Can a Center for Troubled Youth Help My Teen?

You’re facing a tough decision that you really don’t want to make. But your teen has become more than you can handle. He or she has failing grades, is being disruptive in class or at home, and, intentionally or not, is causing the whole family to suffer. Whether the root is a behavioral or emotional disorder, a learning disability, ADD/ADHD, an addiction, or just raging hormones added to everything else, it’s just about reached the breaking point.

It may be time for a re-boot in the restorative environment of one of the therapeutic centers for troubled youth where wide open spaces and fresh air combine with counseling and personalized instruction to set everything back on the right track away from the usual triggers of bad behavior and focus a teen on realizing his or her full potential.
These are some of the things that a teen learns in a residential center:

How to Get Along With Other People

Teenagers are notoriously wrapped up in their own heads, particularly when they’re dealing with their own difficult issues. This can lead to a hard time cooperating, collaborating, and compromising with other people. Compassion and empathy are other qualities that also sometimes go by the wayside.

Participating in counseling as well as creative and recreational activities with peers at a residential center develops these interpersonal skills that are so important as a teen matures to go out into the workplace and greater community. Experiences in a residential facility also teach good manners and communication skills so that a teen learns how to meet new people and how to treat others with respect, no matter who they are.

How to Solve Problems

As your son or daughter gets older, you’re not going to be around every time he or she runs into a hard situation that requires quick thinking and problem solving. Away from home, teens can’t look for a parent to make everything all right, so they learn how to keep their wits about them and confront things as they happen. They learn what to do on their own if something isn’t where it should be or doesn’t go as planned.

Perhaps most importantly, they learn that not everything is a crisis or an emergency, and gain the assurance to know that there are always ways to work through things that happen and that they are smart enough and strong enough to do it themselves.

How to Manage Their Own Time

Time can get away from the best of us, but these days, even toddlers have calendars that take a strategist to manage. By the time they’re in their teens, their days and nights are full to brimming and it’s easy for balls to get dropped right and left.

Life in a residential center teaches good habits of time management, prioritizing, and decision-making so that kids aren’t doing multiple things at once and leaving chaos in their wakes. They learn pretty quickly that their own lack of organization affects everyone around them, and they learn to take responsibility for their own actions.

How to Earn and Manage Money

A teen who wants something extra at a residential center has to work for it in some way. Whether it’s money or credits, nothing comes for free. In giving teens the challenge of working for what they want, life at a center teaches the elements of budgeting, the importance of saving, and the value of every hard-earned dollar or credit. You can’t put a price on the pride kids feel when they accomplish something like that on their own.

How to Do the Stuff of Daily Life

Mumbling “I’ll do it later” doesn’t cut it at a residential facility where kids have to cooperate to get things like dorm chores done. Teens learn that they are responsible for taking care of themselves and their surroundings, and see how their actions impact the others they live with… as well as the consequences of slacking off. It’s a lesson they carry through the rest of their lives.

Along with standard course study and targeted therapy sessions, a troubled teen living in a group setting learns the skills and gains the confidence to become an independent adult. Teens need guidance, but they also need the chance to try out things on their own and sometimes to fail at them. Spending time away from the familiar home environment gives them the opportunity to strike out independently yet safely as they learn to be adaptable and overcome obstacles on their way to becoming grown up.


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