How to Know If It’s Time to Enroll Your Teen in a Troubled Teen Program
The teenage years are tumultuous times. Many a parent have despaired that their once sweet and loving child has transformed into a broody and even rebellious teenager. But how bad should bad behavior be before you consider more stringent measures?
Can you manage your teen’s behavior or is it time to send him to a teen wilderness program? Here are some questions you need to ask to help you decide whether a teen boarding school is a timely intervention:
Does your teen need a change in environment?
When your teen starts hanging with the wrong crowd or exhibits signs of substance abuse, allowing him to stay in that environment can be detrimental for him. The wrong kinds of friends, involved with the wrong kinds of activities, can exert undue influence on him. Once he’s in too deep, it can be quite hard to remove himself from the trouble he’s having – if he even wants to do so.
There may also be conflict at home, conflicts that may escalate into verbal or physical violence. These conflicts may even place other family members in danger.
With this situation, it may be necessary to physically remove him from his environment – to provide him a chance to surround himself with positive influences. A teen boarding school cuts off access to substances, as well as to unnecessary distractions (video games, television or peers). This change in environment can more effectively bring about a more positive response to the treatment modalities and to allow him to recognize the changes he needs to make in his behavior.
While the teen is given a change in environment, parents can also work to make changes in themselves. Once the teen is back home, the family can work together to create a loving family environment.
Can you effectively control and resolve conflicts at home?
How do you deal with your teen’s rebellious behavior? Or is this behavior becoming uncontrollable? You may have tried instituting a certain level of discipline but it does not seem to work with your defiant teen. Your teen may also be wily and manipulate his way around your rules.
When you try to implement a punishment for a certain behavior but fail to effectively follow through, your teen will realize that your efforts at discipline will become ineffective. This will have serious repercussions on other younger children – who will work to follow the example of the older brother or sister they idolize.
When your teen has gone out of control and you have tried all sorts of interventions (i.e. counseling, therapy or drug rehabilitation), it can signal the time for you to seriously consider a troubled teen program. The goal is inner change – for your teen to want to modify his behavior and to become mature in his ways.
Are there marked changes in your teen’s behavior that may point to a serious problem?
Is he exhibiting signs of substance abuse or depression? Are there drastic changes in his eating and sleeping? Is he becoming withdrawn? Does he look haggard? Is he irritable? Does he exhibit suspicious behavior? Is there a change in his circle of friends? Is he having more and more trouble at school – getting into fights and missing classes? Is he becoming more prone to violence?
Is your child indulging in behavior or habits that pose a danger to himself and to others?
Substance abuse, eating disorders, running away, sexual promiscuity, self-harming, uncontrolled temper fits that end in physical abuse, as well as run-ins with authorities. These all need a stronger level of intervention – one that you may not be equipped to provide.