The Master’s Ranch Christian Academy is a boarding school program founded by Pastor David Bosley, Master’s Ranch, Former Director. For more than 20 years, the Master’s Ranch has provided fresh insights and a new start for young adults dealing with various behavioral issues and conditions. At Master’s Ranch, diagnoses like ADHD, ADD, ODD, and RAD are commonplace.
David Bosley comments, with visible consternation, that behavioral problems and the neurological conditions afflict teens and young adults are becoming increasingly common. He explains that the breakdown of the cultural normality of the family unit has left so many children atomized and cut off from the love and instruction they need and deserve.
Having retired from his many years of dedication to these at-risk populations, David Bosley appears to wonder if organizations like the Master’s Ranch Christian Academy are not fighting an uphill battle against a spiritual enemy whose influence only appears to be growing.
He says, “When an at-risk child comes to us, he has to want a better life than his choices would create for him. He has to develop better habits and a stronger character than his circumstances have led him to. When they don’t choose to recalculate their trajectory, there isn’t much we can do for them. But when they do, we support them all the way.”
We asked David what it looks like when an at-risk teen chooses a recalculated trajectory. Here is some of what we learned.
Recalculated Trajectories at Master’s Ranch Christian Academy
The term “at-risk behavior” is any pattern of behavior that makes the risk of poor or suboptimal life outcomes likely. It does not have to be criminal behavior, David Bosley explains. It could be a manifest lack of respect for others. It could be self-destructive or potentially dangerous behavior. It could be a pattern of behavior that makes it impossible or untenable for the teen’s parents to continue caring for them in their own home. But naturally, it often does mean behavior that is marginal, if not blatantly, criminal.
Some of the most common at-risk behavior patterns we see are substance abuse, chronic violence, and property destruction. Other serious patterns also include sexual promiscuity, disappearing from home for days at a time, truancy, and so much more.
“These behaviors,” David Bosley explains, “stem from a lack of deference toward the kind of order that makes civilization function. Because societal norms appear to have led to these kids being neglected, abused, or misunderstood, the teen does not respect those cultural norms.”
David Bosley goes on to explain that this is not entirely unreasonable. He says part of the key to getting a kid to turn around is to show him that he is not wrong to think and feel the way he does, but that his response to those thoughts and feelings is the problem.
He says, “We give them, while simultaneously directing them to earn, the respect and the caring instruction they need.”
When the people at Master’s Ranch Christian Academy succeed in getting through to these teens, and their self-respect is booted up, that’s when something beautiful happens, David Bosley explains. When the child’s will and an optimal life trajectory converge, we have the honor of watching real wisdom blossom in these young minds.