This story was written by a mother whose child has been through the ROPES® program run by Tanari Trust. It is a real-life experience of the impact of ROPES® not only on her son but also on the entire family.
In her words. It saved her family … Read on…
As I sit here I wonder, when will the pandemic come to an end? Yes, the novel CORONA virus which seems to have shut down almost all of our affairs globally.
I know that’s not something in my control, so I should not even be worried about that. Instead, I should be concentrating on other things and making the best out of a situation that seems hopeless….. Yes, there is always a positive side to any situation no matter how bad it looks. However, sometimes you have to change your attitude for you to experience the good in a bad situation.
I am sited at our son’s study table as I write this and on top of his books is a notebook he holds dear to self ‘My ROPES® Note Book’… Our son has a story to tell about his ROPES® experience but this is my story.
Our son is 14yrs old. He was a ROPER last year – 2019, and that turned our lives around. As a family, we have gone through our fair share of struggles in life, but the bad news is that it affected our children negatively. He is our firstborn. We had no experience on how to raise a teenager. Let alone in a troubled marriage…Truth is we had lost the battle with our son to fate. As a mother, I was overwhelmed with the things that were happening in his life. He had lost hope, his behaviors were erratic … Running away from home, running away from school and at some point he became suicidal.
All this time it was a total disconnect with the father and he never saw the danger our son was in. He thought that our son was just being stubborn. I too was struggling with depression and at this point I was hopeless …But ROPES® changed this story. It is now a beautiful one to behold.
The church I attend runs the ROPES® program and we had enrolled him. This was after hearing very positive outcomes from parents who had allowed their children to go through the program.
The real story begins here.
The program was to run for 12 more days before they could go for the camp.
Several parents meetings were held, which in this case, I am the one who constantly had to be present as my husband was always at work – even on Sundays.
I, therefore, had to report to him what was discussed at the meetings. For me, I was happy that this stage of our son’s life was well taken care of and honestly, my biggest worry was how he would manage the teenage years and since the church I attend includes the ‘cut’ in the program what more could I ask for?
At the parents’ meetings, we were briefed on how things will happen at the camp.
I remember for the most part my husband would say “I think you are exaggerating on this event.”
For instance, we were informed that they will take part in a 50km hike. I remember my husband laughing his heart out as he asked, “how is that even possible?”
To be honest, I also could not believe it. I asked myself “How? 50km? It is not possible.”
Now the dayof the camp drew nearer and nearer. We went for the final parents meeting before we released them to go to the camp.
That was the first time our son was away from us for such a seemingly long time. My mind constantly had one thought – The ‘cut’. What was harder for me is that I could not be there during this life-changing moment.
The other thing that seemed quite hard is that at some point the father was to go see our son at camp. That was another worry since he always sent me. In this case, fathers attend to their sons and mothers to their daughters. I have never prayed that hard for God to intervene, I did everything in my power to make that happen and left it to God. I reminded him every day about that day.
As the day got closer I could tell from our conversation it might not happen. I had to think of another way. I called the program coordinator and asked him to call my husband. To put it as though it were a reminder for that day and emphasize how important that visit was.
I could only imagine how crushed our son would be – if the father didn’t show up and at this point, and I cannot rescue the situation… but God answers prayers. That day my husband was able to go for the camp night and I could not thank God enough for that.
Something miraculous happened on that day. After that night at camp, things changed for the best.
The next day which was the graduation day, he cancelled all his plans that he had set for work.
I remember his words very well “It’s not always about work and money.”
That was the greatest shock of my life. Whatever happened there – only the two of them and the God who changes things, knows about. The outcome is what we are all enjoying.
The relationship between father and son improved a great deal.
Quarantine during this COVID 19 season is a pleasant one… I can see them having talks and working together. He no longer sees him as a stubborn child even when some not so positive behaviours are displayed: instead, he gets concerned.
As for me, I can’t be any happier about the outcome of ROPES®. The benefits continue to stream in.
Some days later, I was all dressed up and ready to leave for the day. My son who was recovering calls me and tells me: “mum, I need to talk to you.”
I said, “I am all ears son.”
He says, “Let’s have breakfast then we shall talk”
I agree to it. What I didn’t know is that the time we would spend talking together is going to be looooong. So we had breakfast and locked ourselves in his room.
That which we talked about by itself is a book to be written… but what I can tell you is that he shared his full ROPES® experience without leaving any details – not even the ‘cut’.
At some point, I was like “please stop!” However, I had to be calm and listen.
He took me through what they learnt and that… just by itself… was mind-blowing.
He talked of saunter, quiet/personal time, journaling, CPR® – Creating Positive Relationships and sexuality just to mention but a few. He still practices most of these skills.
Let me tell you I am still recovering from all he told me to this date. Well, I am grateful for our ROPES® experience, because this changed my life as a parent, a mother and even as a wife.
Most importantly, it saved my family. I am happy that our other children will have empowered parents and a mentor from a sibling.
To learn more about about the ROPES® program go to https://tanaritrust.org/programs/