A catch-up with ten terrible teenagers to find out if their experiences of strict parenting abroad has made any lasting change on their lives back home.
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This programme contains strong language.
Across Britain, many teenagers are out of control.
Come get me, drinking underage!
And parents don't know which way to turn.
I think she's a spoilt little cow. She treats me like a slave...
I'm not coming back today, by the way. See you in 20 years!
-Do not swear at me!
-Dad, just be quiet!
This year, 12 wayward British teens
volunteered to experience firm discipline and strict rules,
in the far corners of the globe.
-Move out! Move out!
-Just move out!
Don't be so useless, man. Come on!
The world does not revolve around you.
Trying to walk away, she's following me.
We find out if their experiences made any lasting impression
on their lives back home.
The Lees made me think, Yeah, I can do it. I can do it.
"If I want to do it, just go for it."
I am just gobsmacked.
It's just like a new kid, you know.
It was definitely the best experience so far, in my life.
I would not go back if you paid me. I couldn't stand 'em.
Five months ago,
Hamzah Wali always liked to act the big man.
Spending time hitting the town with his mates
was more important than studying mechanics at college.
Absent, absent, absent... no, Mum,
I don't need those exams...
No, I don't, Mum. Relax.
I'm not lying.
Hamzah's behaviour had his traditional
Pakistani family fearing the worst.
They pick and choose for me. I don't want that.
To me, it seems as if Hamzah's just lost that respect,
and he's lost himself.
Privately educated schoolgirl Charlie Denny
treated life like one big joke.
There's nothing serious to my life
and I refuse to take anything seriously.
Come and get me, I'm drinking under age.
I'll go out about three or four times a week,
down nine or ten pints.
Bringing Charlotte up has been a very,
very challenging experience,
from day one.
She has been somebody who does not accept
the word, "no".
To make matters worse,
dad Bob has multiple sclerosis,
a disease that attacks nerves in the brain cells and spinal cord.
But no-one talked about it.
She was quite young when you were first diagnosed,
probably four or five,
and probably too young to understand what it was then.
I don't really talk to my dad about my future or anything
cos he's probably got his own stuff going on, you know,
and you know why would he want to hear about that?
-Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, too.
The British teens were sent over 6,000 miles to South Africa,
to live with the du Toit-de Vos family in Plettenberg Bay.
Mums Anna-Marie and Suzanne
fought to change the laws preventing gay couples from adopting children -
and won. They successfully raised
two children together.
As long as you live in this house,
doesn't matter whether you are 22 or 12,
you have to follow our rules and principles,
Charlie and Hamzah
had no idea who they would be staying with.
-Are those two blokes?
-No, don't say that. I think that's a woman.
Actually, no, is it two women?
Oi, there's two women, what the...
I didn't want to get out, I didn't want to meet these maties, bro...
You going? I ain't going. Arrr...
'And then, like, we got out and met them and I was just
thinking to myself, "Raw, man."
Like you could just, straight away, tell,
my face just dropped.
-As soon as Suzanne hugged me, I thought,
"Why is she hugging me? She don't even know me.
"What's going on here?" I mean, I wasn't used to that.
Definitely wasn't used to that. I thought to myself,"Raw, bro,
"where's the other one? If this one's hugging me,
-"what's the other one going to do?" Know what I mean?
Me and Hamzah instantly knew which one was the disciplined one
and which one was the kind motherly type,
cos we got Anna-Marie, handshake, Suzanne, hug,
and I was thinking, "I know who's in charge."
"That's it, I've been put in my place."
Barrister Anna-Marie ran a tight ship,
wasting no time laying down the law.
No drinking, no drugs,
no sex or obscene language whilst staying with us.
Definitely no smoking in the house.
We get up at six thirty...
I've got a problem with that.
You won't have a problem.
I thought, "I'm not taking rules from women." Fuck that, I'm a man.
They've got to take rules from me you know, that's how it's going to work.
It's six thirty.
As part of the du Toit-de Vos family,
the British teens were expected to pitch in with the daily running
of the farm.
I feel like a slave.
Fuck this, I ain't doing this, man.
I think it was eight minutes, I'd say,
eight minutes before I chucked the spade and walked off,
I gave up that quick.
Listen, Hamzah, I'm not quite sure where you think you are.
Look at me when I speak to you.
You are a child in this house.
I am your parent while your parents are not here, OK?
I don't care whether you like planting trees.
I don't care whether you think it's a good idea
or whether it's purposeless or purposeful.
You know what I care about,
I care about the fact that you, at the moment,
are living a purposeless life,
and you know that and that's why you are here.
