Two wayward British teenagers experience strict parenting on the other side of the world, as Alex and Dina travel to Chicago to spend a week with the religious Davis family.
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Around the world, many parents raise their kids on a diet of strict discipline.
It's our responsibility as parents to be in control of the music that they listen to,
the movies they watch and the friends they have.
-Rub, rub, rub.
Am I friends with my children? No. I'm not your friend, I'm your parent.
..and immediate consequences.
My dad is really strict. If you break the rules he can be very scary.
But can traditional parenting change the lives of rebellious British teenagers?
I was brought here on this earth to party.
She can be an absolute nightmare. It's awful.
My lifestyle is playing Xbox, getting hammered.
I'm getting you!
'I went to anger management.'
Got kicked out of anger management for being angry.
No-one can tell me what to do.
Not even the Queen of England can tell me what to do.
GLASS BREAKING AND SCREAMING
He's slapped me, he's poked me, he's pushed me, he's done it all.
I am what I am. If you don't like it, jog on.
To find out, two teens who have never met before will leave their fraught families behind...
-Maybe she'll come back home and be nice.
..and head off to the far corners of the world,
where they will live according to strict rules imposed by new parents.
You are not in the UK, you are in Barbados.
They are the most awful people I've ever met in my whole life.
If she wants to throw a hissy fit, she can have her hissy fit.
I'm going home, bruv.
This is our rule. If you're going to cop an attitude about it, forget it.
If this is how they are, I'm sorry for Britain.
CHANTING: Do it, do it, do it!
THEY ALL SCREAM AND CHEER
16-year-old Dina Darwiesh is an embarrassment to her mother.
Sometimes when she goes out, she goes over the top.
The make-up, the high boots, the short skirts.
In a word I'd say she looks like a slag.
I go out and I wear what I want, and it can be quite, like, revealing.
Dina! Get a room!
As a young British Muslim you're expected to be quite respectful to your elders,
but you're also supposed to have respect for yourself, respect for your religion.
I can say that I'm not the best of Muslims.
THEY ALL SCREAM
Dina has a part-time job, but her meagre wages don't come close to funding her extravagant tastes.
I love my fur jackets, and for winter it will be pretty useful.
If I don't have the money I'll go off to my mum for the money.
It's a Burberry skirt. I have to say I do like it.
Dina is very materialistic.
She seems to think that whatever she wants she'll get.
How much is it?
I think because I'm an only child I expect more, and so therefore I want more
because I think she's got no-one else, so it's just kind of me.
I can't afford it. I could ask my mum for it.
Dina funds her high-rolling lifestyle with hi-tech deception.
'I've taken my mum's money without her knowing'
because she does online banking and she tells me all of her passwords and everything.
I do little by little so she won't notice.
Mum Kamila is desperate for something to change.
She was a very, very loving girl.
Had a lot of respect for everybody, lot of respect for herself.
She's suddenly lost all that, and she seems to have lost everything at the moment.
Are you not eating with us?
I expect you to eat your dinner with us, Michael's prepared it.
Yeah, but I never do, and I want to watch the film anyway.
16-year-old Alex Miles has completely opted out of family life.
I have definitely given up on bothering with a relationship with my mum and stepdad.
It would be better if you sat down and had a meal with us because Michael's made an effort to do it.
Yeah, throw some food down.
Alex passed seven GCSEs, but his education is taking a back seat.
'My favourite thing at the moment is probably'
going to a few house parties, hanging around with my friends, drinking and stuff like that.
'I don't really feel I need a family looking out for me or anything.'
I've got my friends, so I'm not worried.
I wake up in the middle of the night worrying about where he is,
what he's doing, drinking alcohol, sex, drugs, you can tick every box.
Stepdad Mike arrived on the scene when Alex was four.
Smoking in your room is out of order.
-Don't smoke in your room.
I smoke in the garden, don't I?
-You're lying, Alex.
-If I have to lie, then I'll happily lie if it gets me out of trouble.
I'm not worried. I'll happily call myself a liar, I'm not worried what other people think about me at all.
Mum Jane is bearing the brunt of Alex's selfish attitude and their relationship is at breaking point.
-You're only 16, Charlotte's only 16.
-You shouldn't be having sex.
I'm not. I told you I'm not having sex in this house.
'We just get in constant arguments. We disagree about everything.'
She doesn't understand me or why I'm doing what I am and I can't explain it.
Sometimes I question whether I actually do love him because of the pressure and stress.
Sometimes I feel like I just want to stay at work and not come home.
Could you bring your dishes down so I can put the dishwasher on?
Obviously if you want to put the dishwasher then you're the one who's going to be taking the shit down.
I think he's drifting into all the things
we know won't be right for him, and I want him to get a grip.
In a desperate attempt to transform their lives...
Take care, and don't be obnoxious.
..these long-suffering families are entrusting their teenagers
to new parents on the other side of the world.
Make sure you take care of yourself and look after yourself, have a nice time.
Don't be too rude to the family.
-Can I give you a hug?
-Fine. See you in a bit.
