Military Schools – The Answer for Defiant Children?

How many times growing up did you hear your parents say “you either shape up or we are shipping you out!” meaning to military school? There is just something about the structure and rules of military schools that sings to the heart of a parent of an out of control kid.

While this seems like an easy out, there are a few options prior to making this choice that beg to be considered. Starting with, what is going on with your kid basically? Has the dynamics of his life changed, foundation shifted, like a divorce, change of schools, remarriage? What is the time span of this behavior? If it has been short-lived, keep the lines of communication open and listen when he talks. If it is longer, and talking is resulting in shouting and slamming, or, worse hitting, the next step is possibly implementing a parenting program.

Sometimes this is called a child behavior program, but I like parenting program because it feels more proactive. I am working with my child to become a successful, fulfilled adult and I must have the skills needed in order to do this. There are several different programs on the market. One I use is Parenting with Love and Logic which provides  good information and is geared more toward raising up children who are learning to become independent and may get off track occasionally. I personally favor Total Transformation program as I have had the most success with it. And it also addresses issues with kids who are most difficult to deal with in easy to follow step by step information. When the stress level is high, it is nice to just have a handbook to refer to.

At this time, adding in a therapist or child counselor would be highly beneficial. Doing this in conjunction with a parenting program is ideal as you have the added support on an ongoing basis. Sometimes, it may help to place the kiddo in a therapeutic environment until you get your new parenting skills up and running. You will have opportunities in the therapy center to practice as most will offer family counseling.

Last resort, in my opinion, is military school. Some kids will thrive on this structure, but as it addresses the behavior and not the thinking behind the behavior, it may only be a bandaid. If you decide to go this route, have a plan in place when your child gets home. Make structure and accountability priorities in your house, so your child doesn’t slide back into his or her old habits.  Also, I was surprised to learn that many schools won’t accept openly defiant, out-of-control teens. And if they get booted out, you lose your tuition money.

So there are the options. It is up to you to decide – is military school the answer for you and your child?

For many more tips on parenting decisions including the military school option, check out The Total Transformation. It’s one of the best child behavior programs I’ve ever seen – it worked for our family, I’m sure it can work for yours!

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