When Boys Go Bad – Sending Your Child to Schools for Troubled Boys
It’s a common mistake for some parents to compare the behavior of their teens to other teens and base their assumptions on what they think to be “normal teenager attitudes”. The truth of the matter is that each child is different and there’s really no fool proof way of determining whether your child is struggling or not. When it comes to knowing if there’s something bothering your child, the best thing to do is rely on how much you know your child and the kind of changes he is showing recently.
These changes may be subtle at first, but learning to detect them may make a world of difference. Here are a few hints that could indicate your teen is struggling with something that you need to be aware of:
- Defiance – There are teens who are just naturally strong-willed and have always been like that even before their adolescent years. However, when teens become defiant, there’s usually a marked change in their attitude towards authority figures. There may be something wrong when your teen begins to habitually bend the house rules a little bit or continuously challenges long-established rules. Over time, teen defiance will eventually become a more problematic issue and the atmosphere at home can quickly become stressful and negative because of it.
- Marked change in sleeping/eating patterns – One of the subtle signs that there’s something troubling your son is changes in his eating/sleeping pattern. It’s also one of the most common signs of depression.
- Change in circle of friends – An abrupt change in your son’s circle of friends may also be an indication that there’s something going on that’s troubling him. This is especially true if the kind of friends he has now are very different from the ones he used to have.
- Disregard – If your son suddenly becomes more self-centered and shows blatant disregard for the feelings, possession, and private space of other family members, this could be a warning sign too.
- Aggression – If your son suddenly shows aggression towards you (more commonly) towards younger members of the family, this could be an indicator of a troubled youth. It may mean a lot of things, and could escalate to more serious issues when parents don’t deal with teenage aggression.
- Non-responsive towards other interventions – Many parents seek to first encourage their teens to talk with a guidance counselor or a couselor at church. When teens show no progress despite these primary interventions, there could be other issues that need to be addressed.
Why Send Your Child to Schools for Troubled Boys?
Sometimes it helps struggling teens a lot when they are taken away from their usual environment and given the chance to have a fresh start somewhere else for a short time. In schools for troubled boys, teachers can see the way teens interact with other people and have more insight regarding their issues. It’s something counselors don’t usually see because they don’t usually observe struggling teens in their usual environment.
Struggling boys can be taken away from all the unnecessary distractions, negative influences, and cuts off access to harmful substances. Instead of playing video games or spending all time in front of the TV/computer, struggling boys can rebuild their self-esteem through healthy physical activities.
Parents are often wary of labeling their children and fear that sending their teens to schools for troubled boys will cause them to have negative self-image. On the contrary, schools for troubled boys help struggling teens overcome their challenges and strive to become better. They can be wilderness camps, therapeutic boarding schools, and other residential therapy centers. Boys are not labeled here, but they are given the kind of help they cannot realistically expect from mainstream schools.
Sending your ten to a school for troubled boys cannot be considered a magic bullet, though. It’s one kind of intervention that has worked for thousands of families and for teens with similar situations. In order to know whether your teen will fare better here than in a mainstream school, it may be necessary to have your child undergo a psychological evaluation or ask your family’s mental health practitioners for their professional opinion on it.