HOW WE FACILITATE LASTING CHANGE
Discipline and rewards systems are often ineffective at promoting lasting changes in behavior. Alfie Kohn, a revolutionary scholar on human behavior and childhood development states that:
"Threats and bribes can buy a short-term behavior change, but they can never help kids develop a commitment to positive values. ...To help kids engage in such reflection, we have to work with them rather than doing things to them. We have to bring them in on the process of making decisions about their learning and their lives... Children learn to make good choices by having the chance to choose, not by following directions."
At Arivaca Boys Ranch, we agree. Many other programs which rely on rigid discipline, are unsuccessful at bringing about lasting change. We have engineered a therapeutic environment that facilitates real growth and real transformation.
Our program teaches young men the natural rewards of choosing to spend time being productive and responsible. Young men who graduate from our program have come to learn the valuable lesson that hard work is its own reward.
One of the ways that we instill values in the young men we serve is through Arbinger. Arbinger is a relationship philosophy we use that helps boys learn accountability and empathy.
Our founder, Ron Searle, is a certified Arbinger instructor and long-time advocate of the healing power of equine therapy and natural horsemanship. He developed the Arivaca Boys Ranch program after working with teenagers and young adults for over 30 years. He explains that
"we have developed a program that builds on positive experiences while the young men learn to see themselves as they are, and visualize themselves as they might become...We believe change comes from the inside, and is not externally motivated.”
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