Sending a Teen to a Therapeutic Boarding School Before the Holiday Season Begins

When it comes to sending a teen away to a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens right before the holiday season gets underway, it can be tough to make that call. There will be questions from family and friends, and the high emphasis on family togetherness during the holidays can make your decision difficult to make.

We have talked to many parents through these very concerns. We can help you through the process of deciding whether or not you should send your teen to a therapeutic boarding school before the holiday season begins.

How To Decide On Sending A Teen Away Before The Holidays

While it would be ideal if you could talk to your teen about attending a therapeutic boarding, many teens attempt to run away when it comes time to face the consequences of their behavior. Some may act out even more.

Rather than have your teen act out more, here are some other ways that can help you decide whether or not to send your teen to a therapeutic boarding school before the holidays.

  • Consider your teen’s current behavior - When you consider the timing of sending your teen to a therapeutic boarding school, a critical factor is their current behavior. Is your teen holding steady with poor behaviors, or are they increasing in severity? If your teen’s behavior is deteriorating, you may want to take the plunge before the holidays to prevent matters from becoming worse.
  • Create a pros and cons list - It may sound a little cliche, but making a pros and cons list concerning sending your teen before the holidays can help you decide if it is critical to send your teen prior to the holidays.
  • Review their current academics - If your teen’s grades are already suffering, prolonging their attendance at a therapeutic boarding school can make the problems worse—similar to the behavioral issues mentioned above. The sooner your spiraling teen receives help, the sooner they can get back on track.
  • Talk to your spouse - Having your teen attend a therapeutic boarding school is al significant emotional and financial investment, so it is critical that your spouse is on board with the plan.

If by the end of this list, you have decided that you will be sending your teen to a therapeutic boarding school before the holiday season begins, then it is time to decide what to say to family and friends.

What To Say About Your Teen Attending A Therapeutic Boarding School

Technically, you don’t owe anyone answers when it comes to tough parenting choices. However, that doesn’t mean family and friends won’t ask about your family’s decision. While what you say is entirely up to you, here are some suggestions.

For those who aren’t overly close to your family, you can simply opt to say that your teen is attending a private boarding school to help them back on track. Most people will understand that they should stop pushing, and a simple, “That’s a private family matter,” should cut off the nosier people.

As for close family members, they likely have some idea how much your teen has been struggling, and are more likely to be understanding. You don’t have to go into more detail than is comfortable, and simply say how your teen needed help that couldn’t wait for the holidays to be over.

Ways For Your Family To Cope While Teen Is Away Over The Holidays

It can be difficult emotionally to send your troubled teen away before the holiday season. To help you cope while they are away, here are some things you and the rest of the family can try:

  • Stay connected through letters - Written letters and holiday-themed cards can be a great way for the whole family to feel connected to your teen as they attend boarding school.
  • Choose meaningful gifts - While every therapeutic boarding school has different regulations when it comes to boarder’s belongings, you and the rest of the family can pick out and send holiday gifts. Choosing a few meaningful gifts together can help your family feel connected to your teen while they are away at school.
  • Participate in family therapy - Generally, family therapy sessions are offered by a therapeutic boarding school, with distance options available. That way, issues can be aired with the help of a licensed therapist. Also, if you or other family members are struggling having your teen away for the holidays, working with a local therapist and parent support group can truly help.
  • Visit the boarding school - Reputable therapeutic boarding schools always welcome family visits once the teen has had time to settle into their new routine. So, the whole family can come visit the boarding school to see your teen.
  • Enjoy new holiday traditions - With a sibling missing—even one who may have been disruptive—it can affect your children during their usual holiday family traditions. To help normalize things, create new holiday traditions such as volunteering, making holiday treats for neighbors and friends, and other engaging activities.

For more specific advice for your family’s circumstances, you can always contact us. We would be happy to talk to you about our program, your teen son’s specific needs, and help you determine if your son could benefit from staying home for the holidays or getting a jump start on changing his life.

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