A teenager in a boot camp program is subjected to strict discipline and rigid schedules that help the child learn valuable life skills. The ultimate goal of a boot camp program is to teach the child how to adapt to situations, respond appropriately and rehabilitate negative actions or thoughts.
Since the boot camp is very structured, teens learn how to respect authority, work hard, cooperate with others and be friendly. As they work through the program, they can learn how to deal with anger in a positive manner. They learn how to exert physical energy through exercise and how to eat a healthy diet.
While the benefits are excellent, there are a few negative points worth mentioning. One is that your teen would be away from home for the duration of the program. Contact with those outside of the program is usually extremely limited -- in some cases only to emergency circumstances. Another is that it might help only to a limited extent. Finally, these programs aren't meant for teens who have certain medical conditions that limit their mobility or ability to deal with the program's routine.
Making decisions for a teen who needs some type of help isn't easy, but parents who learn the options might feel better as they make choices. If you think your teen is heading toward trouble, explore your options right away. If your teen is already in the juvenile justice system, find out about possible options to help your teen.
Source: Troubled Teen Boot Camps, "The Pros and Cons of Sending Your Child to a Boot Camp for Naughty Kids," accessed April. 23, 2015