Troubled Teen Options

Shopping With The Police

The other day a mother told me about an early intervention program that many elementary schools participate in each year. Two children from each school are nominated to go shopping with a police officer. The goal is to help these troubled young children before they become a troubled teen. This year her child was nominated, but she wasnít quite sure how to take it. When she asked why he was chosen, she was never really given an answer. Nevertheless, she knew this was a good experience for her son and let him participate.


Each officer was paired up to only one child. This way the officer could give them one on one instruction and have the kidsí full attention. They discussed laws, shoplifting, bike safety, stranger danger, etc. The kids were then each given a $100 gift certificate to buy whatever their hearts desired while they shopped with their assigned police officer. At some point they were even allowed to play with the sirens in the police car. As parents itís hard for us to see or even admit our childís behavior is worse than we thought. Working in schools with children I know Iíve come to realize that our children have two different worlds with two different personalities. Teachers and other people often see a side of our children that we donít see. Sometimes we have to swallow our pride and let them participate in programs like this. Besides, many times kids listen better to other people than their own parents. by Angie Driskill