Put down that cigarette.
-Can I finish it?
I have had enough of you, kill that cigarette now.
Just do me a favour and for once put some
effort into your life.
Don't be so useless, man - come on!
My mum wouldn't come up to my face and do that,
and a woman doing that, the way she
came up to my face and had a go at me,
the way she told me to throw my cigarette away and get in the car
and she was still having a go at me,
so I definitely respected her much more,
and saw her in a different light.
Hamzah will never forget the day Anna-Marie took him to the township
to rebuild a shack.
Definitely made me appreciate a lot of things I've got at home,
cos they don't have nothing, and I felt so bad for them,
and I was thinking I need to appreciate more things.
What do you think, hey?
-That looks crazy, that does.
-Isn't that brilliant?
It made me appreciate what Anna-Marie did for me, and me not putting effort in
is just a big smack in their face.
The last time I dug a hole, yeah,
I moaned like a little girl, I admit that.
And I was a bit stupid, I didn't, you know, see the point of doing it,
but this time I'm doing it, I'm really enjoying it
and I never thought I would enjoy it this much,
and I just want to say, "Thank you so much." Honestly...
It's an absolute, absolute pleasure. Thank you.
That's all right.
When I went there and helped out and I realized, man, you know
I can do this stuff at home, you know, if I can do it here.
Charlie finally opened up about her feelings,
when Suzanne took her to an animal rescue mission.
It's all right, it's all right.
There we go.
The owners stabbed him
because they couldn't afford to feed him
and they don't want him back.
I just think that's, you know, that's awful.
The animal shelter got to me.
It's just, like, all these sweet animals and putting them down,
it was just, like, awful.
What you did today made a big difference.
A really big difference.
I hope so.
Absolutely. And it was a braver thing than most people do in...
their lives, sometimes.
It was so nice to hear that Suzanne telling me how I made her proud,
and I thought, "I just want to do that with my own parents."
I didn't really do anything to make them proud
and that was a bit nasty and made me feel I wasn't achieving anything,
wasn't getting on with anything.
Goodbye, my sweetheart. You look after yourself.
I want to say thank you so much
for giving us the opportunity
and you are lovely parents
and I have a lot of love for you.
I didn't want to go home, I wanted to stay,
I wanted to lose my passport, something, please,
cos they did so much for us in that week, and it went so quick,
so, you know, I was a little sad that I had to go.
I know someone who will be pleased to see you.
God, it's been ten days.
Hello, sweetie. How are you? All right?
Before her trip to South Africa,
Charlie never talked to her dad about her feeling on his illness.
It worries me sometimes, Dad. It's not like I can pretend
it's not happening.
It might be helpful for you to read
some of the notes from the neurologist,
cos you're growing up now and that will give you some insight,
what might or might not happen, we don't know.
I said, "Dad, we need to talk about this."
He starts mentioning letters from the neurologist and I'm thinking,
"No, Dad, it's not about letters from someone else,
"it's about the words coming from your mouth,
"what you're saying,
"not about what some other guy has written a report about you, you know,
"it's not about that,
"it's about our relationship about us talking..."
and so I think that's definitely helped us open up
and we're definitely getting on much better now.
You can't go in there, no, what are you doing?
So turn it... that's it, that's better...
Maybe the life experience that she's had in South Africa
has triggered her to think about
other people a little bit more
and that includes us.
I'll just fold all this, then, yeah.
My life was in the gutter, I'll tell you that, but now it's not,
I'm seeing things, quite, in a positive side, you know,
I'm getting along with people,
I'm enjoying life more than I used to.
-I love you!
Hamzah understands what I think family values are now,
and he does value that time
whether that be spending five minutes with my mum,
or whether that's five minutes with my dad,
Don't get emotional, chill...relax!
I have been kind of focusing on my religion as well a bit more.
I've started to go to the mosque, so it's a good thing
and Mum and Dad are happy with that.
Before Hamzah went away he wasn't praying at all.
In that sense I think he's proud of himself that he is trying
and then it's making my parents quite proud of him as well.
If it weren't for Anna-Marie and Suzanne
I wouldn't have seen the stuff that I saw
and the way I'd be feeling,
and the way, how I open up and that, so
I would thank them for making me see you don't need drugs,
you don't need alcohol, you don't need cigarettes,
all this kind of stuff to have a good time.
stop swearing - what's wrong with you?
Want me to leave the kettle on the cooker?
She will not be told about anything, thinks she knows everything.
Three months ago, 17-year-old Shola Bruce-Coker
only cared about how she looked.