Enjoy yourself, then, Alex.
Take care and be well-behaved.
-All right, cool.
-I'm Dina. Nice to meet you.
I miss her already. I really do, I really do miss her.
I'm not sure I'll miss him that much for the week.
I'm just hoping he'll get a good experience from it.
The teens' 4,000-mile journey will end here, Chicago,
the biggest city of the American Midwest, and home to the Davis family.
They believe that parents must have absolute authority over their children.
We teach our children whether adults do something you like or not,
because they are adults, you respect them with your actions.
Dad DeWayne and his wife Vanessa have two daughters, 14-year-old Latrice and 16-year-old Lanessa.
When we give a directive it should be done.
We don't count to one, two, three.
We don't keep saying, "haven't I told you," or "didn't I tell you?"
You get one time to do what you're asked to do.
All right, let's pray.
DeWayne is the pastor of the local church,
and their Christian beliefs form the backbone of their parenting.
We're the kind of parents that offer rules and relationship.
-Group hug. OK, wait a minute, spinning group hug.
-Dad, that's ridiculous!
'To give kids just strictly rules, that motivates them to rebel.'
If you give them just relationship that makes them spoilt and they are ruined.
After a nine-hour flight, the teens touch down in Chicago.
It looks like a really pleasant place.
-Everything's going to be Burberry.
-Probably got nice jobs
-and just expect everything of everyone.
-Yeah, high expectations.
Well, honey, this is it.
Yeah, it's going to be exciting. I'm looking forward to it.
-Maybe they do look a bit too happy.
-They seem way too nice.
They seem like they're going to be really angry people, nice, and soon as you piss them off that's it.
-Dina, I'm Mr DeWayne Davis and this is my wife, Vanessa.
-Hi, nice to meet you.
-How are you?
-Alex. DeWayne Davis.
Vanessa Davis. Nice to meet you.
-We've been really looking forward to meeting you guys.
-So have we.
-Well, y'all want to go on in?
For the next seven days, the teens will live by the same rules as the Davis children.
Welcome to our home.
-I want you to meet our daughters, your sisters for the week.
Come in and get settled. Girls, do you want to take their coats?
-The Davises have worked hard to own their comfortable four-bedroom house.
-Got to make sure I say it right. This is where you'll sleep.
It's a really nice room.
Alex, this is going to be your room in here.
Oh, right. It looks nice.
'When I first saw them standing outside they just looked so like a happy, perfect couple.'
And they said they'd been married for 25 years, I was like, "OK, then,"
that's quite a long time, whereas you're used to being in England,
everyone's constantly getting divorced.
'I reckon they're going to be overly strict, get really angry about almost everything I do.'
The area looks nice, so I'm looking forward to actually being kicked out
so I can have a little stroll around.
Dina and Alex, if you guys can come down.
Mr and Mrs Davis believe that in their house, parents are the ultimate authority.
Let me show you what the rules are.
-A whole list?
All right. First of all, smoking, in and around our house, or out with the family is not permitted.
We don't allow our family to smoke, we don't allow relatives when they come over to smoke.
We're a smoke-free zone, all right?
No forms of drug and alcohol will be allowed in our home.
Profanity, as far as language, is not allowed.
Dress. Clothing is not allowed in our home or outside that exposes breasts,
or that which is too tightly revealing parts of the body which should be properly displayed.
-All my clothes are really fitted, though.
-That's a really hard one.
I'm going to let Vanessa be the one that
when it comes to that she'll probably talk to you about if it's too this or too that.
But then as far as boxers,
having your pants below your butt, I would have to ask you if you could not do that, OK.
As far as relating to others, no fighting, no slamming doors, no talking back,
yelling, screaming and stomping out of the room, walking away in the middle of a conversation.
Absolutely no lying with the intent to deceive.
It's going to result in immediate punishment.
So, now at this point we're going to let you go ahead and get unpacked and get settled.
So, again, welcome to our home.
While I'm here I can't imagine me having much freedom at all,
because he seems to want to control everything and everyone in the house
and just won't let anyone do what they want to do.
I think the rules are a bit too much to take on.
I don't mind boundaries, like certain things not to do,
but when there's a massive list of things I can't do
or that shouldn't be done in general, it's just too much.
Like, his rules are so stupid.
Telling me how to dress and not to smoke and stuff.
KNOCKING ON DOOR
Alex, can I come in?
DeWayne and Vanessa want to ensure that the teens
have brought nothing with them that would invite temptation.
I just want to make sure that we get off to a good start with you honouring the rules.
I don't know if you're a smoker or not, I don't know if you're drug user or not,
I don't know if you drink alcohol.
So, I'm going to have to go through your stuff just to make sure that none of that stuff is actually here.
Yeah, sure, feel free.
-I'll check to make sure you don't have anything that violates our rules.
-I'm not worried.
-OK. What's with the lighter, what do you use the lighter for?
Lighting a fag, or something.
Oh, really? Did you bring any with you?
-So, you didn't bring any cigarettes with you, right?
Are you telling me the truth?
Why would it matter?
