It has been a common notion that it takes a village to bring up a child, especially to nurture a teenager. The teen years are the time when young adults start to question their worth as an individual. It is a time wherein they seek immediate answers or solutions to their dilemmas. The teenage years are the moment of being troubled, of feeling left out in a family, of seeking approval from friends and of many bothersome situations. It is a crucial time when your child reaches his teenage years. Crucial since you need to give him space to handle things on his own yet you need to be on the guard so that he will not go beyond his limit.
Just as in the song “we’re only humans…” indeed there will be instances when as a parent you have done your best to safeguard your child yet he still crosses the line. If the following situations are eminent with your teen then it is time to decide whether or not he goes to a boot camp:
• Your teen’s temper has been strange. His anger is unmanageable. He is mostly unenthusiastic with the things around him.
• Constant running away from home.
• Drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking cigarettes, taking drugs are a common scenario.
• Being with “bad” friends who eventually persuade him to divert into the wrong path.
Once your teen goes astray, is boot camp a better solution? A boot camp is an encampment where the form of disciplining its participant is done through a military approach. Military-like drills, trainings and work-outs are being undertaken by the facilitators to discipline their participants.
There are a number of therapists who are not in conjunction with the idea of a young adult being placed in a boot camp, for the following reasons:
• Inhumane. There are reports of participants leaving the camp dead. This may be due to inhumane activities which are not suited for a young adult’s body and mind since a military approach is adapted.
• Focuses on the “now.” Boot camp facilitators tend to focus on what happened now, the wrongdoings which took place in the present time. Most often than not, they do not identify the past behavior of their participant. Moreover, boot camp facilitators seldom recognize factors which contributed for the participants’ “bad behavior.”
• Works out solely with the participant. The family is an essential factor for change to happen. However a good result will not be possible if the participants’ family does not participate in the rehabilitation process.
Learn to talk with your teen, and talk in a manner where authority is second best. Be a friend to your teen and let him know that the support, understanding and love he needs will be given to him, against all odds.
A boot camp should be your last option. Make no room for other people to touch or even be in charge of your teen. Above all, it is you that is needed. Perhaps, you are just halfway creating the village you desire. There is still so much work to do and you should not stop fighting by giving up your child to a camp where dreams become wobbly.