and girls can experience pressure to engage in sexual activity from their peers. This pressure can be fueled by a desire to seem older and more experienced. Or even a more simple need to keep up with the rest of the kids at school.
  • Defiance of rules - In an act of defiance, some teens choose to engage in sexual activity. Parents highly restrictive rules, such as no dating until 18 or who insist on monitoring their teens at all times often find their teens sneak around their rules in an attempt to exert their growing need for independence.

In some more extreme cases, sexual deviance may be triggered in teens due to sexual abuse, whether by a partner or when they were children. In these cases, it is vital that the teen receives therapeutic intervention to help them overcome the trauma. But first, you have to identify whether or not your teen is sexually active before you know how to intervene.

Signs That Your Teen Has Become Sexually Active

If you are concerned that your teen has begun engaging in risky sexual activity, there are signs you can look out for as you watch your teen. Should your teen display several of these signs, you can be fairly certain that they are sexually active.

  • Tracks your activities - Teens who are sneaking around engaging in sex will often want to know your schedule better than you know it. That way, they don’t run the risk of you catching them in the act.
  • Increased secretiveness - Around the teenage years, it is natural for teens to be less open with their parents and a little more withdrawn. However, if your teen shows a marked increase in secretiveness, such as guarding their devices and hiding their bag, you should be concerned.
  • Appearance alteration - Finding their style is a common pursuit among teens. However, teens engaging in sexual activity may become more appearance driven, buying more provocative clothes and spending hours on exercise as well as strict dieting.
  • Rapid mood swings - The rush of dopamine released by sexual activity can have a profound effect on the mood of teenagers. Teens engaging in illicit sexual activity are often subject to rapid mood swings, experiencing elation and deep depression as well as irritability in turns.
  • Plummeting grades - Teens often allow their other interests and responsibilities like their schoolwork to fall by the wayside while pursuing sexual activity. If your teen normally has been able to maintain good grades, but they have recently slipped, this can be a sign your teen’s attention is elsewhere.
  • Obtaining birth control - A pretty clear sign of sexual activity is if you find birth control such as contraception pills, condoms, or other forms of birth control in your teen’s possession.

Often, when parents learn that their teens are sexually active, they try to set stronger rules, have conversations about the responsibility of sex, and reinforce beliefs which may censure sex outside of marriage. However, this may not be enough to stop a sexually deviant youth.

How Residential Treatment Centers Help Sexually Deviant Teens

After you have tried all you could, from grounding to interventions with school counselors and therapists and your teen is still engaging in sexual activity, you may want to consider sending your troubled teen to a residential treatment center.

Some of the key ways a residential treatment center helps sexually active teens change are by:

  • Building teens’ self-esteem - Many overly sexual teens struggle with feelings of worthlessness, which leads them to fill the void with sexual attention. At a residential treatment center, teens learn new skills, build confidence through new challenges, and opportunities to provide service to others.
  • Having teens work with therapists - Sexually deviant teens don’t just happen. To reach the root of their issues and help them change, certified mental health professionals work with teens at a residential treatment center.
  • Teaching teens new coping skills - Some teens use sex as a coping method to help them from feeling lonely, unappreciated, and other negative emotions. When in residential treatment, teens learn new ways to cope with the feelings which used to drive them to engage in sex.
  • Helping teens repair academics - As the teens recover from their sexual deviance, a residential treatment center helps the teens' course correct in other aspects of their lives, such as their academics. With the help of state-licensed teachers, teens can enjoy academic recovery.

Liahona Treatment Center is here to help your troubled teen boy back onto the right path. With the help of our expert therapists, teachers, and staff, we work with teenage boys and assist them in rooting out the source of their problems while repairing negative coping methods. To see if our program is right for your teenage troubled son, contact us today.


Two Troubled Teens Who Managed To Turn Their Lives Around

When parents are in the midst of struggling with a troubled teenager, it can be hard to imagine that anything will change. Here at Liahona Treatment Center, we assist many troubled boys to grow into successful young men who managed to turn their lives around, and we wanted to share the stories of two of these teens’ stories to give hope to all the parents hoping for change.