Because we established the boundaries that you're supposed to tell the truth
and not lie with the intent to deceive.
Yeah, I did, yeah, I did.
OK, you give me the cigarettes, and whenever you want one
I will say "OK, here you go, you can have it."
How about that, that's cool? OK. Let me have them.
-I've actually hid them on me, so I'll just have to get them.
-Oh, OK. Go ahead.
Oh, so you have to roll them?
-Where's the papers?
OK, Alex, first of all I want to thank you so much for being honest, you just bumped up some points.
The second thing though, is your pants.
You need to pull your pants up on you and tighten your belt.
When you pull 'em up, you've still got them down.
So, what do you think so far?
-I look like a bit of a
-BLEEP! DeWAYNE LAUGHS
Oh, and by the way, as far as the cigarettes and stuff are concerned,
tread lightly with the rules, because this will be your punishment.
-Got to keep me in order!
-You say what?
-Keep me in order, man.
Lord, thank you once again for another meal we're about to receive.
May it be used for the nourishment of our bodies.
We thank you in Jesus' name, Amen.
The Davises eat together every day.
They believe that talking at meal times enables parents and teens to maintain a close relationship.
When was the last time that you sat down with your family like this and ate a dinner?
It was a very long time ago.
It's been that long?
Mmm. But it's like, they want me to stay down there,
but if the food's ready I'll just go and take it and go upstairs.
-So we don't really discuss it or anything.
-Why do you do that?
If we have a conversation, in ten minutes it ends in an argument.
It's we. You, your mum...
-And my stepdad.
-..and your stepdad.
So it just always turns a corner and...
-Wow. So you just don't bother.
You might change your mind by the end of the week.
Yeah, I probably will, give it a month or so.
In America, the fashion for low-slung trousers is based in gang and prison culture.
Alex's sense of style is clearly in breach of the Davises' rules.
There's something I need to share with you, and I don't know how you're going to take this.
We specifically spelled out exposing breasts, butts or boxers.
-And I think I've mentioned it to you probably two or three times.
Understanding that you pulled them up, they were up, but every time I see you, they're down.
I'm just not happy with you telling me how to dress.
-Yeah. I think I should be able to dress how I like, not how you would like me to.
OK, well, that's fine.
I've got one question. Are you going to do what I ask you to do, or are you not going to do it?
-I'm not going to do it.
-OK, the punishment is this.
You won't be able to smoke any more cigarettes until I see that you are able to pull your pants up.
-I don't think that should be your choice either.
-The decision has been made.
I don't see why it should concern you.
It concerns me cos I don't want to see your butt around my house, that's the bottom line.
You will not get them back until I can see at least a day of you adhering to my standards.
-Yeah, whatever, then.
-"Yeah, whatever, then," what does that mean?
-You're going to do it, or you're not going to do it?
-I'll decide later.
You'll decide later? Oh, OK, you just decided you'll smoke later.
-That's the way it works.
-I just think I'm old enough to make my own choices.
Certain choices are not yours to make when you're living and dependent upon somebody else.
-Well, I'll think about it, then.
-All right, well, can we shake on "you'll think about it"?
All right, man. Thanks a lot.
-See you, then.
'He is selfish. He wants to write his own ticket and do his own thing.'
He doesn't want any rules, or anybody telling him what to do.
He's very arrogant, and we don't have that kind of behaviour in our home.
What was all that shouting about?
He's trying to tell me what I can wear and what I can't.
-It's just BLEEP! stupid.
-I could hear you shouting from downstairs.
I weren't really shouting,
it just pissed me off how he's telling me what to do.
I might just stroll around naked and piss him off.
-Is that where you hid all your baccy?
I can't believe you did that.
It's going to get all dry and horrible.
-What you got there?
-A roll-up what?
I stole a tiny bit of baccy from earlier.
Got any more in there?
-Let me check.
You're actually serious?
I'm dead serious.
When we sat and talked about the rules, those were the rules.
HE FLUSHES TOILET
I'm just going to tell you right off the bat now, I'm pretty disappointed.
I'm very disappointed.
Is this what your mom goes through?
No, she's obviously not going to take my baccy and try and flush it down the toilet.
-You probably wouldn't let her.
-No, obviously not.
You lied to me, you don't feel bad about that?
-I don't know.
So you think lying is good as long as you don't get caught?
What kind of value system is that?
You call yourself grown at 16.
When you have to stoop to lying you reduce yourself to a child.
So, now you've got two days without a cigarette.
Get out, get out.
You know, one of these days I would like you to translate to me what you mean by "whatever."
When trust goes out the window,
your respect level, in my eyes, goes down with it.
And so for him to lie to me like that, straight to my face,
OK, that hurt, and he's got to do a lot now to regain that trust.
-What's happened now?
-He flushed a heap of my
-Do you think you're going to start pulling up your trousers now, or not?
-I don't know.
I don't actually care, I just don't like him getting his own way.
-He seems to think he can get whatever he wants. He's being a
KNOCKING ON DOOR
-Morning, time to rise and shine.
Sorry, you got to get up.