She wants to shock people all the time
with her appearance, her language...
she loves to stand out in a crowd, loves to be the centre of attention.
Having done OK at GCSEs,
Shola preferred to study the boys
instead of the books.
She's done exams, I've never seen her revise,
she thinks she's failed already before she's even got the results.
Her mother Andrea was at her wits' end.
If this is how she's spending her free time,
I'm glad I've seen it in my own home
to know she's more out of control than I thought.
I love this girl!
The party doesn't start until I get there!
Joining Shola was 18-year-old Joiee Birch,
who was binge drinking in order to fit in with the crowd.
Your inhibitions go away
so it's easier to like, talk to people,
to make new friends, to make conversation.
Joiee was a shy youngster
and always found it hard to make friends.
Unfortunately for him there was nobody around the area
of his age or that he got on with.
He's very much a loner
and suddenly now he's gone the opposite way,
he's got a large circle of friends
who we know very little about, to be truthful.
Despite being talented at art,
Joiee had flunked out of college
and spent last year boozing and partying.
I just feel like I don't really have much direction
and I think that's partly why I go out and get wasted
because you don't have to think about reality,
you just sort of escape it.
-I'm Joiee, nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
Shola and Joiee were sent to Gurgaon in Northern India,
to stay in a luxury gated community with the Virk family.
For an uncontrolled child,
definitely whoever comes to live with us
we're definitely a match for them.
Education is key to the Virks.
In 18 days if you tell me there's no Chemistry, well, I'm a fool.
I am where I am today due to education, you know.
If there is any page on which you are not circled red
then you can let me know.
And if we can shape our children, we can shape any child.
Arriving in India,
Joiee immediately resorted to alcohol to deal with his stress.
I had this bottle of gin and I thought,
"Put some in a water bottle",
so I can disguise it because it's clear.
I didn't know if they were going to search us or anything like that
so I just thought, "I have to be like one step ahead of them."
Oh, my God,
I can see them.
With introductions out of the way,
the dad, Ashwani, got straight to the point.
Wear respectable Indian and Western clothes, Indian girls definitely,
respect is to cover their body.
I'm in India but I'm not Indian.
Sometimes, someone's image means a lot to someone.
-Of course. The most important, drinking liquor.
-What, like alcohol? No.
Obviously, I'm wasn't just going to give up my fags and booze.
Like, what would be the point in going there and being like,
"By the way, I brought some alcohol and some cigarettes." No.
Let's go and get drunk.
The teens' cunning plan to deceive the family had worked.
It was part of my plan to be sly and see how much we could get away with.
I like to think I'm pretty clever at being pretty cunning.
This is day one and I'm already calling time out, you know what I mean?
No-one's clocked, I don't think.
No-one's really... I think they think we're a bit weird.
But Joiee paid a heavy price when he was woken at 6am the next morning.
-Joiee, good morning.
-Oh! 'Honestly, I've never had such a bad hangover.'
Oh, my God, my head was pounding so bad. I've never felt so... It was horrible.
I think hangovers in India are ten times worse than this country.
But if it wasn't the booze, it was the fags.
The minute Shola and Joiee got to school, they sparked up.
We're rebels, we don't care.
We started smoking as soon as we got there, obviously.
I was stressed out about the whole thing.
I wasn't taking it seriously, I thought it was just a laugh.
-When the security guard came and asked me...
Suspecting more contraband, the head ordered a search.
Where are you going?
With gin stashed away, Joiee wasn't keen to co-operate.
-Get off me, please.
-Please! Let me calm down then.
Oh, just get off me!
I was saying they're not going to search my bag. I was defiant on that.
But, they weren't backing down either, so I was like, "Fucking hell."
I was freaked out, to be honest. I'd had enough then.
Change for Joiee came after he was thrown out of school
and dad Ashwani tried to understand his bad behaviour.
I think it's good the fact they want to sit down and talk to you
and if you've any problems, you get them aired out in the open.
Everyone says what they think and, after it, you feel a lot better because...
..it's, like, resolved.
Whereas in my house, there are issues that carry on.
There's never a resolution.
Sparks flew when Shola refused to wear a headscarf
in honour of Ashwani's dead father.
You can't just walk out, you have to finish this argument right now.
-Or you walk out of the house from here?
-I'm not going out.
-You can't go out.
-You want me to take you out?
-I'm getting a fucking light.
-You said "fucking".
-JOIEE: I think she's being disrespectful.
-Why are you using this word?
-What's your problem?
-"What's your problem?" Don't say "fucking" in my house.
