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Kids ‘helping’ Kids

Radley Balko has a great couple of pieces (1, 2) on the new version of the horrendous Straight programs (see also our discussion about the Semblers last week) called Kids Helping Kids.
The Agitator already has this list, but it’s worth repeating. Check out these warning signs put out by the group (any four means your kid should be enrolled in a torture program):

Has your child….

  • seemed depressed
  • become rebellious and defiant
  • had trouble with the law
  • had a bad attitude
  • avoided you upon arriving home
  • become increasingly isolated
  • had a drop in grades
  • required extra sleep
  • dropped out of favorite activities
  • changed friends
  • started looking unkempt or unhealthy
  • changed image/clothes/personal style
  • been caught lying
  • possessed unexplained money
  • threatened or attempted suicide
  • frequently broken curfew
  • been fired from work
  • come home high or drunk
  • destroyed car or property

Do you…

  • argue with your spouse about your child’s behavior
  • feel anger or dislike for your child
  • fear you are a failure as a parent
  • “bargain” with your child to change
  • compromise your own values
  • lower your expectations
  • feel frustrated because nothing seems to change your child’s behavior
  • cover up for your child
  • make excuses for your child
  • feel relieved when your child leaves the house
  • give money to your child
  • fear your child might injure him/herself
  • fear your child might injure others
  • desire to spend less time at home
  • fear your child is out of control

How many of these signs applied to you? I was a preacher’s kid who never got in a bit of trouble (and never even tried alcohol until college), and yet I bet that 12 of these applied to me when I was in high school.
Update: The Onion understands.

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