Morning. It's about that time for us to start getting up and getting ready.
I know I've just got to try and go along with this and do what they want,
so that I can be able to smoke again.
Alex, here's your chores.
The bathroom upstairs, that's going to be your responsibility.
Dina, your chore for today is you're going to sweep the entire tiled floor,
then you're going to mop the kitchen area.
-Think of it this way, many hands makes the load lighter.
-Let's say that together.
BOTH: Many hands makes the load lighter.
Mr and Mrs Davis believe that to run an orderly home everyone must contribute.
They want Dina and Alex to learn a lesson in being active members of the family.
This is vile.
If Mum asked me to clean the toilet I'd probably just tell her to f-BLEEP! off.
This is, like, what the cleaner does.
I'm having too much fun for words.
What's up with your pants, man?
-There you go!
That was a bit painful, that, man.
For Mr Davis, once a rule is set it has to be enforced.
You need to get that skirt changed right away so we can get moving.
Can't I just stay...? There you go, it's longer now.
Dina, what did I just say?
-Yeah, but I've already done it.
-So let's go do it, Dina, let's go do it.
-But I've already done everything else.
Any hint of disobedience always results in immediate action.
If you don't change, then for the rest of the day, until this time tomorrow you don't eat.
No, I'm still going to eat.
How you going to eat? We're not going to let you eat. You brought some food with you?
-No, but you can't make me starve.
-Yes, I can.
-No, you can't.
Yes, I can. You want to try me?
I can give an edict in this house right now that Dina will not eat until tomorrow.
That's just a bit stupid.
OK, well, it's stupid that you don't do what I tell you to do.
It's only clothes. Who cares?
It's only food. Who cares?
-But that's different.
-No, it's not.
-You want to eat, you want something from me, right?
-Right, and I want something from you.
-But I've already done stuff for you.
You haven't done what I'm just telling you now, to change that skirt and let's go.
That was the past, this is the present, we're moving towards the future.
You've done that, that's over with.
Now, I'm asking you to change that skirt, and let's get going.
-For God's sake, OK.
-So you can eat the rest of the day.
OK, I will change.
You know what, I'll give you five minutes, it shouldn't take that long.
OK, I'm going to change.
OK, we'll be waiting. SHE SLAMS DOOR
Er, excuse me, Dina.
What did you just do?
-I closed the door.
-No, you didn't close it, what did you just do?
-I just closed it.
-You just didn't close it.
Closing it is like this.
-What did you do?
-I closed it a bit harder.
-And that's called what?
And isn't that one of our rules?
-OK, let's go.
Hey, man, we're about to make another move,
so if you can get back up and straighten thinks up here and we'll get moving, OK.
Why's there a sock here?
Mr Davis has secured Alex and Dina positions at the local grocery store.
He knows from experience that holding down a job helps teenagers become independent adults.
Right now, we are about to go to a place that has hired you guys.
I'll go there and introduce you to the individuals.
-You got a question?
-Can I smoke at work, do you think, maybe?
No. Absolutely no smoking.
Prisco's has been run by the same family for three generations.
The store prides itself on its reputation for good service and family values.
How you doing?
Nice to see you.
Rob Prisco is the manager.
Rob Prisco, nice to meet you.
-This is Dina.
-Dina, nice to meet you.
I understand you want to be grocers for a couple of days.
We'll get you something to wear and see how it goes.
'I think they're going to do well.'
I think we've done enough reinforcement to them and put enough
fear of God in them that they are going at least try to be respectful.
I'm supposed to be facing everything to the front
and I was doing that, I was just looking at the drinks.
Stacking shelves is a typical first job for many American teens.
Sorry, I'm getting really confused with all this.
Working alongside Dina is 20-year-old Kyle.
He's been working since he was 16 to help pay for his education.
-Do you have a job on top of going to school?
-I have a part-time job,
but that's like a job I do when I want to.
If I don't I go off to my mum and I'll ask her.
That stopped working for me when I was about eight or ten.
It still works for me, it's called charming them. Or I go to my grandparents.
It's not just Dina's attitude to work that's completely foreign.
If I can't get the money, then I take it off my mum.
-I could never steal from my mother.
-I don't see it as stealing, because I live with my mum.
She knows me, so I'm not taking anything that's not mine.
I don't want to have this conversation any more.
Change the subject.
In a recession like this, I think it's bad that someone would be that selfish
to steal from someone they love when they're going through hard times
and busting themselves to make a living just to support them.
That's not good.
Alex, your trousers are down.
So far, the teens' time in Chicago isn't having the desired effect.
'Well, my plan at the moment is to kind of earn his trust again,'
be really nice, and then as soon as I get my baccy refuse to get it back.
This is cold! This is freezing.
I don't cycle because I get her to drive me everywhere.
'I never apologise to anyone. I don't like to apologise.'
If I say sorry then people will think I'm giving in
and I'm more vulnerable. I don't want anyone to think that.
But the Davises still have time to impose their character.
Oh, my legs are tired!
DeWayne's church is located in Chicago's West Side,
a predominantly African-American area of the inner city.
