The adolescent years are generally a difficult time, even in the best of times. When your teen is struggling with severe behavioral issues, you may find yourself feeling as though you have nowhere to turn. In such situations, many parents turn to a full time residential facility in order to get their son the help he needs. A program like a ranch for troubled teens is a particularly ideal destination for struggling boys. Because the therapeutic process is so hands-on, it caters to the way teens learn and process.
Why Are Boys Ranches So Effective?
- Hard Work – Most teens don’t like to work hard, but the value of a hard day’s work is a kind of therapy that cannot be duplicated. Ranch life introduces the development of new skills that help teens learn to recognize the measure of their own strength and learn to take pride in seeing consistent and positive results from their labor.
- Communication – Communication is a significant problem for many troubled teens. For many, lashing out is easier and makes them feel more in control than being vulnerable or problem solving. Full time programs encourage boys to communicate properly and effectively in every situation. Some ranches use equine therapy to help their residents learn to communicate experientially.
- Responsibility – Being responsible can be frightening. Some teens prefer to believe that they are better off when less is expected of them. Ranches for troubled boys do not allow any of their residents to be non-participants in the day to day workings of the facility. Each boy is given chores and tasks that ultimately show him what he is capable of.
- Leadership – As each teen works through his therapy program, he is given opportunities to demonstrate leadership among his peers, particularly those that are new. Becoming a leader can be intimidating, but it is also a crucial skill to develop to become a successful adult. Students learn that they have valuable knowledge and insight that can help others along their own path.
- Self-control – Learning self-control is a difficult hurdle for many teens with behavioral issues. Whether they are dealing with anger issues, depression or substance abuse, they have developed a reaction that is comfortable to them and helps them feel as though they are in control. Learning to respond to daily triggers and temptations in a positive way is often a major shift in their mindset; however, it is one of the most important things to learn.
- Maintenance – By the end of a full time therapeutic program, many teens feel as though they have a handle on managing themselves in an environment free from the distractions and temptations that are waiting for them in the outside world. The idea of putting their new knowledge and skills to use without anyone managing them can be terrifying. However, part of the learning process within a ranch for troubled teens is maintaining all the things they have learned. Many programs even offer Aftercare, or help reintegrating back into day to day life.