-Get off me!
-Just move out of my house!
-Get off me!
-Don't try to... Get off me!
-Just move out! You're not allowed here.
I don't even remember what he looked like at time, it was such adrenaline.
I just remember him chucking me out.
-Just move out!
-That's what I'm doing. Get off me! I swear to God!
As soon as he shut the door on my face, it was like reality.
In London, if that happened, I'd have friends to stay at. I know my way around.
But, in India, I was completely isolated from everything and everyone. I didn't have a choice.
I had to literally sit outside and think about what I was going to do.
I definitely thought it was disrespectful
the fact that she kicked off the way she did.
But, I think,
I don't know, she probably figured out in the end that she was in the wrong.
I didn't mean to disrespect, I over-reacted.
It's really hurt me, by doing what I've done to you, also. Shola.
Go and sleep and be ready for the morning.
Even at the time, I didn't think I was right, after he kicked me out, but,
I didn't want to have to go in.
I hate saying sorry to people. I hate it. I never say sorry to people.
So it was really weird. When I eventually said sorry to him, is like a big difference.
The next day, Shola was on her best behaviour at the temple.
Surprisingly, I am less bothered about my appearance unless it's a big event.
Like, I don't mind going down to Sainsbury's in my pyjamas.
I'm not fussed.
I don't mind just having no make-up on.
When Joiee returned to school, he left the booze and fags behind.
Who wants to talk about the poster they made? Who will come forward?
Joiee, do you want to take your turn? Would you like to talk about it?
I made my poster. Obviously, it's about water conservation.
My slogan is "conserving water in the present for a better future".
Because, obviously, like, you need to, like, prepare for the future,
-um, by, like, acting now, yeah? That's my poster.
-It's very nice.
It makes you appreciate the fact that I might have thrown away
all my education and I didn't give a shit.
It makes you think, "Right, OK, I got it fucked up in the past."
But I'm keen to sort of get more focused on the future.
Having found his voice in public, Joiee made a discovery.
All gone. 'I've learned here you can deal with problems in other ways.'
I don't feel I need the alcohol any more. There's no reason to have it.
It's definitely made me realise how important family is in the grand scheme of things.
Seeing them, bonding with them as a family,
in a short amount of time, made me want a better relationship with my mum and dad. Definitely.
-You, too. And take care of your mum, as well. Both of you.
When I spent time with the mum over there,
it made me want to spend more time back in London with my mum.
Because, maybe, that's why our relationship isn't that great.
-I've missed you so much. Honestly, I really have.
-I missed you.
Get over that side.
I'm definitely a lot calmer. That's the one thing I have noticed.
Before the trip I was stressed about everything. I'd like argue about everything.
But I've been so calm since I got back. Everything is just easy.
Now you've got black hair you can wear any colour.
I just don't want to stand out. I'll look like a big flower.
Her future does look better than before she went away
because she was not bothered about even going back to college.
"If I fail all my lessons, it doesn't matter.
"I can just go out and get a job." She thinks it is that easy. I think now she realises
it's harder to get a job, she needs qualifications and she needs to carry on in college.
I can see a lot more glimpses of the caring, sharing Shola that she used to be.
It is little steps but eventually I think she'll get there.
-Are you all right?
-I'm fine. Hiya.
-Did you have a good time, kidda?
-It's been fantastic.
I think like it made me realise, being in India, how much my parents do actually do for me.
It's made me want to like give back a little bit, and help out.
It's not such a bad thing really.
It's easier to help out when you're sober.
If you're hungover, it's horrible. But...!
I definitely would say he's happier. And happier to be at home and be around us
and not trying to get out with his friends all the time.
Since I've been home I think I have definitely had more of a focus.
Like doing my artwork is something I shouldn't have given up on.
Being in India did sort of reignite that spark.
to have some motivation and actually do something I'm pretty good at.
Guys, it's all about me. It's going to be about me anyway!
Five months ago, 17-year-old Georgie Weare's behaviour
-had spiralled out of control.
Any attempt at challenging her wasn't worth the angry outburst.
Have you washed your hands?
-It's Georgie's way or no way.
-What?! Don't stare at me!
She's smashed things, her language is atrocious.
She's just a cow really.
Georgie's parents had had an acrimonious divorce,
which was tough on her as the youngest.
-You look very smart.
-You look very horrible.
-Big day, isn't it?
-You're a bitch!
I've built up a character of having to be bolshie and loud.
This is the real Georgie and I feel like having a good drink, having a laugh!
I was so far down a road, you can't really turn around.