The church's mission is to provide moral guidance for its teenage members.
Today the British teens have been invited to a weekly discussion group by youth leaders Collis and Kevin.
First of all, tell your new best friends what your names are.
Dina and Alex. OK, what are your thoughts in terms of respect?
Are you respecting your parents, the whole thing. the floor is yours.
I fight with my mum, I shout at my mum.
-I don't like to listen to my mum.
-How's that going to help you in the future?
I'm listening, but I don't want to know it now. I only want to do it so I can stay happy.
So, your happiness is based on you being selfish and disrespectful and arrogant.
No, because I didn't ask to be my mum's child.
So, she has to put up with everything I do because she put me in this world.
So, really anything I do, she has to accept it.
OK, what do you guys think of that?
If you want to be an adult, then you should be treated
like an adult and start doing your own things to fend for yourself.
You live in the house with your mama, your mama owns you.
If you disrespect your mama, I think it's time to get out.
-OK, Alex, do you have a comment?
I don't get along with my mum very well.
So, like, I don't chat to her much, and I try to avoid her.
-To avoid the disrespect, you just keep your space.
Alex, throughout life, you'll encounter people you don't like, that you don't agree with
and if your only resort is running away from the issues, you're going to be running for the rest of your life.
So, you're going to have to face it, you may not like it, nor necessarily agree, Alex,
but what they're saying - you just have to suck it up, man.
I think they've taught the kids here to have to put up with everything their parents throw at them.
They were told to suck it up, and do whatever your parents say. I couldn't do that at all.
It's like we're the kids, we can't really help what we do, we're just learning and we're growing up.
They should deal with the problems, and should expect that when you have a child, you get issues.
She made a statement in the class "Hey, I need to live out all my
"rebelliousness, I need to live out my disrespect, because I'm a child".
I don't know what planet she's from, but that's just not how you operate in a structured society.
Dear God, thank you for allowing us to sleep well last night and for waking us up for another day.
At home in Bristol, Alex avoids spending time with his own family.
In the God-fearing Davis household, he has no option but to join in.
Your eggs are done and pancakes, so sit down and eat.
I was wondering after breakfast, like have you thought about
whether I can smoke or not? What's going on?
-I have to say no, not today.
-What, not at all today?
-Not at all today.
-But I put loads of effort in.
Yeah, you did, but that was what we established the other day,
when you broke the rule, when you lied to me, when you...
-Just one then.
-No, means none.
As we say you, can choose to sin, but you have no control
over the consequences and this is just one
-of the consequences of your violation.
DeWayne's uncompromising attitude to parenting stems from his own tough upbringing.
What has shaped my parenting goes all the way back to when I was a kid.
In the neighbourhood that I grew up,
there was lots of crime, delinquency, lots of drugs.
It was an impoverished area simply because
blacks at the time didn't have really nice jobs to support their families.
And, being one of the children of a single mum,
I grew up on welfare.
So, raising children of my own, I want to give them what I never had.
Would you like me to take it to your car?
Halfway through their time in Chicago,
the teens are getting used to the daily grind.
We got paid 89 dollars, 13 cents.
At the end of their shift,
Alex experiences a whole new sensation,
his first ever pay cheque.
I might keep this and email it to my mum, - "Yeah, I earned money".
You should frame it. Because you never worked a day in your life.
To give them a sense of how privileged they are back home,
DeWayne has decided to take the teens to the area he grew up in.
West Garfield Park is one of the poorest areas in Chicago.
We have made it to my old stomping grounds, as we call it,
the neighbourhood where I grew up as a teenager.
In the 1970s, it was a tough, but functioning, working class neighbourhood.
Today nearly half of its residents are long term unemployed.
Look who's here!
What's up, man?
Hey, man! I know it's kind of surprising seeing me back here.
He used to live right here about 20 years ago.
-About 30 years ago, 4818, that's my old house.
-Glad to see you.
You too man, take care. We're coming up to my old house.
We stayed on the second level. It was me, my mum and my other six siblings.
-Oh, my God, six, seven of you.
-Six. In a three bedroom home.
Right here, used to be my best friend's home.
We did all kinds of things. I took my first puff of a cigarette.
I was 12 years old. That was when I started smoking.
And then at 13, my friend introduced me to alcohol
and we started drinking, and partying and just having fun at 13.
What were you like at 16?
By the time I was 16 I was hooked on marijuana.
I was smoking a pack and a half a day. I was drinking alcohol,
having lots of sex with different individuals,
being very rebellious against my mother's rules.
I was just having fun and I didn't care about anybody but me.
Like you just met one of your old friends,
is that nice to come back to it?
Actually, Alex, no, because
that guy I remember as being young, handsome, smart, sharp.
Years later, I come...
just to see somebody that I once played with... HIS VOICE BREAKS
who's made decisions in life
that got him looking like that, being like that.
He's going nowhere, and there's a lot of my friends that are like that,
and I'm grateful that I made some of the right decisions.
To put me where I am,
that I can be an example to you guys, because I made the right choices.
