Parent Testimony at an Honor Company Graduation – touching!

I want everyone to know Marie’s whole story so you realize your teenagers can make a change. Marie is 14, about to be 15. From k5-6th grade Marie was a great student in school. She was part of student counsel one year and loved school. Slowly we noticed her changing. What we thought was the usual, was actually warning signs, but we didn’t know that. She started talking disrespectful to us, once in a while. She became very secretive. She didn’t want to have a relationship with her sisters. She really didn’t want to be around anyone but a few friends she had from when she was younger. Those friends were good girls when they were little and we did didn’t want to tell her she couldn’t be around them anymore but they were changing for the worst and we were scared Marie was too. And she was. By last year Marie wanted to drop out of school, she had horrible grades. She was cussing at us and threatening to fight us if we tried to get her to do anything. She was calling her sisters brats and hitting them. She tried to run away a few times and the worst was when she started taking pills to try and kill herself. We spent most of last year sitting at the hospital with Marie or visiting Marie in a hospital for mental health. They would keep her for a week or two, she would come home and the cycle started all over again. We live in a small town so the police station now knows us from all the calls we had to make. We were online trying to find someone to help us because everything seemed hopeless. They have boarding schools for troubled teens but their $4000 a month and there’s really nothing police can do but take your child to jail and once they’re in the system, you’re really the one who suffers. Finally we found this camp. The day we were coming here, Marie was calling us losers and trying to jump out of the car. We pulled up and she smiled and said anything was better than home. When we picked her up, she had a whole new look at home. Then a few weeks later, Marie was back to her old ways. We called camp and back she came. The second time worked for about a month and she tested us again so we had a few sergeants come out to our house and Marie realized we weren’t going to let this get any worse; it was either going to get better or her weekends would be spent in boot camp for the rest of her teenage years. We knew it wasn’t just Marie that had to make a change, it was us too, so we signed up for the parenting classes and started marriage counseling to make our house run as smooth as possible. Any chance we can get to take a class on raising kids, we take it. We thought she was the only one at fault but it was a combination of things. It was the kids Marie was hanging out with, the choices Marie was making on her own and us as parents. We made a commitment to change it all and stick to it. This camp was huge in helping all of us make those changes. It helped Marie see what she was doing wrong in life. It gave her people to talk to when she didn’t want to come to us and it kept her focused on a goal to become better. It gave us as parents the support we needed from the outside.
So now I’ve come to where we are now. Marie is a great daughter. She helps around the house no matter what we ask her to do. She babysits her sisters and we know they are in good hands when she is watching them. She works at our church in the kid’s rooms and in the coffee shop and never misses. They know when Marie’s on the schedule, they can count on her. We drop Marie off with her friends whenever she asks to make plans because she now has chosen good Christian friends and Marie herself can be trusted so we never worry. The biggest accomplishment Marie has made in the last year is her grades. She now has above a 4.0, she has a 4.08. She can’t wait to go to college and she is focused on a positive life. She’s happy most of the time now; she wouldn’t be a teenager if she smiled all day right?
If it wasn’t for this camp, I truly believe Marie would be a runaway or have died from overdosing, but instead, she is graduating today from Honor Company and we couldn’t be prouder.

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