Sending a Teen to a Boarding School

teen boarding school

Why send a teen to a boarding school – specialty or private?

The reasons to choose a boarding school are as individual as your teen. Public schools teach the subjects determined by states to be necessary, they offer extracurricular activities and provide opportunities for socialization, but they do not meet the needs of all teens.

It is important that teens have the personal growth that will enable them to face today’s world. For some parents this is the deciding factor in choosing a boarding school for their teen.

The Issue of Self Esteem

Over the past 20 years educators have focused on raising self esteem believing that if a child developed self esteem he would be a happy and healthy adult. However, recent studies have pointed to men in prison as the group where the highest self esteem exists. Those who grow up believing they are amazing wonderful people are the ones who run into trouble.

Good self esteem needs to be based on behavior and accomplishments. Teens must have the positive self esteem that comes from being responsible. They gain this by following through on tasks, doing the best they can, and taking responsibility and consequences for their actions. Some boarding schools have exceptional programs that will help your teen to develop this type of self esteem.

Peer Pressure and Crisis Intervention

Some teens are much more susceptible to negative peer pressure than others. When they are faced each day with choices, often their decisions are not based on their own wants or values but rather on their desire to be accepted. Once this has begun it is very difficult to stop. It becomes a downward spiral from which the teen feels he cannot extract himself.

If your teen is failing in school, involved in a gang, using alcohol or other drugs, breaking the law, sexually active, and with friends who encourage such activities, it is time for crisis intervention. A teen in this situation is unable to make the necessary changes alone.

A Few of the Problems Teens Face

According to a 2004 study by the University of Michigan the following percentage of high school seniors reported they could obtain drugs fairly easily or very easily.


Marijuana 85.8%
Amphetamines 55.4%
Cocaine 47.8%
Barbiturate 46.3%
Crack 39.2%
LSD 33.1%
Tranquilizers 30.1%
Heroin 29.6%
Crystal methamphetamine 26.7%
PCP 24.2%
Amyl/butyl nitrites 20.0%

Using drugs and alcohol often leads to sex. Before the age of 21, almost 1 in every 5 Americans requires treatment for an STD. Having an STD is not just embarrassing it is a very serious health problem that, if not treated, can cause permanent damage including infertility and even death. The younger a person starts having sex, the greater the chance of being infected with an STD. In many cases you can’t tell whether someone has an infection and people who have infections are not always aware they do, making it even more likely they will pass it on.

Types of Teen Boarding Schools

There are several types of boarding schools. Here are a few examples and benefits:

All male or female

  • Teens tend not to be as self conscious about their physical abilities and consequently are more physically active.
  • The students are not focused on how they look in order to impress the opposite sex and one of the nice benefits of this is that they are more likely to learn to accept and love themselves.
  • Fewer distractions.

Troubled teens

  • For teens with drug and alcohol use, or any type of behavior problems, these schools provide a safe environment as well as the support of staff and peers to make changes in their lives.
  • Many of these schools provide teens with help for emotional problems.
  • These schools allow the teen to get his diploma while in a safe environment.
  • Placing a teen in such a school takes him away from the peers who have bad habits and were dragging him down.
  • These schools provide constructive activities to keep teens occupied while learning how to live a better life.
  • In these schools, the teens in each group tend to be very supportive of each other in making positive choices.
  • Because of daily existence with other teens, teens build friendships as well as learning positive friend making skills.


  • Teach a specific religion or belief.
  • Try to help any teen that may be in trouble, with drug use, rebellion, ingratitude or who believe the world owes them everything.