Will My Son Be Able To Make Good Friends at a Boarding School for Troubled Teens?

If you are considering sending your son to a boarding school for troubled teens, one of your concerns may be about the kinds of friends your son will make while he is there. And, rightfully so. Psychologists report that friends can have a bigger influence on a child during the teen years than the child’s own family. Perhaps your son has been influenced, in a very negative way, by the friends he has made.

The main reason for sending your son to a school for troubled boys is to get him the help he needs for his emotional, psychological, or behavioral problems. Often this includes removing him from his current friends and removing him from access to dangerous or illegal activities.

At a boarding school for troubled teens, your son also gets academic help and earns credits for graduation. Another important aspect of these programs is to teach students important social skills and life skills. This includes how to make friends and how to be a friend.

Positive Peer Influence

Be assured that a school for troubled teens or a therapeutic boarding school, closely monitors the behavior of its students and residents. Bullying, harassment, or aggressive behaviors are not tolerated. Therapists and staff model correct social behavior. Students who have been in the program for a while, and have been successful in making positive changes, serve as mentors to new students.

At a boarding school for troubled teens, students live and work as a community. They work together on housekeeping chores, perform community service projects, and participate in sports. They receive individual therapy, but also take part in group therapy, where they support and encourage each other. Teens are taught to treat each other with respect and compassion.

While friends at home may have encouraged your son toward negative behaviors, at a boarding school for troubled teens, these negative influences and opportunities have been removed. Friendships are formed while teens share positive activities, including community service projects and outdoor fun, like kayaking, skiing, hiking, or swimming.

Someone Who Understands

So, what kinds of friends will your son be able to make? Think about how friendships are formed. People usually bond with others who have something in common with them. They have had similar experiences and often have similar problems. They understand what the other has been through, and they can encourage each other as they struggle to overcome the difficulties they face. They share their experiences and explain how they were able to overcome obstacles.

Teens often feel that adults just don’t understand what they’re going through. At a boarding school for troubled teens, your son will meet other teens who have the same kinds of problems and who have had similar experiences. Your son will encounter other teens with similar emotional, psychological, or behavioral problems in an environment that supports positive interactions and supportive relationships.

Teens Realize They Are Not Alone

Your son will find that he is not alone in his troubles, that there are many other teens with the same kinds of difficulties. Shared experiences and shared interests are the basis for strong friendships. As your son works with other students on daily tasks, attends group therapy and academic classes, and participates in social and sporting activities, he will know how it feels to be part of a community. He will also connect more closely with a few other teens. He may not be best friends with everyone at the school, but he will find a few people who have the same likes and dislikes, and personalities he can relate to.

Teens Listen to Other Teens

As teens progress in their therapy, they learn the value of treating others with kindness and respect. They learn about being accountable and responsible for their behaviors. They exhibit changes in attitude and behavior, and they tell their peers about how it feels as they get their lives under control. Your son will make friends with others who are learning how to turn their lives around, and, as his friends, they will encourage him as he works through his problems. He will realize that the teens who make positive changes are happier than those who continue in negative behavior patterns. He will listen to his peers when they tell him that their lives have improved.

Strong Friendships

The best friends are those who can understand what we have been through, and who will support us, especially as we go through difficult times. Teens who have not dealt with emotional, psychological, or behavioral issues may not be able to relate to your son’s problems and experiences. Friends from a boarding school for troubled teens have learned from their mistakes and experienced the benefits of making positive changes in their lives.

These friends will continue to support your son as he works through his problems. They know what your son has been through, and truly understand the importance of the progress he has made. In turn, your son will be able to support and encourage them as they face life’s continued challenges. These are the bonds that make strong friendships.

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