The Problem With Massachusetts Military Schools For Troubled TeensThe military school as a correctional school has been a staple in the media for years. It is the go-to threat: straighten up, or it is straight to military school for you! But regardless of this reputation, these institutions are not meant for troubled teenagers. In fact, they are often the worst possible place to put them. First, there is the issue of the reasons for their acting out in the first place. Your child isn’t just a bad kid. There are reasons that they are struggling, such as exposure to trauma or abuse. A full 26% of children have been traumatized before the age of four, and 4 out of 10 minors report physical assault within a year of being surveyed. Outside of trauma, mental illness and psychological disorders can play a big part. An incredible 20% of youths have a mental condition, and 11% have a mood disorder. An additional 10% experience conduct disorder. Obviously these problems can have a serious impact on behavior. Here are some other statistics that potentially put teens at risk:
- Suicide: Suicide is a leading cause of death for individuals between 10-24 and Texas ranks 48th in the nation for suicide. (U.S. Census Bureau).
- Substance abuse: 31% of Massachusetts teens report drinking alcohol regularly, 16% admit to binge drinking, 38% have used marijuana one or more times, and 4% use cocaine and abuse prescription meds. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017).
- Juvenile crime: In a 2017 report from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 104 Texas teens were arrested for aggravated assault, 30 were arrested for robbery, 211 were arrested for larceny, 37 were arrested for drug abuse and 26 were arrested for weapons violations. (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2017)
- ADD/ADHD: 9.6% of Texas children between ages 4 through 17 are diagnosed each year; countless more children and teens go undiagnosed. (CDC: “Trends in the Parent-Report of Health Care Provider-Diagnosed and Medicated ADHD: United States, 2016.)
- High school graduation: Texas has an 87.3% graduation rate. (U.S. Department of Education, 2014-2015.)
Residential Treatment Over Military Schools For Troubled TeensParenting a troubled teenager can be difficult and emotional. Once you have decided that a full time therapeutic facility is the right decision to help your teen, it can be daunting to determine which one will be best. While many parents begin their search by looking into military schools in Massachusetts, they may not be aware that a program further afield might be more effective. We have found that many teens thrive in an environment that is unique. Some of the reasons for this include:
- Surroundings that are new and challenging, where they can leave behind negative stigmas and temptations while they work on positive life changes.
- A valuable opportunity for teens and their parent(s) to get some temporary distance from each other. Each party can spend the time apart working on individual challenges and concerns.
- Full time rehabilitation programs offer a time of respite for parents while their teen resides in a safe environment devoted to helping him turn his life around.