There are times when a parent is ready to tear out their hair in frustration. It is because their teenage daughter is behaving in a dangerous and disruptive way. Everything the parent has tried has failed. What more can be done?
Well some people suggest sending the teen to a boot camp for girls. So is this a good idea? Well possibly yes and probably no.
The important issue here is the teenage girl. Do you want to punish her or help her? Obviously a loving parent will want to help their child and for that reason a boot camp for girls is not necessarily going to help.
A boot camp operates a military style program. There are adults who do a lot of shouting and the meals and accommodation are not as found in five star hotels. Punishments are harsh and for minor infractions of the rules. It may not be bullying but it is designed to toughen up the residents.
Many teenage girls who go off the rails need help rather than punishment. They may well be far better off in a wilderness camp or a therapeutic boarding school. The main thing is self-esteem. A young girl who is angry and has poor self-esteem needs new skills and a new attitude.
She will hardly get those at a boot camp. Of course if your daughter simply needs a figurative kick in the backside to wake her up to the lazy and wasteful lifestyle she is currently leading, then fine. Or if your daughter is thinking about a career in the military then a boot camp may give her a taste of what tough discipline is all about.
There is an expression called ‘tough love’. It’s where a parent makes a decision they don’t want to make. They love their teenage daughter but are worried the young woman is living a dangerous lifestyle. Maybe she has dabbled in drugs or is promiscuous. Things need to change and sooner rather than later when something terrible may happen.
The ‘tough love’ part is the parent making a hard decision to punish or help their daughter. It is difficult to send their daughter away from home, away from their family and the love and safety they find there.
But there may be no choice. The cycle of despair must be broken. The only real question for the parent then is where does the troubled teen go?
You should explore the activities which occur in a boot camp and certainly the alternatives of wilderness camps and therapeutic boarding schools.
But first you should examine the condition of your teen and the goals you have for her. Is she depressed? Is she dangerous? The vitally important decision regards your teen’s health and happiness. If the best way to achieve that, to turn around your daughter’s behavior is a boot camp, then a boot camp it shall be.
Here are additional resources you might be interested in:
Choosing a teen boot camp for teenage girls