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Interview With a Parent: What Made Me Decide to Enroll My Son in Ozarks Teen Challenge

Considering enrolling your son in Ozarks Teen Challenge? Read this interview with the parent of a graduate.

Making the decision to enroll your son in Ozarks Teen Challenge isn’t easy. Parents often feel scared or ashamed to ask for help, but you should know that many other parents have struggled to make the same choice.

Our behavioral therapy program has a profound and lasting impact on many families all over the Ozarks, but this interview with the parent of an OTC graduate offers additional insight into the heart and mind of someone whose life has been changed by our Christian boarding school for troubled boys.

Out of respect for our interviewee’s privacy, we have referenced her on a first name only basis.

Ozarks Teen Challenge: What are your top 5 words of advice for parents who are considering enrolling their son in a teen rehab program?

Kim: If you are thinking it’s needed, it is. Don’t second guess yourself. The sooner they get help, the better. Don’t wait, just take the difficult steps and start the healing and getting well. Choosing a program that is not Christ centered will not provide full change as coping skills and knowledge don’t last. Only a change of the heart is lasting and this is why I chose Ozarks Teen Challenge.

Ozarks Teen Challenge: What do you wish you had known when you first brought your son to Ozarks Teen Challenge?

Kim: I wish I had known the amount of love there was for him at Ozarks Teen Challenge and that he was going to be okay. I wish I had known that no matter how mad he was at me, he was going to learn why I made the choice. I wish that I knew that his heart and mindset were truly not going to be the same after the youth program’s end and what I was seeing in the anger, was indeed going to pass. I wish I had known how important the 15 month time period was (I was fine with it, however, did not truly grasp how vital the time frame was) and how it was so necessary. I wish I knew that I was going to see a HUGE change, even between months 14 and 15.

Ozarks Teen Challenge: What surprised you the most about Ozarks Teen Challenge?

Kim: I was most surprised by how much I was going to love knowing he was in such a good place. I did not know the true peace Ozarks Teen Challenge would give and had no idea I would feel so grateful every time I spoke with my parent contact. I was also surprised when I saw what courses he was taking and came to the realization that he was getting a better education than he would be getting at the local high school.

Ozarks Teen Challenge: What helped you to personally grow during his time at our boys’ boarding school?

Kim: What helped me to personally grow during his time at Ozarks Teen Challenge was my involvement with other OTC parents, their support, our phone calls, and my support group attendance. Once he was safely at the Christian boarding school and was being cared for, I could focus on myself and my recovery from what I had been through with my son.

Ozarks Teen Challenge: What were some of the best lessons you learned as a parent during this time?

Kim: My parent contact at Ozarks Teen Challenge often helped me see things I would not have and I gained a lot of parenting wisdom through those lessons. He helped me see my role verses my son’s, and that was a huge thing for me to learn. I recall one time specifically when I told him, “I am going to be different. I should have done it this way and that way.” He guided me through the things that were not my part to play and helped me direct my words in dealing with my son on phone calls. I could write a book on the lessons I learned from the caring staff, my connections with other OTC mothers at the time, and the moms of students that have graduated from the program.

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