For many families, adolescent teens can be a problematic force at home. In some cases, parents try therapy, medication and various other things to alleviate the disruption their child is causing. In extreme cases, some parents opt to place their child in a military school, a highly structured, no-nonsense environment. Although controversial, there are several military schools throughout the U.S., although none of them are free.
What is Military School?
Military schools provide highly structured, boot camp like environments that are intended to instill discipline in problematic teens. These teens, however, typically are not placed in military school due to poor behavior. In fact, most military schools stay away from teens who are reckless or out of control.
Thus, military schools work best for teens who are not living up to their true potential. These schools are controversial because many parents feel their stringent atmosphere can be counterproductive.
Jail Boot Camp
The Education Resources Information Center states that the use of jail boot camps has increased state to state. These programs are ideally created to imitate military boot camps and are free in most states. There are pros and cons to these types of facilities, and they remain controversial.
Perhaps the biggest problem surrounding these programs is that teens are typically court ordered and live in the same area as the facility. This can be problematic as they inevitably meet other troubled teens, which can result in problematic circumstances upon release. The level of authority is also a concern, as some feel the structure of these "jails" is counterproductive and results in teens becoming depressed or acting out further.
There are, however, alternatives to military schools for a teen with parents who cannot afford tuition. Most military schools, before admission, state they will not accept students with behavioral or substance abuse problems, a common issue for troubled teens.
Teens who fall into this category, provided they have not committed any crimes that force them into a jail boot camp, require outreach that may be available free of charge or on a sliding scale (a fee based upon the parents' ability to pay). Therapy is an excellent option for troubled teens and, in some cases, may be even more effective than a strict boot camp style setting.
If your teen is problematic and you are finding it difficult to help him, contact the school's guidance counselors. They are an excellent resource tools for parents and can provide you with phone numbers of outreach programs that are equipped to deal with troubled teens in an effort to alleviate issues that prevent the teen from functioning in society. The school guidance counselor should be able to provide information on the many programs that offer assistance with payments as well.