Why Send Your Child to a Therapeutic Boarding School?


If your child is struggling with problems related to poor behavior, academic difficulties, or substance abuse, you know that even the best of intentions don’t necessarily translate into improved results. Adding to your dilemma is the unfortunate fact that many local school districts are unprepared to address the myriad complex issues that many adolescents and their families are facing today.

This disappointing reality can often leave you feeling as though there’s nowhere to turn to get the help that your child not only needs, but deserves.

The good news is that over the past few decades, significant progress has been made in the education and rehabilitation of young people whose problems once threatened to overwhelm their lives and tear apart their families. Educational experts and therapeutic professionals across the nation have designed a number of innovative programs to help troubled teens overcome their struggles and achieve more than they ever believed possible.

In other words, life as you now know it can get a whole lot better.

Another Path to Success

Many of the most effective efforts to improve the lives of struggling youth involve residential programs such as therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness experiences, and other structured living arrangements.

Though boarding schools are fairly common and quite popular in some parts of the world (including some areas in the United States), residential education remains relatively unfamiliar to many people. But prepare yourself for more good news – because what you don’t know about therapeutic residential programs may very well amaze you.

First, you need to know that sending your child to a therapeutic boarding school doesn’t mean that you, your family, or your child have somehow “failed.” In fact, your decision demonstrates a significant success – your commitment to helping your child achieve his greatest potential is something that you should never be ashamed of.

Some residential programs offer behavioral intervention and counseling, some specialize in substance abuse or addiction disorders, and some offer intensive mental health treatment, special education instruction, or a combination of all of these services.

Just as no two students are the same, neither are any two residential programs. The key is finding the right program for your child – a process that you don’t need to undertake alone.

Help for the Whole Family

Another important concept to remember is that enrolling your child in a boarding school or other residential program doesn’t mean that you are “sending her away” or separating her from the family.

True, your child won’t be physically present in your home for a while, but that doesn’t mean he won’t continue to be an important part of your family. In fact, one of the most important parts of almost every residential program is the effort to help all family members develop the skills necessary to develop and maintain healthy long-term relationships. Separating your child from the environment in which he was previously floundering may be an important step in stripping away the distractions and allowing him – and you – to focus on the true root causes of the frustrations you have all been experiencing.

While your child is making progress at his school, you will be in regular contact with him, his counselors and his mentors – and will even have a few homework assignments of your own! At the same time that your child is receiving expert instruction and intensive therapy – all part of a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan to address his needs and maximize his abilities – you will have the opportunity to “catch your breath” and work on aspects of your own life that may have affected or been impacted by your child’s problems.

Toward a Brighter Tomorrow

Students who were previously struggling with behavior, self-esteem, and other challenges often surprise even themselves with the progress they make in a structured environment such as an emotional-growth boarding school or therapeutic wilderness program. Because these programs provide comprehensive support that is tailored to the specific needs of each student, there’s no longer a danger of “falling between the cracks” or being dismissed as a “bad kid.”

Therapeutic residential programs help students make up academic ground while also developing the mindset and personal philosophy that will allow them to achieve continued future success. Providing not only the tools with which to build a healthy life, but also the ability to use those tools for the greatest good, therapeutic boarding schools and other residential programs help students to envision a bright future, then achieve an even brighter one.

There’s no doubt that parenting a troubled teen can be a difficult undertaking. But there’s also no reason that you should have to feel alone in your efforts to give your child the best possible future. 

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