Rawhide house parents, Ed and Patti Dedmon, commit to loving their guys in this very way—with consistency and structure. Their experience has taught them that consistency is crucial for their guys’ growth and development.

3 Tips for Parenting Troubled Youth

  1. Establish a daily routine for structure they can count on
  2. Set clear ground rules, expectations, and consequences to breaking those rules
  3. Correct with love and predictability

1. Follow a Routine to Create Sense of Security

Most Rawhide guys come from dysfunctional or tumultuous homes and have lived with a great deal of uncertainty as to what each day will bring in those homes. Will a parent or guardian be raging? Using drugs? Or even absent for days? They often don’t know what it’s like to count on someone being there for them—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Ed and Patti intend to help heal that. They are wise enough to know that even the smallest of details in a daily routine help create a sense of security for their guys. So, every morning, when the Smith home guys wake up and go downstairs, they know exactly what to expect—Ed, known to the guys as “Pops,” will be sitting in the kitchen, drinking his coffee and reading the newspaper. Ed sits in the same chair at the same time every morning. He sits the same way, with the newspaper and his coffee in the same spot on the table. Knowing that Pops will always be there when they wake up gives the guys a sense safety and security. Ed notices that some guys even look to make sure he is there as expected, then bound down the stairs with a spring in their steps because he IS there.

2. Communicate Ground Rules, Expectations, and Consequences to Set Predictability

Another way Ed and Patty create a safe family-centered home is to communicate upfront what is expected of each guy and what the guys can expect from Ed and Patty if the house rules are broken. Doing so removes any uncertainty of how they will be treated. This technique also creates a sense of security like a routine because the guys learn that they don’t have to be hypervigilant.

When a troubled youth arrives at Rawhide, he learns the house rules and consequences when he follows or breaks them. For example, if he behaves during the day, he earns extra privileges during evening free time. If he misbehaves, his evening free time is limited. The expectations and consequences don’t change, and neither does Ed and Patti’s love for the guys.

3. Love Before, During, and After Correction

Love should be as constant as God’s love. And like most of us, the guys need to know that they are loved even when they misbehave. Ed and Patti correct a guy for his misstep and continue loving him like a son. This constant love creates a sense of well-being and reassures the guys that their Rawhide house parents want the best for them.

Ed and Patti have noticed that the more secure and loved the guys feel, the more they adhere to house rules. Even though Rawhide guys still act out from time to time, they know what’s expected of them, and they feel a sense of responsibility to follow the rules. At the end of the day, Ed and Patti want their guys to heal, grow, and succeed with new life choices.

A Passion for Troubled Youth

Ed and Patti have been Rawhide house parents in the Smith house for over 8 years in Rawhide’s About Face program. This program is a military-style program that focuses strongly on consistency and structure.

Rawhide has many programs and services that help give troubled youth a second chance and inspire and equip them to lead healthy and responsible lives.

The Dedmons know God has called them to serve as Rawhide house parents, and they will continue to do so until God calls them elsewhere. They find joy in their work each day, and they hope their guys will find consistency and stability thereby being equipped to turn their lives around.

Could You and Your Spouse be House Parents?

If you share Ed and Patti’s passion for helping troubled youth, learn more about being Rawhide house parents.

Of if you believe this is for you and your spouse, apply today.