One of the most frequently asked questions that we hear from parents and other referral resources is this: “Why should I send my son to such a long program as Heartland Boys Academy when there are much shorter treatment programs out there?”
Here is the answer….
Change takes that long to become a part of the boy’s life and habits. Typically, for the first 3 months, the boy will drag his feet and not get with the program. For the next 3 months, the boy will begin to understand that what he is learning is for his own good. In months 6-9, he will begin to fully apply the lessons and mentoring to his own life. In the next 6 months, the boy will make the new thinking and actions a habit in his life, as he is also put in a leadership role over other boys who have just come into the program. As with anything in life, we learn best when we are teaching others the same principles and are held to a higher standard as a leader among our peers. So, it takes 15 months. Any less and most boys will go back to their old bad behaviors once they return to their home. There are no short-term fixes with lasting outcomes.
We teach the boys throughout their stay that poor choices affect themselves and others. When we encounter issues with negative behavior, we typically rescind minor privileges for a time. Boys are promoted through a level system during their stay here, earning privileges and gaining responsibilities as they progress through the program.