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Is military school or boot camp the answer for an out of control teen?

What are some alternatives?

By out of control I mean he smokes pot and steals the $ to get it from his parents. He tells his mother that she is a joke and threatens to hurt her. He's failed in school 4 years in a row, but then scrapes by in summer school. He shot out all the windows of the house with a pellet gun. If he is told to do anything he tells his parents to F off. He keeps talking about how he can't wait until he's 16 so he can drop out of school.

They had him on a PINS petition, but that didn't help at all. He convinced the officer that his mother was the one that was lying and everyone felt bad for him. The officer told his mother that she had no right to tell him what time to go to bed or eat dinner.

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Anonymous said...

I would have that kid in "Brat Camp" so fast he wouldn't know what hit him. If you're not familiar with "Brat Camp" you can google it. Basically, it's a wilderness camp where kids have to learn to cooperate and follow the rules to survive. A family in our church did that to their daughter a few years ago because she was lying, stealing, drugs etc......she has now graduated from college and doing quite well for herself. She hated her parents for awhile for sending her there but now she'd be the first to tell you that it turned her life around.

Anonymous said...

I would say that he probably needs to be admitted to a behavioral health center since he is at risk of harming others. If his parents can't afford that, they can turn him over to foster care and the foster care system can help him get treatment. I don't recommend that, but that is an option that I came across when we were seeking help for my 12yr old stepson. He spent 2 weeks in an acute care behavioral health hospital. He now goes to a PHP (partial hospitilization program) M-F. He doesn't go to school (they have school there) and he comes home at night and on the weekends. He gets therapy 2-3 times a day, along with the anti-depressant and anti-psychotic that he is on. His behavior has improved, not drastically but it's a little bit better than before. If he doesn't show significant improvement in the future then he will have to go to a residential treatment center for 6-9 months. We considered military school/boot camp for him, but that would be a last resort. I'm sure this kid has some underlying issues that are causing him to act like that. He seems to have a lot of rage in him. My stepson was diagnosed with Intermittent explosive disorder (among other things) which means he flies into irrational, uncontrollable rages with little provacation. So, I think the hospital/therapy route is the way to START with him. If he doesn't get help, it's sad to say, but he will end up in juvenile detention/jail/prison. Hope that helps, it's a horrible situation to be in and I know firsthand, because I'm in it myself.

Anonymous said...

I'd say the answer is juvie or military school. If that was my kid, I'd've called the police the minute I heard he was affiliated with drugs and got him hauled out of my house so fast! I'm sure that not many people know he's on drugs, but what about the window shooting? Why didn't he get shipped out right then and there? That kid needs a good kick in the pants.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how heavy he is into the pot, or if he's trying anything else, but she may want to consider sending him to some kind of rehab center. They're not all super expensive, and you can even get some financial help sometimes. A lot of times the drug counselors in those places can be more intense than any kind of 5 day boot camp type thing. On the other hand if she were to send him to a full fledged 'military school', they would be able to invest more time in to...straightening out...his attitude as only people in the military can sometimes do. They also have a zero tolerence on drugs.

I know that Tx and Ny are very different places, and it sounds like these parents have tried a couple times to...'lay down the law', and it just hasn't worked. This kid needs to understand that as long as he is a minor they've got control on him. If he can't understand that, they may need to consider just throwing him out. I know that can be one of the hardest things for a parent to do, because I had to watch my mom do it to my sister. For about a year, she bounced around from place to place still drinking and doing drugs, but when she finally hit rock bottom she knew she needed to clean up her act. Kicking this kid out and letting him fall flat on his face may be the answer for them. Hope everythign works out.

* 1 year ago

Several of my family members have been through drug and/or alcohol rehab, and were a lot like this kid sounds, and it straightened all that out. I had a buddy in H.S. whose parents shipped him off to military school for basically the same thing. After he graduated and came home though he basically slipped back into the same type of stuff.