Whoever would’ve guessed that watching
a bunch of unruly, disrespectful “brats” would be considered
entertainment?! From the UK to the United States, viewers are glued to
their televisions, watching the adventures, battles and emotional
breakdowns of a group of teens that need a quick dose of reality in the new TV series "Brat Camps".
camps are very similar to wilderness programs and some of them closely
resemble the juvenile boot camps that have grown in popularity. Brat
camps are considered by many to be good options for teens that have
early signs of problems but have not become firmly attatched 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. Long-term options have
the ability to replace bad habits with positive, constructive habits
that will benefit the teen throughout their lives.
Boot Camp Overview
Started as an alternative to jail for juvenile adolescents, there are
serveral types of teen boot camps from state run to privately run where the teen will be mentally
and physically challenged. These facilities can be a starting place for getting
your teen help. In both the state and private environment the camps goal is to scare kids straight generally
only giving a good short-term solution. Parents often seek out boot camps with
the assumption that a "wake up call"
is all that is needed for their troubled teen.
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. They are modeled after military-style, military exercises, and
physical training focusing on reality, respect and responsibility. Many
lack these qualities, yet they desperately need them in order to
transition into adulthood. This experience can help teens replace
attitudes and behaviors with new perspectives and direction in their
lives. The theology behind a short-term camp being that a "quick reality check
" will turn a child around who has been acting out. These boot camp style programs are usually ineffective
for teens that have developed bad habits over a long period of time and are in need of long term change.
What is it like to be in a Teen Boot Camp?
A true teen boot camp will include uniforms, marching in formation as well
as a "yes sir" and "no sir" mentality. They will
include a very structured environment that includes the trainers
getting right in the face of the cadet. Barracks will be similar
to those in the U.S. Military's "basic training" program and will be authentic
in areas including bunk beds, foot lockers and a very strict, no holes
barred system of inspections that must be completed without error if
the teen is to survive the ordeal, even for a short period of
time. Whether a child is able to handle this type of
environment is actually a question that must be considered before a
parent puts a struggling teen in the midst of these intense drill
instructors and within the environment that does not permit any outside
contact for a prescribed period of time. Parents should consider more
than just if the cadet can survive. They should consider
whether juvenile boot camps are the right choice for a troubled
teen. It is clear that teens with behavioral problems that are beyond
the scope of these environments should not be considered for teen boot camps.
Do Boot Camps Work?
These type of programs are designed as a quick fix and may help a struggling teen
with respect, obedience and appreciation. However, they
are not a good long term option for teens that need help. Recidivism rates suggest that they are not a good solution for long