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The Parents of the Troubled Teen Industry Children: Why Did They Decide to Send Their Children There?

This article sheds light on the parents of the troubled teen industry children and their decision to send their children to these troubled industry programs.


When most children are born, the parents of that newborn child devote their love and promise to protect their child at all costs, but sometimes even great parents can not protect their child from everything. Most parents that send their children to these troubled teen industry programs believe that their children will get the help that they need for mental health illnesses, substance abuse, or simply because they need more guidance in life than an outpatient therapist or program can give them.


Instead, they are brainwashed into believing that their children are manipulators and liars when they are telling the truth about the abuse that their children endure through the programs. Thousands of children are sent to multiple programs before they “graduate” from the troubled teen industry and in between these programs they tell their parents about the mental and physical abuse they witnessed and went through. Nevertheless, the parents have it drilled into their heads by these programs that their child is just trying to get out of the situation at hand and is just being dramatic.


An 18-year-old named Ari, a 16-year-old named Erika, an 18-year-old female, and 18-year-old Tikki Reichman all have “graduated” from the troubled teen industry and express how they now have a strained relationship with their parents and do not trust them. Hence, their parents did not believe them and continued to put them through the emotional and physical torture that they braved when they could have believed them and pulled them out of the programs.


Erika exclaimed how her parents lied to her about getting legally kidnapped and how she immediately, “was so surprised, hurt, and overwhelmed. At that moment I lost all trust in my parents.”


Tikki Reichman exclaimed that her father still does not believe her to this day about everything even though she has explained everything to him several times. Her father claims that she is being dramatic and to get over what happened to her even when she cried that she was sat on by a staff member for 4 hours by a staff member at Elevations RTC. 


Reichman’s dad has sent her off to New York and refuses to let her live with her family due to her “issues.” Unfortunately, when Riechman was only 18 years old she was sent into the real world on her own having to pay for her own rent, her own food, and for her own cell phone when she did not even have a job to support herself. Even Though Reichman still loves her father, she does not receive the love back despite all the pain she has endured.


A 31-year-old male who attended a therapeutic boarding school in Montana recalls that his parents didn’t really know how to help him so they shipped him off to the boarding school. This was because his parents were told by professionals that this program was the only thing that would save him even though he was just acting like a normal teenager. Moreover, the male exclaimed that his parents do not like talking about the situation that they put their child through and deny that he went through any physical and mental abuse during his time at the boarding school. 


Stella Downey, a 19-year-old, who has experienced five troubled teen industries praying to get help for her depression including Pacific Quest Wilderness, Mclean 3 East RTC, Eva Carlton RTC, Evaluations RTC, and Approach RTC, came up with a code word with her mother if she was ever being abused. Downey’s mother and father were specifically asking if Downey was being abused because again, the parents were brainwashed into thinking their child was being manipulative. 


“My mom gave me a code word to use if I was being abused but then she reported it to the staff.” to see what was going on and why her child said she was being abused.” Horrifically,  the staff members abused Downey more so because she “tattled” on her and told her mother she was lying.


Fortunately enough, Downey’s parents completely believe her and she continues to work towards regaining her trust in them when attending college. 


Fortunately, a young adult named Jasmine Barett exclaims how she has forgiven her parents for sending her to Open Sky Wilderness Therapy for 3 months and Montana Academy for 14 months. Barett believes that her parents were really trying to help her battle her depression and anxiety by trusting the professionals who told them about the program. Barett completely believes her and all the abuse that she has gone through though they are uncomfortable talking about it. 


“I think they just feel really bad that they put me through that so we don’t talk about it but I have explained everything to them.” 


Generally speaking, it is hard for a lot of troubled teen survivors to trust in their parents and talk to them because the parents send their children to these programs. Once trust is lost, it is hard to gain it back. It is important to note that most of these parents were only trying to do what they thought was right for their child and denying the abuse has just been a coping mechanism. All in all, usually parents try to get their children the help they deserve either though it may not be the right decision.

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