A lot of my friends have either died from drugs,
been shot and maimed.
and all the people... I've got vivid memories of
just running around with these people and it hurts. HE SOBS
I going to take you down here and let you see some other things here.
Today it seems like I've seen the other side to drugs,
what it does to people in the long term, rather than the short term.
DeWayne's old friend, especially when we walked past him, seeing that is upsetting.
I felt really bad for him, because I know if I came back
to it and saw my friend like that, that would be the worst thing.
What's going to make you so different in 30 years' time?
I honestly don't know.
Growing up, DeWayne hardly knew his father.
Today he does all he can to be a constant presence in his daughters' lives.
Every so often, I'd grab Lanessa or Latrice individually.
I'd take them out on a daddy-daughter date, so I wanted to kind of get away with you this evening.
I think you'll enjoy it.
Tonight is the weekly choir practice.
# Praise the Lord with me Praise the Lord with me
# Come on, sing higher
# Hallelujah... #
Back home, Dina's dad left when she was two.
Mum, I'm going out, OK?
-No, where are you going?
-I grew up without having a dad.
I was always just raised by my mum and I never saw any differently.
It never bothered me I didn't have a dad. I didn't really care too much.
Me and her father split up, just after she was born and when she was ten he died.
So, she's never actually had that kind of interaction.
I said no and I mean no.
I've always wondered what it'd be like to have a dad and if I'd be any different.
But I've always just had my mum and so I can kind of control
my mum a little bit, because there's only one person to focus on.
I wrote a song for my daughters called Daddy's Little Girl.
HE LAUGHS I can't remember it.
# Little girl, you look so pretty in your pink
# Little girl, you're the cutest, your daddy thinks
# Little girl, as you grow throughout the years
# You always will be daddy's little girl. #
-That's so sweet.
-Oh, thank you.
I've always wondered what it's like to have a dad, and then when it's put in front of me
-I kind of, yes, that is quite nice. I feel I'm missing out on something, something important.
The greatest person in the world to any little girl is their daddy.
Daddy's is the first Prince Charming.
Daddy's there to pour love into her heart. If it's not there,
-then it creates a big hole in the heart.
-Yeah, if you don't have
that love that you get from your dad, then you try to fill it with anything.
I've tried that. When I go out I will go out and buy loads of stuff.
I don't do it just because I enjoy doing it,
I do it because it blocks out, it blocks out me thinking
-about something I'm missing out on. I never realised what I was missing out on.
Living with the Davises, Alex is enjoying being involved with family life.
You going to do the middle door as well.
DeWayne's put some effort into making a good relationship with me.
and because I've recognised how nice he's been to me,
I find it hard to say no. Like if he's asked can you help out,
since you've been living here. It's like, yeah, sure.
Back home, Alex's difficult relationship with his mum
causes multiple arguments. She's made contact with him hoping that things can improve.
"Dear Alex. I hope this letter finds you well and you are enjoying your time in America.
"I love you with all of my heart but as I have said, I don't always like you.
"Your attitude to me and sometimes Mike, leaves us feeling used and getting nothing back.
"You cannot even say hello or goodbye when you enter or leave our house".
She's trying to blame me for everything. "You have become very self centred"
Oh, really? "Only doing what you want to do.
"I feel that I am losing you and I really want my son back.
"The son who was happy, fun loving and caring.
"I will always love you and hope that you will be able to love me back
"and show me some respect. Lots of love. Mum".
-That's a load of shit.
-You got a chance to hear from Mum.
-What do you think?
-I was expecting a nice letter saying, oh, I miss you and everything.
-It turned out to be a letter blaming me for everything.
-Are you for real?
-Wow. How's that make you feel?
It's just made me completely change my mind. I don't even want to be friends with her right now.
-This letter has just kind of ruined my experience.
-Really? Let me ask you this.
You're hurt, right? You were hurt when you came here. She is hurt.
So, that's what you're feeling through her letter, not a dislike of you
-but the hurt that has come through the relationship on both sides.
So within her words is sprinkled a lot of her deepest heart.
You CAN give her another chance by understanding. It's not all you,
-it's Mum as well, does that make sense?
We can pick this back up later if you want to.
-I know that's just going to ruin the rest of your evening.
In the Davis house, playing by the rules means you get treated like an adult.
We're going to leave you guys here to be responsible, to do what you need to do by way of hanging together.
I'm glad you can trust us, to leave us alone.
Exactly and that's why we're doing this.
We want you guys to feel like you're part of the family now.
We can leave and you guys will be responsible with your behaviour.
Alex and Dina as an addition to our family has gained some
credibility in our eyes, where we feel we can step away for a few hours.
Allow them to let their hair down and be comfortable, without having our adult parenting hovering over them.
So, we're going to give them an opportunity to be trusted while we're away.
It's a good test because the other kids will tell on them.
In Bristol, Alex deals with his family problems, by simply doing his own thing.
-Alex, what do you do in your life?
-If it was a Friday, I'd drink in the morning.
With no parents to keep an eye on him, he reverts to his bad old ways.
