Boot Camps For Boys
Teen and pre-teen boys nearly always go through a rebellious period. Depending on their personality and peer influences, some of these rebellions are mild, while others seem to be spinning out of control. It’s important to understand that your son’s rebellion is not a reflection of your parenting skill, and even boys from strong families go through a rebellious time. While you can’t necessarily control your son, you can control how you respond to him and his rebellion. Try strategies at home and school while also considering programs like boot camps for boys that can provide help and hope for your son and family.
Why are boot camps for boys so helpful?
Develop physical discipline: Troubled boys these days are often very inactive, whether they are immersed in video games, spending hours hanging out with the wrong crowd, or just locking themselves in their room. Boys were not intended to be this inactive, and going through a time of pushing themselves physically can often help them start to feel more clear-headed and motivated. Boot camps for boys are based on hours of intense physical training to help boys learn how to respect their bodies and take care of themselves, while also providing an outlet for energy and emotions.
Learn to respect authority: Troubled boys often push the boundaries and have a disrespectful attitude toward the authority figures in their lives. These people probably include parents, teachers, coaches, and counselors. At a boot camp, disrespect is not tolerated, and the direct consequences quickly teach boys to submit to authority figures. These lessons often translate into life back at home, as boys have a greater respect for their parents and teachers.
Provide career options: Boot camps for boys typically have military roots and are structured in similar ways to military training. As boys go through the program at a boot camp and see themselves get stronger and succeed in that setting, they may consider enlisting in the military when they are old enough. The skills they develop in boot camp can help them succeed in the basic training program and go on to have a rewarding military career.
Change the setting: Residential boot camps take boys away from their home setting where they are engaged in problematic behaviors. It can be very helpful to remove peers who are influencing them negatively and give boys a fresh start with new peers and different authority figures. This forces boys to re-think their identity and who they want to be, and it allows them to rediscover their true selves in a setting where they don’t feel as many preconceived expectations.
What to look for in boot camps for boys
As you start looking into available boot camps for boys, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of programs. How do you go about picking the one that will be right for your son? It’s important to consider his specific situation and what he needs, along with the qualities and track record of each boot camp for boys you are considering.
- Duration of program: The ideal length often depends on your son’s situation. Longer programs have the advantage of requiring that boys truly submit to the authority figures for the long term, rather than letting them fake it for a few weeks or months to get through the program. If your son is doing well in school and you don’t want to disrupt that, a shorter program during the summer might be worth considering.
- Quality of instructors: The drill instructors are going to be some of the most influential people during your son’s time at boot camp. Therefore, you want people with proven character, not just people who can do a good job yelling at your son. Some boot camps for boys hire graduates of their programs as instructors, which can be helpful because these instructors are likely to understand your son’s mindset when he comes in and be able to relate to him effectively during the program.
- Testimonials: The best way to get a sense of a boot camp is to listen to what other boys and parents who have been through the program say about it. Of course not every boy will have the same experience, but these can be clues to what your family can expect. In addition to reading provided testimonials, you can ask the boot camp for contact information of families you could talk to in person or on the phone to learn more
Going above and beyond boot camps for boys
While boot camps are often beneficial for troubled teens, they might not provide a complete solution. Many boys need more than just the rigorous physical activity and strong authority structure that a boot camp offers. A more comprehensive program for troubled boys might include:
- Team sports, which provide exercise while also putting boys in a setting where they can build trust and camaraderie with their teammates, in addition to developing rewarding relationships with coaches.
- Mentoring, which brings trusted adults alongside boys to invest in their lives by truly listening to them, understanding who they are and what is going on in their lives, and helping direct them in personal growth.
- Academic programs, which provide boys with the opportunity to catch up in school or stay on track with their expected graduation date.
- Vocational training, which helps boys prepare for a career outside of the military, while also giving them pursuits to continue engaging in back home.
- Spiritual teaching, which can help change boys from the inside by guiding them into a transformative relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Family support, which engages with parents and gives them tools to understand their sons and help ease the transition to life back at home.
Gateway Academy for Troubled Boys offers a comprehensive and effective program to help rebellious boys find themselves again. The school’s roots as a military academy still come through in the form of rigorous physical activity and a disciplined setting. However, the school is also part of Teen Challenge and uses a holistic approach to target the body, mind, and spirit. As a Christian organization, Gateway Academy is committed to using the Bible to help boys discover practical and life-changing truths and come into a vibrant relationship with Jesus.
If you think your son could benefit from attending a Christian boot camp with a strong focus on mentoring, academics, missions, and true life change, we would be happy to tell you more about Gateway Academy for Troubled Boys. Give us a call at 850-547-9011 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org today, and help your son start his journey toward rediscovering his true self.