When a family is experiencing difficulty with their troubled teen, it isn’t long before someone suggests a military school. There is a certain appeal to military schools – they provide the structure and discipline that you can’t always deliver at home. You know that in military schools your teen will be far away from the negative influences that are causing problems, such as drugs, gangs, bad friends, or opportunities for crime or sexual promiscuity. It can be tempting to look into military schools for your troubled teen when you feel completely out of options. All you want is to keep your teen safe and out of harm’s way.
Unfortunately military schools aren’t always the best option for troubled teens, especially teen girls. Military schools don’t have quite the benefits you’re looking for if your teen girl is experiencing issues with drugs, mental illness, promiscuity, defiance, or other dangerous issues. As a popular solution in the past, military schools are often suggested – but there are 3 main reasons why they might not be the best choice for your troubled teen.
3 Reasons Not To Use a Military School For Your Troubled Teen Girl
- Ignoring Core Issues – Military schools are known for their discipline and compliance. It sounds great if your daughter is defiant or sneaky. However, military schools do not pay enough, if any, attention to the actual core causes of your daughter’s issues. Some military schools include therapy, but it’s usually a one-size-fits-all talk therapy that centers on compliance. Your daughter may learn obedience, but never address the mental and emotional issues that caused her problems.
- Lack of Personalization – Military schools actually pride themselves on the ability to break down individuality and enforce conformity. In a military background, the whole is more important than an individual and acting in unity creates strength. This is not the case for troubled teen girls, though. Your daughter is a unique individual with personalized needs. Military schools will force her into their predetermined mold, while a therapeutic boarding school can more directly address her needs with personalized therapy, education plans, and varied therapeutic activities.
- No Transition Plan – No one “gives up” on their teen daughters. Concerned parents are just looking for long-term but not permanent options. They hope that one day their daughter will become a happy, healthy, functioning member of society. Unfortunately, military schools don’t provide any kind of transition plan for your troubled teen daughter to re-enter society. Often troubled girls will re-enter society after military school and quickly fall back into old habits once the compulsory rules of their school are removed. A therapeutic boarding school can also provide a better option, as most teach real-life skills and slowly transition girls back into the real world in manageable steps.
Look beyond military schools – they aren’t always what you think, and if you have a troubled teen daughter the chances are slim that she will benefit from a military school. Take an opportunity to look into the more personalized, realistic, and healthy option of a therapeutic boarding school.