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Parents Force Teen to Live in a Tent in Their Backyard to Teach Him a Lesson

The Short of It

New Mexico parents are fed up with their teen's bad behavior, so they're forcing him to live in a tent in the backyard to teach him a lesson.

The Lowdown

There's no doubt teenagers' bad behavior can be extraordinarily frustrating for parents. But one family has decided to try a shocking approach to disciplining their adolescent son: forcing him to live in the yard in a tent.

And no, this is not against the law.

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"We're not doing anything wrong here," mom Angela Boggus told KRQE. "We're simply trying to teach our child a lesson."

His dad, Jacob, added, "If he doesn't learn that now, it's gonna be the whole world's problem, not just ours, in a couple of years."

Fair enough. But is forcing your child into the elements really the right way to teach him right from wrong?

Apparently, these parents have tried everything to try to get their son to stop stealing from them, which yes, is kind of a pretty big deal. They even asked him to write five book reports about "being respectable" as an alternative punishment. He declined.

"Anybody who wants to talk some sense into him is more than welcome. We're not trying to hide from this," Jacob said.

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So far, the couple's 16-year-old son has lived in the tent for two weeks and only comes inside to sleep and use the bathroom, according to Fox News. The parents do feed him, in case you were wondering.

Criticism of their extreme punishment from neighbors, who even reported them to authorities, hasn't deterred these parents. They say they'll lift their punishment after one month has passed.

The Upshot

It's worth noting again that in New Mexico, forcing your child to live in the backyard is not illegal. Valencia County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Gary Hall even told KRQE, "It's not like he's been banished out to the mesa a hundred miles away from civilization."

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But let's forget about the legality of this for a moment. Whether the parents are actually breaking the law or not, I don't think this is a very good parenting decision. Even if the punishment yields the parents' desired result of stopping their son from stealing, won't his experience being banished from their house and forced to subsist in a tent pretty much scar him emotionally for life?

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