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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Help for Troubled Teens

thSummer is almost upon us. Multiplied families struggle with teens who have issues. And they dread the summer when schedules become less structured and problems grow more serious.

If the young people are not in school—where are they? Did they show up for the summer job, or did they go to a friend’s house? Who’s watching them while you’re at work?

And on and on and on it goes. Time for a turnaround.

Depending on whether they need emotional help, behavioral intervention, or a detox center, Teenthere’s help out there. Usually for a hefty price, but hey….

Which would suit your teen’s needs the best? Might it be bootcamp, boarding school, a treatment center or wilderness experience?  Are they dealing with adoption issues or regular teen troubles?  Many offer short-term, one- or two-month options during the summer.

Not that enrollment would necessarily be open for this summer at such a late date. However, these kinds of centers understand emergencies, too.

Teen-BootTo give a short rundown, which by no means is exhaustive, the teen list might look something like this:

Boarding school = summer or yearlong residential academics. Could be regular school setting or more supervisory for those experiencing trouble with schoolwork or focus.

Bootcamp/Wilderness Camp = behavioral help working on a reward and punishment basis. Motivating kids to listen to their parents and the law through physically-challenging tasks, learning to rely on themselves.

Detox treatment center = particularly for drug or alcohol addiction. Lock-down setting with no jobcorpaccess to these substance with counselling.

Job Corps = depending on a family’s income, could be a free program for 16-24-year-olds leading to a high school diploma (if needed) along with job and life skill training. Set up by the US Department of Labor and usually residential. Lasts maybe two years depending on the student’s needs. Voluntary, so the student must agree to the program and no tolerance for substance abuse, etc.

campTeen Group Home = mental and emotional counselling dealing with bad choices in friends or behaviors, sometimes an alternative to juvenile detention. May combine a number of therapies to deal with self-harming in any way. Kids may also learn additional negative behaviors from other patients….

Military School = more of a year-round option, students with discipline issues or lack of parental oversight (divorce, long work hours, etc.) benefit from a highly-structured often residential school setting.

Spiritual Summer Camp = different from a regular summer camp, I know of Christian- or Jewish-prayeremphasis camp settings where faith is stressed. Could help teens needing to overcome negative peer pressure in terms of attitude, language, dress and help them to feel part of a new group where prayer, Bible study or religious traditions are stressed in a fun camp atmosphere.

Depending on the program, some of these might be coed or not if that is a concern. I hope it gives some food for thought and helps you as the parent to breathe easier, knowing that there’s help out there.

Sometimes. If you’re willing to take an extra job or have deep pockets. Remember that other parents are praying for you and cheering you on!


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