Oak Hill Blog

Our teens aren’t perfect, but are they “troubled”?

Oak Hill Academy is a coeducational, boarding high school for students in grades 8-12, all of whom are going through their adolescent years. As such, we regularly receive the question:

“Do you work with troubled teens?”

The answer to this sensitive question depends on your definition of the phrase “troubled teen.”

Amy Morin, licensed clinical social worker with verywellhealth.com, acknowledges teenagers can experience a variety of challenges and defines a “troubled teen” as an adolescent with significant behavioral problems, substance use issues, or mental health issues that impair daily functioning.

For young people meeting any of these criteria, a therapeutic school or program can often be helpful, and the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs provides a wonderful collection of options and resources on their website, www.natsap.org.

Oak Hill Academy is a college preparatory school, and is neither a treatment facility nor a therapeutic program, but can it help with other “troubles” teenagers face?

Troubled teen or trouble finishing homework?

Teenagers facing challenges and working to find their way through the often unpredictable adolescent years can indeed benefit from Oak Hill Academy. Particularly in cases where students have been neglecting their assignments or not reaching their academic potential, the small and nurturing environment at Oak Hill can make a huge difference.

Oak Hill Academy emphasizes routine and organization, important points for many students dealing with executive functioning challenges, including ADHD. This proactive approach supports students from a variety of backgrounds, and encourages all of them to grow to their full potential.

Troubled teen or trouble adapting?

What about students who are doing fine academically but seem down, possibly tending toward self-isolating behaviors or experiencing low self-esteem?

Many students have struggled to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent disruptions to daily life. Oak Hill Academy offers a stable environment with many of the normal teen distractions removed and lots of positive input added. This helps students to become engaged and guides them to a place of “thriving” instead of just “surviving” school and their teenage years.

Even students who have experienced school-avoidance or tech addiction can become active participants in their education and growth in the supportive environment of Oak Hill Academy.

By addressing warning signs such as declining motivation or grades, parents can help to prevent the situation from escalating to a point of crisis. Teenagers with learning differences or the social-emotional challenges of adapting to life during the COVID-19 pandemic face internal struggles that can have a deteriorating effect, yet have very little to do with a students’ actual abilities.

Oak Hill Academy understands that and offers a tremendously supportive, non-therapeutic, structured, and relational environment where all of our students can grow and thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

We can help.

Learn how Oak Hill Academy can help your family thrive during the teenage years.

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