Preparing Your Child for Therapeutic Boarding School

Written by Wood Creek Academy.

Making the decision to send your child to a boarding school for troubled teens is never easy. Therapeutic boarding schools such as Wood Creek Academy require students to attend for 10 to 12 months, which means that students will be spending a long time away from home. This can be particularly difficult for parents when they realize their children are struggling emotionally and can’t be there with them.

However, in many cases therapeutic boot camps are the best option for getting kids back on track and prepared to becoming high functioning members of society. Unlike a boot camp for teenagers, a therapeutic boarding school is built around a holistic approach that addresses student’s issues with kindness and compassion.

Still, your child might be angry or resentful about being sent to a therapeutic boarding school. This is perfectly natural, but you’ll want to make sure they are in a good place emotionally before they leave on their journey. Here are a few tips for preparing your son or daughter to leave for a therapeutic boarding school,:

Explain What a Therapeutic Boarding School Is — and Isn’t

When a teen hears that they are going to a therapeutic boarding school, it’s natural to equate it with a juvenile boot camp where discipline is used to instill respect into kids. You’ll want to dispel this notion to get your child in the right frame of mind for their journey. Show them as much information as possible about the boarding school to let them understand where they are going.

Visit the Boarding School

If you can, it’s a great idea to schedule a visit with your teenager to the boarding school before they start. Doing this will allow them to ask questions about the school and feel comfortable before they leave home. It will help lessen the shock in the transition when first attending the school if they have already had a chance to meet the faculty and understand the program.

Leave Lines of Communication Open

Even if your child is upset that they are going to a therapeutic boarding school, you want to make sure that you leave lines of communication open so that they can express their frustration, anger or fears in a constructive manner. Make sure you reinforce that this isn’t a punishment and get them to see the potential benefits that their attendance at the therapeutic boarding school can have on their lives.


Based in Montana, the Wood Creek Academy is a therapeutic boarding school that gives troubled teens the life skills needed to deal with their challenges. Unlike a teen boot camp, Wood Creek Academy uses a holistic approach to promoting the well-being of its students.