Boot camps or brat camps have become increasingly popular with today’s parents who don’t know how to handle their out-of-control teenagers anymore. Gangs, drugs, crime. Some are seemingly destined to a life of crime and drugs, particularly in bad areas and ghettos. While we tend to always think that everybody’s responsible for their own actions, who can really stop teenagers from turning to gangs and drugs? New York is a good example for bad neighbourhood and gang-crime.
The New York Times published an article about a Liberian mother who sent her teenage son back to her home country to live with her relatives for several years. Her reason for doing so was her son getting involved in a crime and drug riddled life in the streets. She sent him off to Africa for his own safety being aware of the fact that he may not return alive. So he went from a bad american neighbourhood to a bad liberian neighbourhood.
The story is an extremely long read and I skipped several parts but it’s quite interesting. I can see her motivation behind this drastic step, however, is placing your child into an environment that could have him traumatised for life and even killed appropriate?
Sure, she wanted him to appreciate the lifestyle and freedom he had in the USA, as well as showing him that life is tough and it can be a lot worse.
In the article he’s telling about witnessing the most horrific things in Liberia, like watching child soldiers rape a pregnant woman in public and people getting murdered.
After living there for four years, his mother eventually allowed him to return and he appeared to be a changed person.