Enrolling your troubled teen in a private school can be a difficult time for everyone involved. The issues that your teen has been struggling with may at times seem to envelop everyone's days and nights, so finding a private school that can help him cope and eventually heal is very important. As you begin searching for a place where your troubled teen can enjoy the advantages of private school, keep the following points in mind.
- Reputation-There are several websites that you can visit which offer reviews of particular schools. While this is important for any parent to do, it is especially important if you are searching for a private school for your troubled teen. While of course you can always ask for references from the school, keep in mind that the staff will probably give you names of those parents who have been satisfied with the results of their child's experiences at the school. This is why it is so important to find objective observations and opinions about the faculty and staff, methods of treatment, and the academic offerings of a private school for troubled teens.
- Boarding or Day School-With the help of a psychologist or counselor, you will need to make the choice between a boarding or day school. Consider the pros and cons of each, such as isolation from possible bad influences in your child's life or extra expenses before you make a final decision.
- Visits-In many cases, a teen may strongly resist the change from his home environment to that of a private school that treats troubled teens. Once you've chosen a particular school, you and your teen need to visit the school and tour the facility. If possible, ask to have a student or two to help with the tour. While the objective of enrolling your teen in the private school is to seek help for his problems, you'll also want her to see the positives that the school may offer, such as extra academic guidance or specialized extracurricular activities.
- The First Day-The first day of enrollment can be a difficult one for everyone, even more so if the school you have chosen is a boarding school. Partings can be difficult, and expectations of all parties may be high. Try to remain as upbeat as possible, even though your teen may be experiencing a range of emotions, including rebellion, sorrow, fear and anger.
- The First Weeks-Keep in mind that the first few weeks may be stressful as your teen adjusts to the structure and requirements of the school. Try to hold off on your expectations for a little while. At the same time, give your teen a little space and allow the faculty and staff to do their jobs.
- Communication-Whether your teen is in a boarding school or a day school, it is imperative that you communicate on a regular basis with the faculty and staff, including any counselors or psychologists who may be treating your child. Ask for updates regarding improvements and delays. Ask to be notified immediately of any disturbing episodes or events that might have occurred. Be sure you are also familiar with the school's policy on parent visits, daily or weekly phone calls, and medical treatments. Hopefully you will discover a community of support that will be able to help your troubled teen.