“You don’t like it, but you don’t like it when he’s in jail or dead.”
TALEDA, Ohio – Parents are doing their best to prevent their children from being on the wrong side of the law.
Some call it despair, while others call it cruel love.
But in any case, Boys and girls for change teaches children and their parents responsibility through behavior modification.
Parents come to Toledo from all over the district.
Everyone is tired of how their children behave.
And everyone is ready to do almost anything to help lead them in the right direction.
It is known as the “Dose of Reality” program.
And if you think it sounds rude, then it’s because it’s rude.
But these parents say it is that cruel love that their children need.
“You don’t like it, but you don’t like it when he’s in jail or when he’s dead,” said Angela Montroy, the mother of 15-year-old Dustin.
About 35 children filled the gym for this latest program.
Parents watch as they go through strenuous workouts.
At the same time remind that they are here because of the choice they made.
“It kills me as a parent. I feel like everything was done right. I gave him things. I made the right choice. I corrected. And then I just sit and think to myself, “What did I do wrong?” Said Leslie Swartz, who is the mother of 8-year-old Avery.
Families come on Friday night.
Parents stay for two hours, learn about responsibility.
Children will spend the night, but this is not an ordinary night.
“They’re looking for some kind of tough love program. It’s like waking up their child. Hoping this program will turn them in the right direction,” said Sean Mahon Sr., founder of Young Men and Women for Change.
He has been involved in this program for 16 years.
And he says it’s a way to teach kids responsibility for their actions.
“Our goal is to help improve overall physical, social and academic performance. Training in nonviolent conflict management. Ways to reduce drug and alcohol abuse,” said Mahonne Sr.
Mahone and his team show the children what it is like to be arrested.
All while the parents are watching, giving both this reality check and the opportunity to make changes until it’s too late.
“My most important thing is that I don’t want something small now to be something big when he grows up,” Schwartz said.
But Mahone is adamant that change can happen when all hands are on deck.
“The city of Toledo, the Toledo police, the juvenile court. I think if we all come together and start something like this, I think it will start to change the story of what’s going on in our community, because if people will know that they are going to be held accountable, ”Mahone said.
He says the reaction and the need for something like this program prompted him to want to expand.
So later this year he plans to take it to other states.
You can learn more about the process by visiting Boys and girls for change. Or you can call 567-277-5352.