-Anyway I'm going to go outside.
-Why are going to go outside.
Because I managed to scab that fag off that guy.
I'm begging you, don't. If he finds out, you're going to get in trouble.
-He won't find out.
-I'm going down stairs.
-Where are you going to put that cigarette out?
-I'll walk over there.
-Bye, have a nice night out there. Bye.
I think he's kind of stupid, that he went out,
because my dad would probably have given him one when he came back.
Be like, "Oh, I can trust you while we're gone". But he decided to take his last one, and be stupid.
I'm happy now, so I'm not worried.
I'm not sure if I should be smoking here, because I'm not sure if that's
disrespectful to him, so I'm going to walk over there.
-You either tell DeWayne yourself when he gets home and we'll let you in. Or we let you in and...
-And they will.
-Why do you want to tell him so much?
-Because he's going to find out anyway.
-When I get in trouble he'll say, why didn't you tell me?
-It's that you lied. That's why he gets mad. It's your life.
-It is. People shouldn't get involved.
Cos that always makes the person feel better!
-Just to say, before you do say anything...
-No, say hi!
Just jump right into it.
Who's eating again?
I figured I'd tell you, because you prefer honesty.
I did have the chance to smoke and I did take it.
So, I just wanted to know what you thought of that.
You say you had a chance to smoke?
-Yeah and I took it.
-Where did you get the cigarettes from?
Outside the job place, there was a guy walking. I asked if I could have one.
-You'd better be lying.
-I'm not lying, seriously. I'm being honest.
-Where are the rest of the cigarettes?
-He only gave me one.
-So, you just walked out the house and went and smoked a cigarette.
Just totally in defiance of what was established.
I don't think you can tell me not to smoke and I'll just do it.
I'm not going to do everything you say. You've got to realise that.
-I'm happy to abide by most of your rules just not that one.
OK, fine. Come here. Let's go for a little walk.
Since you won't abide by my rules, you stay out there until you decide to abide by them.
I'll give you a few hours to think about it.
Go smoke, do whatever you want to do, on your own time and on your own terms.
I hope the temperature drops about another 20 degrees.
Alex thinks that this is just about smoking, but it's more than that.
He went against one of the rules, and we established that
and we were growing in the trust and he decided to violate that, so that makes me angry.
BLEEP! him, he's just too pathetic. BLEEP! it's cold.
Alex's defiance is defeated by the freezing temperatures.
He returns to the house looking for an instant reconciliation.
You traded everything for that little one moment.
You've got to think about things like that, because that one decision can have serious consequences.
And that's what lessons like this are intended to teach you.
You can choose the decision but you have no choice over the consequences.
Come on in.
Have a good night. See you early in the morning.
-See you in the morning.
With his own family, Alex's constant rule breaking has turned him into an outsider.
I've kind of got used to not being a part of my family,
not sharing things with them and not being like friends with my family.
It's been like this for about three years, not really got on since then, really.
Well, I think he just feels that we're so horrible and
-such awful parents that he doesn't want to live with us, really.
It does make you feel a bit lonely, but then how I see it is,
I've got my friends there for me, I'm not really worried.
I don't really feel I need a family looking out for me or anything.
Hi, Jane, my name is Vanessa Davis.
Oh, hi, Vanessa, thank you for ringing, it's really kind of you.
The Davises believe that understanding Alex's relationship with his mum
-could be the key to helping him.
-I'm trying very hard to guide him in the right route, but sometimes
I'm not being very successful, because it makes me angry and cross.
-I love him dearly, I really do, and I keep questioning myself where I've gone wrong really.
I think that's how I feel at the moment.
But what about the relationship part,
do you guys just talk about things that don't involve issues?
I think we used to, but as Alex has got older,
he's not wanted to do the family things with us,
but it's actually getting him to do that type of thing.
He actually isn't interested in us at the moment, he's more interested in his friends and his girlfriend.
I think possibly we have ground our relationship down so that the only
contact I have with Alex is around perhaps issues that we're having.
I am going to speak with Alex about last night.
The Davises know that if things are to improve at home
Alex needs to understand the cost of his rebellious attitude.
So, so far what are some of the things you learned about consequences?
Obviously you said I couldn't smoke and I did.
So, now I just can't smoke any more.
So, from a consequence standpoint, do you see that if you don't manage yourself,
-how it affects everything and everyone around you?
I want you to also think about the things that you are learning through me here, through being in our home,
see what way you can transfer that information into your own relationship with your mum at home.
So that, at least from your end, you can make things better, because relationships is a two way street.
It's her responsibility and your responsibility to make it work
and you can't control her, but you can control you.
You follow that?
-What do you feel in my home, that you don't feel in your home?
I just feel welcome. If I come to my house I just get like,
I don't know, they look at me weirdly, they argue with me,
I just don't feel like I'm wanted there at all.
But when I come here, we get along quite well, so I felt quite welcome.
Is it important for you to feel wanted at home, honestly?
I don't know. I just stopped caring about these kind of things.
Not your stop caring mind, I mean your desires mind, what you really desire.
