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Boot Camp for Boys Defined

A boot camp for boys is a therapeutic program that utilizes rigorous, militaristic programming to knock some discipline into boys struggling with emotional and behavioral issues. A boot camp for boys is not known to be entirely effective and can actually cause your child to be worse off than when you sent him to boot camp for boys. In fact, some teen boys go on from a boot camp for boys to behave even worse than they did before as a way of rebelling.

A boot camp for boys focuses on instilling a sense of responsibility and respect that are prevalent in other therapeutic programs like residential treatment centers or therapeutic boarding schools. However, a boot camp for boys is way more strict and unrelenting than any other therapeutic program. Teens are subjected to harsh schedules that don’t encourage true personal growth. Although teens may change behaviors in the short term while at a boot camp for boys, the new, improved behaviors do not stick around for very long because of the negative nature of the programming. boot camp for boys

The harsh punishments given at a boot camp for boys can be extremely detrimental to a teen boy’s well being and self esteem. The goal of sending your child to a therapeutic program is usually to help them work through behaviors, not to damage them even further.

Who usually attends a boot camp for boys?

Teen boys who are sent to a boot camp for boys usually struggle with behavioral and emotional issues like defiant, disruptive behaviors, school refusal or truancy, and may act out in school constantly. Parents send teens to a boot camp for boys when they want an instant fix for their teen’s behavior. However, that is not often the best option for families. A therapeutic program like residential treatment centers or therapeutic boarding schools offer positive reinforcement that allows for lasting change rather than a quick band-aid solution that will not last.

A boot camp for boys typically offers programming for teen boys struggling with emotional and behavioral issues such as:

  • Learning disorders: ADHD, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, dyslexia, etc.
  • Anger management issues
  • Defiance (whether this be defiant behaviors, conduct disorder or full-blown oppositional defiant disorder)
  • School refusal or truancy
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Substance use issues

A boot camp for boys aims to take teen boys with the worst behavioral issues and “reform” them. Instead of making changes to the underlying issues causing teens to act out, a boot camp for boys will address the problem at face value, which is not usually a productive way to help boys work through and effectively change behaviors for the better.

Why not to choose a boot camp for boys

As stated previously, choosing a boot camp for boys can be detrimental to your teen’s behavioral and emotional health. Instead of offering positive solutions to your child’s struggles, a boot camp for boys utilizes negative reinforcement to put teen boys “back in their place”. Other reasons a boot camp for boys might not be the most effective solution for your son include:

  • Lack of family involvement: Most boot camps don’t offer any form of family therapy alongside the therapeutic help they are providing your son. This does not help repair families, which does not lead to lasting change in teens.
  • Strict, harsh discipline hardly ever works: Boot camps consist of a strict schedule, with very limited contact to the outside world. Drill sergeants are utilized to maintain order and discipline amongst boys who attend boot camps. They will yell in your son’s face if they do something wrong, attempting to scare your child into being obedient and disciplined.
  • Quick fix, not long term: Although a boot camp for boys may temporarily instill a sense of discipline and respect in your son for the period of time directly following their stay at boot camp, these qualities rarely last. Your son will more than likely revert to their former behavior or rebel even more.

Why Ashcreek Ranch Academy is a better solution

Ashcreek Ranch Academy, a ranch for troubled youth, can help your son find lasting success. Ashcreek Ranch is a working ranch where your son will learn useful life skills such as responsibility, respect, accountability, and team work in a nurturing, caring environment. At Ashcreek Ranch, your son will spend 20-25 hours a week working with horses and learning to change their behaviors for the better.

Contemporary Articles

One article in the Scientific American describes the damaging effects of “tough love” programs like a boot camp for boys. The article cites a study conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina which revealed that boot camps studied had little to no effect on improving the overall behaviors of boys who attended the programs. It also discussed other studies which found that imposing harsh discipline on teen boys was not likely to have a positive effect on their behaviors overall.

Another article from ABC News discusses the powerful effects boot camp can have on boys. It gives examples of a few teens who have attended boot camps in the past who have ended up succeeding in life. The article also discusses the importance of a community effort in helping young people struggling with emotional and behavioral issues. After attending a boot camp for boys, this article describes the positive effect teens have on their overall communities.


The Impact of a Correctional Boot Camp on Social Bonds: A Randomized Comparison of a Therapeutic Boot Camp and a Traditional Prison

One research paper by social scientists at the University of Maryland found that a boot camp for boys doesn’t help teens better form or enhance social bonds. This conclusion makes it clear that a boot camp for boys will not help teens improve the relationships in their lives.

The Impact of Boot Camps and Traditional Institutions on Juvenile Residents: Perceptions, Adjustment, and Change

One study found that individuals with a history of trauma fared better in traditional residential treatment facilities. They exhibited higher levels of stress and depression in a boot camp than in a traditional treatment facility.

Boot camp for boys defined by…

Your Little Professor

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