A few thoughts on the Baltimore riots, Super moms and problems with teenagers this morning:
Over the past few days, I’ve been watching the “war-zone” in Baltimore, Maryland as people react to the death of Freddie Gray after his arrest on April 12, 2015. The scenes were eerily similar to the 1992 Los Angeles riots (also known as the Rodney King riots), which lasted six days and were very intense.
When I was a Federal agent, I lived in the state of Maryland near Baltimore and I know the area well. Similarly, my first post of duty as an agent was in Los Angeles. I lived about 30 miles from the 1992 riots and worked extensively throughout the city at that time as a private investigator.
The arrest of six officers from the Baltimore Police Department relative to Gray’s death seems to have tempered the anger level and demonstrations. Yesterday the atmosphere appeared festive, which is odd given the death of a young man, but the joy seemed to be a reaction to the publication of the officer’s booking photos.
Baltimore hopefully will not challenge the death toll and destruction of the Los Angeles riots. Keep in mind, the LA riots started after two of the officers charged were found not guilty. The quick pace to charging the Baltimore officers in only 24 hours is perplexing. The amount of charges assigned to the officers makes obtaining across-the-board convictions very difficult. This might be a case of overcharging, so that one of the officers becomes a witness against the others. What will happen in Baltimore after the officer’s trial?
The media praised a very angry woman named Tonya Graham and dubbed her a “Super Mom” when she reacted to seeing her son participate in rock throwing during the unrest. Her salty language and several excellent right-hand over-the-top punches that landed on her son’s head was the epitome of a mother’s tough love.
Problems with teenagers are something we deal with every week. When parents contact our firm, it’s usually about their sons and daughters that have come to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams of stardom in the entertainment industry.
These types of cases are very difficult to work. Often drugs and alcohol become the focal point of their lives when their dreams are never realized. The parents retain us to find their child and then convince them to return home or enter an appropriate rehabilitation center. My staff and I are very candid and realistic with the parents. We tell them that while we are very good at what we do, not to be under the misguided impression we can undo 18 years of their lives in a few hours.
In all of our five California offices, we get weekly requests from frustrated parents to help with their out-of-control teenagers. We have a great system in place to evaluate their child and then make recommendations as to where they can be placed for a total behavioral transformation. We know which facilities (wilderness camps) are useless, in that they break down the child similar to training a horse. They become submissive and then are returned to the same environment from which they came. These are a total waste of time and money.
There are many “schools” where degrees can be obtained and highly competent staffs work with the youths spiritually, physically, mentally and academically. One of our areas of expertise is to explain to the parents that they are usually the last ones we want trying to convince their offspring to leave home and enter an out of state or out of country facility. We have been fortunate to get the vast majority of these young people to see the wisdom of going voluntarily. On occasion, they are told that we can “do it the easy way or the hard way.” Often the young adult will not go willingly. To that end, we have people who will escort them to the proper school.
This journey is never an easy one for either the parents or the young person. The good and positive news is that there are ways to turn your child around. We are hopeful that Ms. Graham’s self-imposed discipline on her mask wearing, rocking throwing youth will have an impact. If these and other disciplinary tactics are not working in your family, please call our toll-free number for a no-fee consultation.