Liahona Graduate John Changed His Focus

John had enjoyed a good childhood in Michigan, but when his family moved to Idaho when he was in seventh grade, he began to become involved with the wrong crowd.

In an attempt to feel special and to find his place in the world, John started to fight with his parents, lie, sneak out of the house, physically fighting with his father, skip school, and began abusing illegal substances. John kept chasing the high and was sent to live with various family members to try and distance him from the people who were drawing him down negative paths.

In a last ditch effort to save John, his parents sent him to Liahona Treatment Center for his senior year of school. When he first came to Liahona, John said he resented being there and was upset with his family for sending him away.

But as he progressed through the program, John began to change. With the help of his therapist and the other staff members, John’s focus moved from himself to supporting others and loving his family. He was able to finally recognize the sacrifices they had made for him, and John began to help other students learn what he has learned.

The John who went home to his family was not the same boy who entered Liahona Treatment Center, and he never wanted to be that troubled teen again.

Liahona Graduate Conner Invited Transformation

Before Connor even reached high school, he became involved with a group of older kids who influenced him into joining in with their criminal activities and substance abuse. Connor tried to use sports to escape the path he was following, but when he blew out his knee his sophomore year, he fell into depression and began to use drugs heavily to escape.

After being kicked out of several schools and continuing to abuse drugs, Connor’s parents decided it was time to send him to a therapeutic boarding school and chose Liahona Treatment Center.

While Connor was not happy to be in our program, he decided to go with the flow and avoid trouble so he could go home early. But, by working with his assigned therapist, staff members and the other students attending, Connor surprised himself by finding he was becoming happier.

Once he realized that he could change, Connor opened his heart to the transformative process we encourage here at Liahona. He learned to study and focus during his classes, discovered healthy new coping methods, and built strong bonds with others. All these skills and others, John was able to take home with him as he reunited with his family.

If you have exhausted your resources and your teenage son has still not been able to change his life, contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you have about our program and see if Liahona Treatment Center is the right fit for your loved one.

Take Advantage of Distance When Sending Your Troubled Teen To Boarding School

For parents of troubled teens, it can hard to imagine what to do with your time once your troubled teen goes away to a school for troubled teens. If you wonder if you will be at loose ends and don’t know what to do, we have some suggestions to help you effectively use the time while your teen is away.

Relax Knowing Your Troubled Teen Is Finally Safe

By the time parents decide to send their teen away to either a boarding school or residential treatment center, they are often near the breaking point due to stress, grief, frustration, and other negative emotions. The idea of relaxation is generally so foreign to them as it has been years since they feel like it is safe to relax.

But once your troubled teen is away, give yourself permission to relax. With your teenager in a safe, healthy and healing environment, you no longer have to keep bracing yourself for when the next disaster will come.

Utilize Family Therapy To Revitalize Ties With Troubled Teen

While your teen is away at their boarding school for troubled teens, schools like Liahona Treatment Center will provide once a week family therapy sessions overseen by your child’s therapist.

As the therapist facilitates these sessions, your family will be able to rebuild their connection to your teen while they receive treatment. In this kind of healthy environment, you and your teen will be able to revitalize family bonds which have become damaged as a direct result of the teen’s actions.

Take Time To Reconnect With Loved Ones

Troubled teens can require the majority of their parents’ attention, taking it away from their siblings and other loved ones. With your troubled teen safely away at a boarding school, parents can focus on reconnecting with their other loved ones.

Seize Self-Care Opportunities With Your Teen Away At School

Much like the ability to relax, parents of a troubled teen often neglect self-care while their child is in turmoil. The long neglect of self-care can leave some parents feeling guilty when they try to do something for themselves, even if it is as simple as buying a new book to read. But it is important to take time to rebuild personal energy so you can still effective offer support to your teen as they are away at school.

To learn more about the Liahona Treatment Center program, contact us. We are ready to help you discover if our program is right for your troubled teenage son.