Teens, especially troubled ones, can give their parents a very hard time. You try everything you can think of—threats, intimidation, rewards, counseling or therapy—and still none of these work.
If you’re at your wit's end when it comes to getting your teen’s life back on track, perhaps you should consider sending them to a ranch for troubled teens.
Conducive Environment at a Ranch
Sending your teen away to a ranch might seem like a drastic thing to do, but it might actually be beneficial in the long-term. The change of environment means that your teen will be separated from the negative influences that were making them act out, giving them space to reflect and make positive changes in their lives.
Most importantly, through an equine-assisted therapeutic program, your teen will have close contact and interaction with horses. Such programs have proven most effective in reaching troubled teens who just don’t respond well to traditional forms of “talk therapy”.
Skills Your Teen Will Pick Up at a Ranch
In addition to the positive interactions, your teen is also likely to learn some useful skills on a ranch including:
- How to work hard – With teens nowadays always glued to their screens, it’s no surprise that most don’t realize the value of hard work. Life at a ranch is always busy, and your teen will be required to pull their weight cleaning, grooming, feeding and caring for the horses. Doing these chores successfully gives your teen a sense of accomplishment which in turn does wonders for their self-esteem and confidence.
- Teamwork - So much of the work at a ranch calls for teamwork- from bucking hay, training horses, mucking out stalls, etc. Your teen will learn to cooperate and collaborate with others to get things done. In the process, they learn to trust and respect other people as well as build lasting friendships.
- Responsibility – Teaching teens responsibility can be tough at home. However, being assigned chores and duties at a ranch might instill this skill. Once they realize that others (especially the horses) are relying on them, most teens step up and start tackling their tasks as they come to see that their efforts matter.
- Communication – Teens who work with horses quickly learn how important communication is. Horses are wonderfully intuitive animals that tend to respond to their riders’ mood. Teens will have to learn how to control themselves and adjust their communication methods since getting angry, throwing tantrums or otherwise acting out won’t work with horses.
- Leadership – Riding is a partnership between the horse and rider. Your teenager has to be the leader in this partnership as the horse looks to them for guidance and direction. Having such a large animal following their command can be a heady, confidence-boosting experience that affirms the teen’s leadership skills.
Contrary to being a harsh punishment, sending your teen to a ranch might be just what is needed to unlock their inner potential.