You're at the point where, you know what, "I hear what you're saying,
"Mr Davis, I don't care, I don't want that no more."
But deep down inside, if you could have it, what would you like?
-I'd like a better relationship with my mum.
-What would that look like?
Maybe we could just like try being friends or something.
-You want to be friends with her?
-Go back to some happier times.
Well, I hope and pray that that is exactly what you get, but that you would get more.
That you would actually be able to at least accommodate her on several things
and then explain to her where your heart really is without having to take it
to drama-land. Let's make it back to the house here.
The Davises' tough love approach to family relationships
has forced Alex to confront his attitude to his own parents.
It's helped me kind of understand a bit more
about why my mum is how she is and maybe I am the one in the wrong.
I'm going to try and make the first step towards letting me and my mum's relationship getting better.
I'll try and be more grown-up about it and maybe,
see what happens if I don't retaliate to the argument.
Maybe I should be a bit more sympathetic towards her.
After being away from home for nearly a week,
Dina receives a letter from her mum.
"Dear Didi, I miss you very much and the fact I have absolutely no contact with you, it's very hard.
"You know how much I love you and if you doubt it any way, I mean I really love you.
"As you get older you have to learn that life is not about
"taking and taking, it's about learning to give and receive.
"And I know you're growing up, but please slow down.
"Life is a blessing and you shouldn't wish it away too quickly.
"You're just 16, a beautiful young woman and you have your whole life ahead of you.
"Enjoy being young for now.
"The beauty of my life was finding a treasure like you, I sincerely want that back.
"I love you very much, Mum".
I'm feeling very sad right now.
Because, I think, I never realised how much...
I actually love her, probably.
I never really see it, but not having her here like now,
has made me see that I really do miss her,
and that I do need her, and as soon as I see her,
I just want to tell her I love her,
and I'm sorry for everything I've done.
I just want to be a better person to her, and show her each day, that I really do love her.
Alex and Dina's time with the Davis family has come to an end.
Dina wants to show DeWayne that she's learnt some genuine lessons.
-Hey, what's up?
-I just wanted to come and say to you sorry about the other day when I slammed the door
in your face, and sorry that it's taken this long for me to apologise.
Thank you so much for that, and I accept it 100 per cent. Come on.
Before you guys go, I got a little surprise for you.
I just want to induct you all into
the Davis Hall of Fame, the family.
Son, take care, man, I love you,
Daughter Dina. Going to miss you.
DeWayne and Vanessa's family meant a hell of a lot to me,
and I felt like I had a fresh start.
'I've learnt that I need to stop being selfish.
'I need to realise that I just can't have everything for myself.'
DeWayne taught me a lot about that, I can't just have it all.
I really missed her. Having no contact's been the hardest part.
It's never happened before.
I know that my behaviour was getting really bad.
I just didn't want to listen to you, did what I want, said what I want.
I think I should say sorry to you for everything,
everything that I do, I'm sorry for all my bad behaviour.
All of my mouthing off to you, my temper - I'm sorry for that.
I think I'm just sorry mostly that I don't tell you anything any more.
I'm a bit apprehensive about seeing him, however,
I'm looking forward to seeing him, because I just love him to pieces.
-Hello, have you had a nice time?
-Yeah, it was all right.
-Will you give me a cuddle?
-Pardon? Yeah, sure.
-So, you thought it was a good experience.
-Yeah, it was really nice.
-You enjoyed it?
-Good. Well, we've missed you here.
-I didn't want to leave.
-We've missed you here.
-I actually got a job while I was there.
-Wow, look at that.
And you actually earned that money.
-How fantastic is that, Alex?
I never thought having a good family was important at all,
but seeing how their family was, it made me really miss it,
and that's what made me think I want another chance.
I think that you've just shown how really nice and how grown up you can be.
You make me very proud, Alexander. Thank you.
Next time on the World's Strictest Parents...
-My rudeness is unbelievably disgusting.
-I'm going home!
Catch up with teens from across the series.
I want to get out of this shithole!
When I realised they weren't going to send me home, I thought, "Oh, my God, what have I done?"
And find out whether their experience changed their lives...
I want to be a better dad and a better person.
-..or was swiftly forgotten.
-I thought the whole family was just out of their mind.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Email [email protected]
Two rebellious British teenagers experience strict parenting on the other side of the world, as rule-breaker Alex Miles and selfish diva Dina Darweish get new parents in Chicago. For a week they must live with the Davis family. Dad DeWayne is the pastor of a church in Chicago's West Side, a predominantly African-American neighbourhood. As a man who experienced the trauma of the Chicago riots in the late 60s, he has personal insight into how to resolve conflict.
Today, he believes that that the best way to get teenagers to toe the line is to build good relationships with them in a warm, loving family home. But despite their loving nature, the Davises don't back down when it comes to setting firm boundaries.
Completely out of his parents' control in the UK, Alex is set for a battle of wills with DeWayne over his lack of respect and dishonesty. Dina learns the value of having a father figure in her life and starts to question the way in which she has been treating her own mum.