Help for Struggling Teens
Struggling Teens--

Teens are special, with peculiar demands from life. Struggling teens make
their parents feel that they are bad parents, but the fact is, struggling teens
do not know how to express themselves, and neither are the parents trained
for this kind of behavior. So, from a good child for so many years, all of a
sudden the child turned into a monster (peer pressure being a primary

Our goal here at
Online Parent Support is to be the leading online source
of information for parents of children making poor decisions, and for
professionals trying to help those families with struggling teens.

Online Parent Support has several educational consultants who have worked with parents, schools
and programs for struggling teens for many years.  We offer a nationwide referral service for parents
of adolescents with behavioral and emotional problems.

When working with a parent, we draw on our many years of personal experience in working for and
with schools and programs for struggling teens.  This site is dedicated to helping struggling teens and
providing information to parents about juvenile boot camps and other alternatives.  

There are Boarding schools, Boot camps, Military-style schools and even residential treatment
centers for adolescence that may have, for example, urbanized a habit to drugs or alcohol.  

Results are not visible overnight, as with other psychological treatments the rate of recovery varies
on an individual basis and is not quantifiable.  We suggest programs only from the most reputed of
schools/ treatment centers.  

We’ll examine short and long term wilderness and out-door programs, home style programs, highly
structured boarding schools, therapy boarding schools, RTCs and psychiatric hospitals for children
with behavior and emotional problems.  

Parenting a Struggling Teen—

Parents often see the world of teen placement as a very confusing and
different world from the one they inhabit.  Parents find it very difficult
to cope with their struggling teen, and they are not able to understand
what they should do now.  Parents may needlessly delay essential
interventions because they think their own brand of discipline is giving
their teen help when it is not actually dealing with the issues that underlie his or her behavior.  
Parents of struggling teens need to know that they are not alone.  

By the time parents come to the realization that placement might be necessary, the problems are
often long-lasting, and it takes a long-term program for their child to learn new thinking patterns.  
We guide parents through the complex maze of treatment programs and help you find the success
your son or daughter deserves.  With this, we always encourage parents to seek local therapist to
evaluate the situation.  


One of our roles here at Online Parent Support is to work with you, the parent, as a partner to
understand your child's needs and identify the best possible match for your entire family.  We truly
care about your family's well-being and want to help you however we can.  No two teens are the
same, and not every treatment program is the best option for your family. An individualized plan for
each family includes matching students with schools and providing educational planning, guidance and
ongoing support.  

Brat Camps—

Brat camps are considered by many to be good options for teens that have early signs of problems but
have not become firmly attached to negative influences and bad behavior.  However, teens that have
developed bad habits over long period of time would benefit more from long-term options that range
from 12-18 months. The brat camp experience can help struggling teens replace destructive attitudes
and behaviors with new perspectives and direction in their lives.

Brat camps are very similar to wilderness programs and some of them closely resemble the juvenile
boot camps that have grown in popularity.  

Wilderness Programs—

Wilderness Treatment Programs specialize in struggling teens, 13 to 17 years
of age, with a range of emotional and behavioral issues.  Wilderness therapy
programs offer an effective alternative to boot camp.  The wilderness
environment and experiential learning help students recognize and build
upon their own sense of self-worth as they learn the value of helping others.  
Wilderness programs excel at addressing the underlying cause of negative,
unhealthy behaviors and working through impasses brought about by internal struggles, rather than
confronting outward behaviors only.  

Families who are not planning additional steps after the wilderness adventure camp are strongly
encouraged to consider a 32-day Struggling Teens Journey Program, as this provides additional time
and programming for struggling teens to fully incorporate positive new behavior patterns and
perspectives for the long-term.  

Wilderness programs provide an intensive wilderness experience, introducing struggling teens to a
healthy form of leisure activity and offering an opportunity for participants to develop positive new
ways of interacting with peers, adults, and their surrounding communities.  Focus is placed on
reinforcing positive self-concepts and principles that are required by wilderness activities, such as
confidence in one's own abilities, support for fellow struggling teens, and enjoyment of challenging

Positive behavior patterns naturally emerge from this emphasis, as self-esteem, confidence, self-
reliance, and group cohesion develop during wilderness adventures.  Promoting self-esteem, trust,
and acceptance of challenge are the focus of early activities, followed by the development of teamwork
and values clarification to prepare struggling teen participants for their first real steps into wilderness
adventure and personal growth.  

Struggling teens are out-fitted with the equipment required for wilderness expeditions. Wilderness
expeditions initiate struggling teens to the responsibility of preparing their own camp meals and tent
sites, as well as caring for their clothing and gear.  

Boot Camps—

Boot Camps are often short-term, however, long-term boot camps have increased in popularity for
their ability to help defiant adolescents improve their behavior at home and school.  Boot camps have
come under fire recently with health and safety issues. Started as an alternative to jail for juvenile
adolescents, there are several types of teen boot camps from state run to privately run where the
teen will be mentally and physically challenged.  A true teen boot camp will include uniforms,
marching in formation, as well as a "yes sir" and "no sir" mentality.  

Residential Programs—

Residential treatment centers are designed for teens who are struggling with:

·        adoption issues
·        defiance
·        depression
·        drug abuse
·        failing school
·        motivation
·        run away from home
·        self-esteem issues, etc.

Residential treatment centers have excellent emotional growth seminars and parent work shops.  
Residential treatment centers have very tight supervision with 24/7 care.  

Military Schools—

Military schools are most appropriate for children and teenagers who do NOT struggle from any
significant underlying emotional or behavioral problems.  In fact, some psychologists would argue that
the disciplinary nature of military schools without working on any underlying emotional problems
could prove a disservice to struggling teenagers who are truly suffering from an emotional or
behavioral problem.  

Military schools focus on teamwork and academics, and although many in the past have taken
troubled teenagers, most military schools shy away from teens with more profuse problems and are
not adequate in helping troubled teenagers in need of behavior modification.  

Boarding Schools—

There are many specialty boarding schools
that have very satisfactory track records for
working with struggling teenagers, and many
of their students are able to successfully
internalize their positive changes in behavior
and outlook on life.  However, a substantial
monetary investment would be required to
enroll your teen in a quality boarding/
rehabilitation center.

Sending your teen to a boarding school won’t
absolve you from your duties toward him/her
-- you have to lend them a helping hand so
that they can rebuild their life.  

There are many reasons why your struggling teen could be experiencing a confusing time in his/her
young life, but it is our responsibility as parents to try to determine the cause of their inner hurt and
sadness that can potentially cause negative and inappropriate behavior.  As a parent, this can be
extremely difficult, and may require outside help.  

We represent programs that typically retain a 97% parent satisfaction rate.  Many of our consultants
are parents who have placed their own child in a specialty school and can best understand your

Direct your questions regarding the options discussed above to:

Mark Hutten,

Online Parent Support: Top Picks For Troubled Teen Placements