Digital Detox Summer Camps for Kids

The pandemic has had a devastating impact upon many young people. Some are experiencing depression, anxiety, or are under-performing in school—there's even been a rise in truancy. Students who were once excelling are now barely passing. There has also been a dramatic increase in screen time use. According to a recent study, "A staggering 76% of the population between 16 and 24 are spending more time on their phones, while 45% have increased the amount of time they spend on their laptops."

Internet and cellphone "addiction" has been a major contributing factor to young people’s mental wellness.

This can lead to extreme defiance, rage and explosive behavior.

Fortunately, there are therapeutic summer programs designed to address these problems. Such programs can offer immediate support and typically include: a psychiatric evaluation with medication recommendations (if needed); an educational plan with specific goals and course recommendations (residents will have the option to recover essential grade credits, prepare for the SAT’s, gain organizational skills, etc.); and a wellness plan, with goals for health and fitness, in addition to nutritional recommendations.

They also offer an opportunity for a digital detox allowing youth to build a healthy relationship with technology and develop social skills with people in real life.

Summer camps dealing with teen defiance help young people develop coping skills through anger and stress management classes, as well as by providing positive peer influence, and in many instances—animal assisted therapy.

Does Your Child Need a Summer Boost?

Many times teens simply needs a summer boost, depending on the issues they are facing. Additionally, some parents feel more comfortable committing to a shorter version of a therapeutic program rather than jumping into a full 60-90-day program. It can give them an opportunity to evaluate the program, therapists and staff. Or they may be unsure if their teen needs a full therapeutic boarding school just yet.

The benefit of therapeutic summer programs is that they are part of long-term programs, so a child doesn’t have to switch facilities if it's determined they need longer care. This can also be helpful if a child successfully completes the summer session, and months later starts to stumble. Therapeutic schools offer open enrollment all year round.

Every Child Is Different.

If your teen is only struggling academically, the summer grade recovery could be the perfect answer for you. However if you’ve been battling defiance, anger, rage, depression and other mental health concerns you might have a longer road ahead of you.

If it didn’t take 4-6 weeks for your child to get to where they are today, it’s not going to take 4-6 weeks for them to change their negative behavior.

Since 2001 we have been helping and educating families from all over the country. Though a summer program may not yield the long-lasting results in behavioral changes you want, it can definitely be a strong starting place.

In some situations, a solid 60-90-day program has been exactly what a student needed to get them back on the right path academically or at least give the family a sense of direction and a balanced home life.

Is a Therapeutic Summer Program Right For Your Child?

Therapeutic summer programs that offer quality credentialed therapists, an accredited educational team, and enrichment programs will start at about $7000 a month. In some cases, PPO insurance may cover a portion of the clinical component of the program. This tuition is competitive if not less than wilderness programs that rarely offer an educational component or enrichment programs.

In conclusion, if you’ve been struggling with your teen for over a year and have exhausted your local resources (therapy, out-patient, in-patient, maybe sent them to live with a relative), and feel like you’re living like a hostage in your own home —or possibly fear for your child’s life — it might be time to consider residential therapy.

Each child and family are different. For many teens, in order to have long-lasting changes, it usually takes 6-9-12 months. However, we completely understand some families want to start with a summer option to ‘dip their toes in the water.’

Learn more about a therapeutic boarding school and residential treatment center.

Contact us for more information.

Author: Sue Scheff is a Nationally Recognized Author, Parent Advocate and Family Internet Safety Advocate. She founded Parents Universal Resources Experts, Inc. in 2001.

She has three published books, Wit's End (HCI 2007), Google Bomb (HCI 2009) with a foreword by Michael Fertik and her latest, Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate (Sourcebooks 2017) with a foreword by Monica Lewinsky.

After being stalked, harassed, bullied and slandered online - in 2006, Scheff won a landmark case for internet defamation with an $11.3M jury verdict. Since then, she's been an advocate for cyberbullying prevention and promoting the importance of online reputation.

Sue Scheff is a contributor for Psychology Today, HuffPost, Today Show Parenting, NBC's Education Nation, Washington Post, Orlando Sentinel, Stop Medicine Abuse, Dr. Greene and more. She has been featured on ABC 20/20, Today Show, CNN, CBS This Morning, The Mel Robbins Show, Fox News, Anderson Cooper, Nightly News with Katie Couric, Rachael Ray Show, Dr. Phil, and more. Scheff has also been in USA Today, LA Times, NYT's, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, AARP, just to name a few.

You can follow her on Twitter and join her on Facebook.

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