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Military Schools and Military High Schools for Teens and Adolescents

As a parent, are you considering a military school or military high school for your troubled teen? If you are struggling with a teen or adolescent due to problems with, defiance, poor behavior, academics, mood disorders or emotional issues, you may have thought about sending your child to military school or military high school. As parents, we need to examine the purpose and scope of military schools to determine whether a military school is the best choice for a troubled adolescent. If your child has special academic needs due to learning disabilities or difficulties, is in need of therapy or is suffering from substance abuse issues, other schools and programs may be a better choice. Therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers or wilderness therapy programs may provide a better and more comprehensive solution to your child’s issues and family situation. Take the time to evaluate all of your options and, if necessary, contact an adolescent therapist or educational consultant for assistance in your child’s placement.

Similar to the traditional boarding school, military schools and military high schools place great emphasis on performance. Students are challenged physically, mentally, and academically in order to cultivate responsible, confident individuals with solid leadership skills and a strong sense of responsibility and self-confidence. Military schools require adherence to a very rigid, structured, and disciplined curriculum, and expect obedience and conformity from their cadets. Failure to meet the expected standard of conduct often results in suspension or dismissal.

While military schools and military high schools effectively serve a certain type of individual, they are not generally therapeutic or geared toward emotional growth. The rigid format is not conducive to extensive emotional self-exploration, and success is based purely on a student's commitment to specific behavioral and academic standards.

The military school model works well for students who thrive in response to structure and order. The values of obedience, tradition, and honor facilitate individual character and personal integrity, and students are empowered through shared beliefs in the principles which guide their institution. Military schools offer a valuable resource to families desiring a more structured, disciplined, and/or traditional program alternative.

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