“It was like a war every day in our house,” reflected Wesley, 11, as he recounted what life was like before the Ranch.
His parents, Nick and Stephanie, nodded in response. “The word divorce had been thrown around a few times,” said Stephanie. “Home was chaos. There were arguments that would escalate into us having to separate into different rooms of the house; we even took separate vacations to have moments of peace. Our family unit could not function together, our marriage was suffering, and that ultimately affected our children. Things felt hopeless, and we needed help.”
Wesley had become a master at manipulation to get what he wanted from his parents, whether it was stepping into the middle of an argument to get attention, pitching a fit while at a restaurant or throwing tantrums that were much too intense for a boy his age. He and his sister, Corbin, would bicker and argue until Stephanie and Nick could not handle it anymore. Finally hitting a breaking point, the family reached out to Eagle Ranch.
“We felt insufficient as parents not being there to support Wesley,” said Stephanie. “Every time we dropped him off in those first few months, we cried. We wanted to go pick him up and take him home. But we knew we needed this for him and our family.”
Eagle Ranch became a place of constant support for the family as soon as Wesley entered the program. Wesley learned much about what triggered him to become angry and how to repurpose that energy in a healthier way. Nick and Stephanie learned how to communicate with one another and had the time and space to work on their marriage through the counseling provided by the program.
“The counseling, the educational materials, the Parent Insight Nights and the parent groups, were all helpful to us,” said Nick. “We learned so much about our marriage, how to parent and do things in a different way. Eagle Ranch is a wonderful place for families that need help when things aren’t working cohesively at home.”
Looking toward graduation, the family is excited to have Wesley home again permanently. Taking all that they have learned through the program, Stephanie and Nick look forward to a harmonious home for the first time in years.
“The Ranch changed our lives. We are a much stronger family unit, and we do things in love now. Everything is different and the word ‘hopeless’ will never again be in our vocabulary,” said Stephanie.