You Don't Need A Turnaround Ranch

Angie and her husband have a 16-year-old daughter who’s been getting into trouble over the past few months. Their daughter’s friend has been sent to a turnaround ranch. Is it okay to go into debt to send their daughter, too?

QUESTION: Angie in Texas and her husband have a 16-year-old daughter who’s been getting into trouble over the past few months. Their daughter’s friend has been sent to a turnaround ranch. Is it okay to go into debt to send their daughter, too? Dave doesn’t think they need the ranch to help her discipline issues.

ANSWER: I can turn her around. Not a chance, darling. You sit right here in the bedroom. This is where you live now. You’re not leaving here again. I’ll feed you through a hole in the door. I’m telling you, for $40,000, I think you can turn her.

You can get with your pastor, and you guys can insert yourselves into her life in a way that is extremely uncomfortable for you and her. Get extremely involved here.

Your husband is not strong; he’s wussing out. She’s 16, and she’s an idiot. I’m not giving her car back. Go get this book because it’s cheaper than $40,000. It’s not okay to go into debt. You guys need to learn how to parent. You need to go to some parenting classes. Your husband is going to have to understand the impact he’s having on his daughter. I’ve raised two daughters who are beautiful, fabulously poised, confident young women now. Part of that was their dad is a total pain in the butt. This kind of stuff is just not even an option.

With a 16-year-old daughter, her mother can’t tell her anything. You could hit her with a baseball bat, and she’ll just look at you. They’re brain damaged. You have to deal with that level of brain damage. Bill Cosby talks about that laughingly.

The book is Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Dr. Meg Meeker. It talks about from a behavior management standpoint how you grow a beautiful, strong young woman. Her dad has to be very much in her face, loving her well with lots of strength and lots of secure boundaries. Josh McDowell used to say, “Dads, if you don’t give your teenage daughters a hug, someone else will.” Your husband is being too much of a friend at this stage of the game. He needs to be a little less of a friend and more of a father.