Betty Lowis says trouble kids should be taking up boot camp.
Betty Lowis says trouble kids should be taking up boot camp. Allan Reinikka

OPINION: Troubled kids need boot camp

THINGS have changed since the good old days.

No one cared back then when our strict, disciplinarian fathers belted us with belts and razor strops.

It was just normal in some families, girls copped it too. "Spare the rod and spoil the child" they said.

Psychiatrists say children who are belted always belt their children. That is tarring all parents with the same brush.

It can happen, but in my case I loved them and preferred to talk to our children. They grew up honest and caring.

I know some children are uncontrollable and most parents of these children try their best.

I think it is a mistake not to make 10 to 15 year olds accountable for their crimes.

Perhaps the government could invest money in boot camps again. They worked, but were phased out due to loss of funds.

Not like the old reformatories or reform schools of our day.

Dad always threatened my two oldest brothers and I with that, even though most of our misdemeanours weren't very bad.

We already lived a life of fear, and after Dad showed me a cartoon from a newspaper of a row of boys being belted on the behind with a machine full of spikes, I believed it.

I sank into deep depression as life looked hopeless.

I think that a boot camp would be good for the troubled children.

Have someone like a sergeant major type of person who can keep them under control and teach them self respect and give them discipline. Perhaps army cadets.

The government could send the more violent types who are on their way to becoming criminals, to the tough love camps.

I saw on TV, a series about them. They hated everyone and their parents had no choice other than to hand them over to the people running these camps.

It was a big battle, some were worse than others, but I was amazed to see how these kids turned out after their time away.

No soft approach for them, they were made accountable for their actions. Most went home with a whole new outlook on life.

In defence of parents these days, the law forbids them to discipline their children even in the mildest way.

The government's softly, softly approach has children now "ruling the roost".

They are being told of their rights and some kids are making the most of it.

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