L.A. at Home

Design, Architecture, Gardens,
Southern California Living

« Previous Post | L.A. at Home Home | Next Post »

Parentology: Why parents send their kids away

November 13, 2009 |  6:27 am


This summer, a couple in Northern California paid two imposing men to come into their home at 4 a.m., handcuff their 17-year-old daughter and take her to the airport. After months of threats, the parents had enrolled her in what's called a therapeutic wilderness program, where she would hike three to five miles a day with a 25-pound pack, learn to make a fire with two sticks and theoretically transform from a manipulative teenager who cursed out her mom and dad and had started failing in school back into a young woman they could live with. Six months later, the daughter still has nightmares about being taken from her bed in the middle of the night, but when recounting the story over the phone, her mother calmly said, "I would do it all over again in a heartbeat."

Click here to read the rest of the story about what drives parents to take such steps, and tell us about your own experience with therapeutic wilderness programs or boarding schools.

-- Deborah Netburn

Photo credit: Illustration by Reuben Munñoz for the Los Angeles Times.