Many parents have suffered pain living with an unruly teenager. The boy or girl stays out late, is rude to their parents, runs around with the wrong crowd and may be even dabbles in drugs and alcohol. There are many situations where, probably as a last resort, a parent has threatened their troubled teen with a stay in a boot camp.

Now that may be just an idle threat. But what if it isn’t just a threat? Is there any value in sending your child to a boot camp?

Well there are several points to be made here. First is that boot camps are not the ideal place for every troubled teen. They might be perfect for some but are not for everyone.

Let’s say your teen has depression or suffers from ADHD. This child needs help of a special kind. They need family support and therapy from a professional. They certainly don’t need the screaming orders heard in a military style operation of a boot camp.

But let’s say your teen is fit and healthy but has become lazy. They’ve adopted a selfish approach to life putting ‘me’ first. They’ve dropped off in their studies and their grades have suffered. Life is just cushy for them and they don’t care. Placing that teen in a boot camp might be the perfect solution. The teen will soon get out of bed and on time. They’ll soon jump when the staff member tells them to and they’ll find their fitness levels improve out of sight.

So the first issue a parent needs to consider is the horses for courses situation. Work out if your child is the right type of person to be sent to a boot camp.

The next issue is the type of boot camp. They are not all the same. Some are the more rigid straight-out rough and tumble camp you see on some TV shows. The residents are given a hard time and hardly stop for a break. Then there are those boot camps which are less disciplined and aim to break a teen away from alcohol or drugs. If your child is going to spend time in a boot camp, make sure it is the one which will offer your son and daughter the most and best of benefits.

Sometimes a boot camp is not a matter of choice because a teen has gone off the rails, gotten into trouble with the law and the judge has given the teen the option of jail or a boot camp. In by far the majority of cases the teen opts for the boot camp. Mind you if the camp helps the teen give up their criminal ways it is time and money extremely well spent.

A major issue for parents is the end result of a stay in a boot camp. The whole point is to turn around the teen’s life. Punishing them is of no use in itself. We all want a happy and healthy teen with a good attitude and a determination to do the right thing by themselves, their family and society. Parents are warned that some teens will ride out the storm in a boot camp and return to their old ways and habits once released.

Boot camps can be a life saver but know all the facts before you decide.

Here are additional resources you might be interested in:

Where is the Best Help for Troubled Teens?

Different School Options for Your Troubled Teen