A major issue with families of habitually violent or unruly children has been where to send these kids to get assistance in bettering their lives. However, there are a number of effective avenues that a family can explore to get help for its child(ren).
If a child has severe behavioral problems, he can be court-ordered to be placed in a foster-care home until such time as he shows consistent behavioral improvement. He can also be placed into such care voluntarily by parents who cannot cope with or control their child's violent or unruly behavior.
In these facilities, the child lives in a family atmosphere, often with peers who have been assigned to its program, and foster "parents" who are trained to assist them in their behavioral transition.
Boarding schools are independent educational institutions that teach and accommodate children, creating a supervised and challenging environment as well as providing them with social skills, motivational activities and morally clean fun. It's important for parents to find a boarding school that will best serve the unique issues of their child, rather than find just the one closest to their home. At present, all but eleven U.S. states have boarding schools.
These provide nontraditional and more-flexible study programs than public schools. They help students who have ADHD or emotional disabilities or who are getting into trouble in public schools. Normally, students learn more effectively in nontraditional schools because their programs are better tailored for them than classes offered by public-school systems.
Wilderness programs are therapeutic outdoor resources where teens not only learn survival skills but also how to work through personal conflicts to increase confidence and meet the various challenges in life. The programs are short-term.
Young people are normally assigned to boot camps by a judge as a sentence for breaking the law. However, parents can also send their troubled teenagers to a boot camp to get treatment. Boot camps are highly structured environments based on military basic-training camps. Their goal is to modify a child's negative behavior while teaching him discipline and respect. These programs are usually from 90 to 180 days in length.
While none of these facilities are inexpensive, many of them can assist with financing. As a payment plan is reached, it should be included in the parents' monthly budget and followed faithfully.
Parents must understand that, given the behavior that cause him to be assigned to one of these facilities, their child may become extremely bitter towards them and resentful of his new surroundings. This is a common initial reaction, and parents should remain understanding and supportive, focusing on the positive results that the child will gain from his placement.
- Dr, Khan Matin, Psychiatrist, Pathways Mental Health, Ashland, KY
- Troubled Teens
- Robert Kerr, PhD, Counselor, Pathways Mental Health, Ashland, KY