Do Short Term Programs Really Work?
By Eric Yunker
Sometimes a parent looking for a youth program will ask about summer programs. The parent inquiring about this type of program is usually looking for help for a defiant teenager. Summer programs are usually about 1-2 months in length, and the parent seeking this type of help is hoping that a short time away will help the child be ready for school in the fall. The parent is also hopeful that this will keep their child out of trouble during the summer. We do not believe that short term programs are as effective as long term options. There are a variety of short term programs available including, military schools, boot camps, alternative schools. You may even look into a short term boarding school for a teen troubled with defiance, and substance abuse. No matter what kind of alternative school, private school, or youth program you are looking for it is usually better to be prepared to look for a long term option rather than the quick fix. It is hard to believe that help correcting habits that have come over several years will be undone in 30-60 days. If you are only hoping to send a message to your child that you are in charge and you can send them away a short term program may be an option. It is best in this situation not to inform your child how long they will be gone, as this will lessen the effectiveness of the program.