Adolescence is hard at the best of times, but for struggling teens, it can feel downright impossible. This is especially true for teenage girls who typically experience plummeting self-esteem and exponentially increasing amounts of social pressure – a potential lethal combination for girls already trying to cope with emotional or behavioral problems. That’s why so many parents are turning to single sex education as a healthy alternative for a daughter in crisis. While critics of single sex education may suggest that it curtails or limits a girl’s social and emotional development, both statistical and anecdotal evidence suggest quite the contrary.
Single sex education, whether in a boarding or day school environment, make a point of providing girls with a curriculum and a community structured around healthy interaction with peers of both sexes – usually in the form of chaperoned activities, course work or study groups with other schools. In the meantime, they also offer girls the chance to build valuable emotional and personal skills in an atmosphere devoid of the social pressures inherent in a co-ed setting. As a result, girls who previously struggled with issues of confidence, ability and even personal appearance find themselves in an environment where healthy risk-taking and experimentation isn’t just condoned; it’s encouraged.
Because a single-sex environment removes the question of “what will the boys think?” girls are also more willing to engage in more challenging academic pursuits, including advanced, honors and AP courses and, just as important, simple involvement in class discussions and activities (a step that can make a significant difference in the quality of a student’s learning).
For a teenage girl in crisis, the advantages of single-sex education are compounded. As well as the personal and developmental advantages an all-girl setting offers each student, single-sex programs are also ideal for girls whose self-esteem or emotional concerns have fostered risky behaviors, including substance misuse, eating disorders or an unhealthy choice of peer group. In each of these cases – and others – a single-sex environment offers girls the warmth, care and support they need to make positive, healthy life-changes. In fact, performance in all areas of personal growth (academics, athletics, social involvements, etc.) appears to improve noticeably when struggling girls are placed in a single-sex educational environment.
Instead of a “one size fits all” approach, these schools are designed around the very specific needs and issues faced by teen girls. They also boast the benefit of on-site faculty, tutors, mentors and professional counselors well-versed in both the art and science of guiding and supporting teen girls through the process of making positive life changes.
If girls boarding schools sound like an option for your daughter, Aspen has the following excellent boarding schools that offer individualized attention and a focus on girls’ learning styles:
Copper Canyon Academy girls’ boarding school – a girls-only boarding school in Arizona that specializes in troubled teens
Please fill out a contact form to request more information or call (888) 972-7736