Is Your Son Suited to a Military School Environment?

“Suited” is an interesting word. It implies your son is eligible to attend a military school but doesn’t explain whether it would be the best thing for your boy.First let’s clear up the eligibility situation. Military schools are not obliged to take anyone. In fact many schools expressly refuse would-be students with a criminal record or who have serious health issues.

But assuming your son meets the criteria required for admission, the question is, does your son want to go to military school?

Now there are numerous stories of young people who were not keen on a military school education but did enroll and once they did, never looked back. It was the best thing that ever happened to them. So you, as a parent, need to remember that while your son is not enthusiastic about the prospect, if he does attend, it may well turn out to be the making of him.

There are certain aspects of a military school which are universal – well almost. Such things as wearing a uniform, boarding at the school, rising early, taking great care over your appearance and your room’s appearance, studying hard and in supervised after-hours sessions, being a team player and following orders to the letter.

Now if that lifestyle seems to be the exact opposite of the one your son enjoys, perhaps you need to stop and think. Loners are not the ideal candidate for a military school.

Teamwork and interacting with your fellow classmates is part and parcel of the experience. The pupils are younger versions of young men in the armed forces. They are required to do what their senior officers – in this case teachers and other boys who have been given a certain rank – say or else.

Failure to obey a lawful command is an offense and punishments are listed and enacted. Does this sound like the routine your son would enjoy?

Would your boy rebel against this program and lifestyle?

Sport is a big part of every military school. Is your son allergic to physical activity? It would be unusual for a boy to not participate in the many sporting activities available at the school.

Of course some parents will argue that their son needs discipline in his life. They believe that a structured scenario with pressure to do well academically is just what the young man needs. Now that may indeed be true. But a parent in that case needs to know that military schools are not designed to fix the problems of every teenage boy.

In fact, military schools are there to give the students the best possible all-round education, to prepare them for college entry and to give them a strong sense of self-confidence and self-esteem.

A boy with serious social problems or in need of one-to-one therapy may well be better off in another type of institution. Parents would do well to explore the alternatives to military schools.

One thing is certain; if your son is suitable for a military school environment and if he is accepted and works hard, he will do well in his future studies and career.

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