Watching your teen struggling to adjust to the physical and emotional changes brought about by adolescence is not easy. You find yourself shuttling between school counselors and therapists but none of them seem to break through to your teen. When you feel that all else has failed, perhaps it’s time to consider sending your teen to a ranch.
It seems like a radical thing to do but a ranch provides a perfect physical environment that is conducive to the personal growth your teen so desperately needs. Due to their psychological wiring, teen boys are more likely to respond better to the physical activity and participation of ranch life than they would to ‘talk therapy’. Being physically active allows them to access their emotions and process their issues more easily than talking to a counselor or therapist.
Additionally, your teen can pick up all sorts of valuable skills during their stay at a ranch including:
...how to work hard. Let’s face it, most teens nowadays don’t know the value of hard work. This robs them of the pride, accomplishment and confidence of setting goals and seeing tasks through to the end. At a ranch, your teen will be expected to complete different chores ranging from feeding and caring for animals to chopping wood or mending fences. By participating in these activities, your teen will begin seeing himself as a strong and capable young adult.
...responsibility. While living at a ranch, your teen will have assigned duties and chores that are crucial to the running of the place. This fosters a sense of responsibility as they realize others rely on them to pull their weight. It also comes with an added sense of pride in accomplishing something and being part of a larger purpose.
...teamwork. Most of the tasks involved in running a ranch- from caring for horses and other animals, to bucking hay and preparing meals, among others- calls for teamwork. Working as a team will help your teen learn how to trust others, collaborate on projects, respect people’s views as well as build lasting friendships.
...communication and emotion control. Most troubled teens find lashing out preferable to appearing vulnerable. However, life at a ranch will help such teens learn how to communicate with others and articulate their needs. In addition, equine therapy is a good way of teaching troubled teens to control their emotions. Horses are sensitive creatures that are adept at reading and responding to emotions. They will react negatively to fear and anger and will only cooperate with a calm and collected rider- a key lesson for your teen to learn.
...confidence. Teens love working on a ranch because they see the immediate results of their hard work. This sense of accomplishment builds their self-esteem and boosts their confidence. They also learn that they are capable of overcoming obstacles and correcting mistakes once they are made.
Teens are more resilient than we give them credit for and a stay at a ranch might be just what your child needs to turn their life around.
From the mountains of Utah, Tyler Jacobson writes about his experiences as a father and husband. By sharing the struggles and solutions his family has faced, Tyler hopes to help other parents looking for a way to better their lives. You can connect with Tyler and read his helpful insights on: Twitter | LinkedIn