Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



July 2010

Wilderness Programs, A Good Way to Help Your Teen

by Staff, on at risk blog, at risk youth, teen and nature, teen parenting, troubled teens, wilderness program, wilderness programs

Many parents struggle with their teens that don’t know what to do with themselves. You probably had to deal with your teen child a couple of times with his or hers brand new ideas that make your hair stand up straight. Or you had to deal with a teenager that lacks motivation and general interest in anything; these teens need a little push in the right direction. Now you can go about that with positive discipline or some other method, many parents choose to send their teenagers to specialty boarding schools, but there is a shorter alternative that helps teenagers in the most amazing of ways, the wilderness programs.

Wilderness programs are about going back to the nature and finding the best within. The best of the nature takes you and you just have to go with the flow as they say, in most cases wilderness programs provide excellent results, but the administrators of such programs claim that it’s all about the teenagers and the nature, they are here more for safety and advice than anything else.

Finding the best within, that is true. Kids and teenagers are still young and they are not corrupted, they are pure which gives them a great option and advantage to get back on the right path once they stray off it. Wilderness is what makes them think, they are alone with their thoughts, and nature has a way of sorting things out. Kids have no parents there so they don’t feel any pressure, they are free from distraction like computers, cell phones and peers, no school, no studying, just nature and time to think and self reflect.

What actually helps teenagers in the wilderness; it’s actually all about the basics. Teens return to basics, they unlearn some things and learn them again from scratch. They learn to let go of some things that are out of their reach and can’t be controlled and they learn to control what they can. Nature also presents challenges for these kids, and that is what a growing child needs, challenges, motivation and inspiration, with that they will go in the right direction by themselves. All in all kids learn to take responsibility.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not some mountain that has a fence and you let your children run around freely, they have supervision and they have experienced guides and therapist available 24/7. With freedom that nature brings, help from professionals and 6 to 8 weeks, your teen child may come back home as a new born person that gave up on all of the bad habits picked along the way.

Although the success rate of wilderness programs is very high in some cases they simply can’t help. In order to make sure that your child can benefit from a wilderness program you should first take him to an evaluation. And be sure that there is no harm in letting your child go several times if he likes it there, as we said in the beginning, this is a great experience for teenagers that they will remember and learn from it. Staff