What Can My Teen Expect at Military Boarding School?

Considering a military school for teens can be an overwhelming decision; after all, what is your child going to experience at one of these schools? What will their day-to-day life involve? While there are many choices available to parents and caretakers when it comes to boarding schools, military schools are just one option. From residential treatment options and day centers, the choices can feel immense. 

Military School Provides Structure

If your child needs structure, discipline, guidance, and reinforcement, then a military boarding school might just meet their needs. Keep in mind that military boarding schools are different from residential treatment centers, especially if your teen needs access to psychiatric care, social workers, or other medical professionals. Military schools typically use the chain of military command in order to discipline and provide structure, while residential treatment centers have access to therapists and mental health physicians if needed. 

This factor also coincides with whether or not your teen will be actively participating in the school’s activities and following instructions and rules appropriately. While most residential treatment centers want the children to participate in provided sessions and activities, they won’t force them to join. This will most likely not be the case at a military boarding school – here, they will enforce rules and want the students that join to participate and follow instructions actively. 

A Day a Military School

Military boarding school life looks much different than other programs or treatment centers, especially when it comes to academics. While residential treatment centers often offer some level of academic progression, military school schedules have your teen in the classroom for a good part of the day. Education is a primary focus in military boarding schools, and ensuring each teen continues their academics is a core value of many schools. This also goes hand in hand with physical fitness training, which will be implemented each day – typically in the mornings, and then again once classes are complete in the afternoons. 

A day in military school will begin early. After waking, your teen will most likely be expected to make his or her bed and prepare for inspection. Three meals a day are provided, with physical activity, education, and training encompassing most of the day. Study halls and/or rest time are provided at night before bed, where there is a strict lights-out policy for many military boarding schools. 

Focus on Teamwork

Teamwork and group activities are integral parts of a military boarding school; learning to work cohesively as a team is necessary. If your teen prefers (or needs) more time to themselves, then a military-style boarding school might not be a good fit for them. Social media nowadays makes us think that military boarding schools are used to get a troubled teen “scared straight,” but that is not the foundation of these programs. In actuality, your teen will become a more well-rounded, disciplined, and hard-working human after being a part of a military boarding school. Core values such as respect, honor, and commitment to excellence are just a few of the factors that military boarding schools focus on – and not so much the screaming, yelling, and demoralizing that we often see portrayed in movies. 

Is Military School Right for my Child?

So, how do you know if a military boarding school is right for your teenage son or daughter? Keep in mind that these programs are not designed with medical professionals or behavioral assistance on staff; the military chains of command will be the ones guiding and leading your child throughout the day. Suppose your teen needs help learning how to follow the rules. In that case, military boarding schools might not be the best fit for assistance with developmental delays or dealing with any other behavioral condition. You want your child to succeed and thrive in their given environment – and if your teen needs help with a specific mental or behavioral issue, then a residential treatment center might be a better option. On the other hand, if your teen needs more discipline, guidance, and structure and is willing to participate in team activities while improving themselves in an academic realm, military boarding schools could be a fantastic option. 

If you have questions about whether or not a military boarding school would be beneficial for your son or daughter, reach out to the school directly. Speak with staff and cadets, take a tour, and get as much information as possible. The staff are always willing to help and want the best for your child – just like you do. Each teenager is different, so determining the treatment ideal for their growth and development is critical. Reach out to the specialists at Help Your Teen Now if you need assistance finding the right fit for your child today!

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