Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sue Scheff: Just Say NO to Boot Camps for Struggling Teens

As my series continues for the New Year in helping educate parents about the daunting "business" of teen help programs and schools, one thing is for sure in my experiences, just say no to boot camps.

This is a strong opinion I have had for years, for many reasons. Many parents believe a good wake up call will shake up their teen, what they are not considering is the anger and resentment most boot camps can instill in your teen.

Let's face it, in many cases your teen is already filled with anger and rage, even hate - do you honestly believe that placing them in a rigid and "punitive" environment will help them? I am not saying your child deserves a trip to Atlantis, however they need a program or school that will work on their emotional growth and find out "why" they are acting out negatively - where are these negative impulsivities coming from?

From there you can move forward and work towards recovery. A program or school should be structured with positive discipline as well offer the nurturing environment that can stimulate your teen in a positive direction. The end goal is to bring your family back together.

In Florida, many if not all, boot camps have been closed down. The death of Martin Lee Anderson in a Florida Boot Camp shocked our country with the realities of what Boot Camps can be like for teens. Although he wasn't a saint, he didn't deserve the treatment that eventually ended in his death.

If you are a parent and thinking about sending your troubled or struggling teenager to a boot camp, think twice. Also use caution since many programs advertise as boot camps to lure you in, be an educated parent, do your homework. You want to help your teen, not destroy them.

Learn more about finding safe and qualified schools and programs. Visit . Parents' Universal Resource Experts is about educating and guiding parents. Learn from my mistakes, gain from my knowledge.

Are you at your wit's end and need help? Learn how to find the best placement for your teen.

Footnote: Boot Camps and Military Schools are completely different.

Also on Examiner.

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