Boot Camps (Teens)



Parenting teens can be a difficult task. Teenagers often act out due to emotions, suppression or growing pains. They may turn to substance abuse or violence as an outlet while dealing with self esteem issues. As a parent of children who are engaging in reckless behavior it can seem impossible to communicate with them especially when they aren't attentive toward your admiration for them. Some may constantly worry about a child's mood swings and angry responses. Boot Camps are available for children who can't seem to stray away from the chaos at home. By providing them with an activity that teaches them integrity and hard work it has the potential to turn around their attitude and thoughts on relationships.

Goals of Boot Camps

Teens are often sent to boot camps because of their parents or family members. It may have been recommended by a psychologist or adult who feels that the teen is going to benefit from being disciplined in a structured environment. The purpose of Boot Camp is to mold an individual who shows poor commitment toward their family and school. They may act out in an abusive or violent manner. When there aren't any options left, meeting with a behavioral Boot Camp is the next step. Before teens are sent off to these facilities they are always screened for mental illness.

When are Boot Camps Used?

Boot Camps are used when a teen is careless toward the decisions that they make. As a structured environment it teaches them how to eliminate their behavior and change an attitude that may have already hurt friends and family. These are used as an alternative to juvenile detention centers. This may also be ordered by the court as an act of probation. The Boot Camps are managed by staff that specializes in children who are in need of a more aggressive form of behavioral therapy and psychotherapy. Although it is often a last resort, it's one that is bound to change the amount of respect teenagers show toward others and themselves.

How Boot Camps Work

There are various types of boot camps although the facilities specializing in teen behavior use disciplinary techniques. They also promote social interaction with others and team work in which they can learn trust and reliance. These are also combined with therapy sessions at times which make the transition from home to camp less of an emotional shock. Boot camps are going to provide teens with the skills that they need to build relationships, find jobs and create a future for themselves. The physical discipline will teach them how they can use their minds and desires in life to become healthy.

There are many teens that suffer from anger issues. The reason behind the anger is dealt with at camp as well. By uncovering these issues and learning disciplinary actions they will also benefit from learning how they can cope with their own emotions. The resentment that they feel can be turned into a positive choice they are making instead of violent tendencies. There are specialists at Boot Camps who will ensure that the teens are pushing their limit physically and mentally. By letting go of anger, bullying, rivalry and resentment they'll learn how to grow as a young adult.

The activities at Boot Camp will vary. They often consist of military type training and physical activity such as hiking. They will also participate in community service activities. The counseling sessions throughout will vary depending on the person. There are some camps that offer rewarding program for teens if they have made progress and learned from the activity. Boot Camps work by first showing the teens that they can no longer act or treat others the way that they do. This approach is aggressive although that is what's needed when other options haven't helped improve their behavior. They'll learn how to respect family and rules being that they will not move forward in life if they continue to rebel the way that they do.

Criticism of Boot Camps

The criticisms toward Boot Camps have actually stemmed from other countries who have been watching the system. Some see it as a similar disciplinary action toward prison inmates. Although it is argued that the effects of the camps are different there are some surveys that show there isn't much of a difference between treatment toward teenagers and prison inmates. Some professionals believe that the camp can actually result in more emotional distress and repression than respect and learned structure.


Boot camps for troubled teens. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Juvenile boot camps. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

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