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I have decided to send D___ to a boot camp...

Hi Mark-

I have not been in touch for a while. I am still working the steps of the course but I still fall short. I almost need daily reminders of what I am supposed to be doing because its so easy to get caught up in the drama- I have to step back and think Ok what have I learned! I am doing better with sticking to what I say and not getting as emotional when he is pushing me. I am taking alot of time outs. But the bad behavior and defiance still continue just as strong from him.

A few weeks ago he shoved a boy into a wall at school this resulted in a bump on this kids head- his parents called the police and are pressing assault charges. D___ was sent to alternative school. While in alternative school he got in a fight on the school bus along with some other boys and was written a ticket for disorderly conduct and assault.

I have decided to send D___ to a boot camp ...its juvenile behavior modification program. i am a nervous wreck about it - but truly don't know what else to do. I know you work with the courts in your state and was curious if you have seen or had kids go thru these programs and how you feel it works or does not work with your program.

Thanks-

S.

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Hi S.,

Boot camps work well as long as the child is involved in programming, but the "positive behavior changes" do not seem to have longevity. That is, the child returns home from boot camp, then after a two-week honeymoon period in which the parent gets the impression that the child has actually made some improvement, the child reverts back to original behavior.

Boot camps are military-style institutions for defiant and disrespectful teens who have a problem with authority. They learn discipline and structure through military exercises, and rigorous physical training.

The theory of boot camp is that a swift "kick in the ass" will turn around a child who has probably been acting out for years. But in a lot of cases, just a short-term boot camp will not be enough for a teen to turn his or her life around. Boot camps work great if they are followed by a boarding school or other longer-term program.

Privately owned boot camps seem to have a greater affect on teenagers. Surprisingly, the recidivism rate of juveniles who attend state-run boot camps has been said to be as high as 94%, while overall privately owned boot camps have a much lower rate. Boot camps can also be long term (military based boarding schools) or short boot camps (summer boot camps).

Overall, boot camps usually have a definite impact on a teen especially the defiant and disrespectful ones. However, for a lasting change to take place, a boot camp usually needs to be followed by a longer-term program such as a boarding school.

Mark

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Mark-

This is a private boot camp (not state run) and D___ is most certainly the defiant type. This camp is for a weekend only but when the child "graduates" from camp at the end of the weekend, he is placed on a 3 month probation. They are given certain expectations and if in that 3 months they are messing up I can call his assigned counselor and they will come to my house or call and see if they can turn the situation around. If D___ continues the bad behavior I can have him sent back to camp for a refresher so to speak. The cost is only 200.00 or 100.00 if court ordered and if they have to go back in the 3 month probation period its 25.00. D___ was not court ordered but when we DO go to court for his tickets I can tell the judge what I have dont to try to help D___.

My hope is this boot camp will be an eye opener for him and then along with your program working on the long term changes in the family D___ can have success in changing his life around.

I have had a great deal of frustration lately that so many kids are falling thru the cracks. There just seems to be very little resources for parents in my area that have troubled kids. I am frustrated with summer coming and nothing for them to do that is positive to keep them out of trouble that parents can afford. I am seriosly thinking of approaching the police department or city or schools or all the above in my city to see if we can get some sort of program together that provides activities for kids -volunteer work - swimming whatever to help them belong to something good.

Parents like me that have to be at work have no way to get kids to and from stuff during the day and no money so I am hoping to maybe get volunteers to provide transportation.

I am just in the beginning stages of the idea. I dont know who/where/how/whats but I am growing a passion for it. I thought maybe a website too so programs (like yours) could possibly be referenced as resources for parents. Any thoughts or suggestions? All I know is it took 10 yrs to even find you or any thing like what you offer ..there are just too many people that dont know what to do where to go and we are losing the kids.

THANKS!

S.

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