Joining Georgie was 17-year-old Manchester party boy Callum Watson.
On a good night out we go in a bar, just have a ball really. It's what you are going out for.
But it was not just his binge drinking that was worrying his mum.
I have took LSD, cocaine, ecstasy...
..weed, MDMA, ketamine. All fun though really!
The worst thing for me is some policeman knocking on my door
telling me that they've dragged a body out of the canal.
With parties and socialising taking priority, Callum struggled with college.
Callum was pulling As and Bs.
Now he's pulling Ds. I think he's already had a warning saying he might have to resit the year.
I'm not getting out of bed. I don't want to yet.
I can't be arsed with much. I'm just a lazy person.
-Let's have a hug.
-Nice to meet you. What's your name?
The British teens were sent to Charlotte, North Carolina,
to live with Chinese-American family, the Lees.
The Lees had strong family values
and very high expectations of their two children.
In a traditional Chinese family, we're all thinking that education is the most important thing.
My children all understand if they don't do well
they will bring shame to the family.
They will face the consequences.
No way! Oh no!
-Zsa Zsa? Hello.
-Benjamin, Benjamin Lee.
In England you don't really see Chinese people have big houses.
You just see them like in the Chinese place down there or something like that!
Or in the chippies! You don't expect to see them with massive houses. It was a culture shock, basically.
They were stood there on the steps, big cheesy smiles on their face.
I was like, "Oh my God, they're robots!"
Rule number one, respect your parents and elders at all times.
Yeah, that's all right. If we give you respect, we get respect back.
Smoking and drinking are off limits.
Absolutely no drugs.
Do you have any contraband that we should be aware of?
-Just like, smoke or anything?
-No, I haven't.
-Are you sure?
-The rules are shit.
-Yeah, I know.
-I will have cigarettes.
When somebody says you can't smoke it makes you want to smoke a lot more.
So if they were to say, "Right, you're allowed a few", it doesn't bother me.
But if they say no completely, that's just awful.
It's just... it's completely stupid. It was a stupid rule.
-We've got to go.
-And rules are made to be broken.
-Would you like to hand over your smokes?
-If I can just have that one and then that's it.
-There! Have it!
Looking back on how I reacted, I could have done it differently.
I could have sat down and talked to them, but instead I stormed off.
And that was how I reacted at the time.
When Benjamin took the teens and son Alex to the local rescue mission,
relationships with the family took a major turn for the worse.
Yours is really clean. Can we swap because you've got a really easy one? And you're a good child. So, thanks!
I'm not switching because it's easier for you,
-I'm doing this because I'll do a better job.
This is the first time Alex come out of his perfect shell. I don't know why he did it.
I was like, how dare you? You've known me for a day. You're not better than me.
-I didn't say I was. I said I can do a better job on this.
-Am I here doing it? Yes.
-You're being forced to.
-If I didn't want to, I wouldn't do it.
I don't do what I don't want to. If I didn't want to do it I'd be sunbathing. But I'm doing it.
You make me not want to with your attitude. Don't talk to me like that, end of.
-You have the worst attitude of anyone I know.
-I don't care.
When he said I had the worst attitude, I wasn't that shocked. I have heard from so many people.
I know myself that then I had quite a stinking attitude
and didn't give anyone the time of day.
But it annoyed me because he didn't even know me yet.
They really were not doing that good of a job today.
I think that they're perfectly OK with this because this is how they behave normally.
George, I don't think you did a good job today.
Alex talked to me. Come on.
She jumped in before she understood everything. She was lucky that I walked away.
I was so angry... Oh!
Were you there? Were you there?
You where not there, that is the end of it. I am very frustrated right now.
-You just lie!
-Do not yell at my mom.
Listen to how she's talking to me, and say I didn't fucking try! I am pissed off!
The world does not revolve around you.
I am trying to fucking walk away and she is following me.
'She was chasing me around the house, shouting, "You're a liar!
"you're a liar!" I was like, I am not a liar.
-You are acting like a very bad kid.
'I hated her so much.'
If she came up to me and apologised to me, fair enough, I am not going to hold a grudge, I'm not going
to be horrible to her, but she didn't, and she should have in my eyes. I still think that today.
Her relationship with Zsa Zsa never recovered. Benjamin did not give up,
and took her to the Dove's Nest, the women's section of the rescue mission.
That is so hard! You, like, jumped! I can't do that.
I can't do that, that is so hard.
Ah, I've lost a wheel!
The reason I got on so well with women is that they didn't expect anything from me.
The took it as a clean sheet. They just let me be me.
I have been a teenager, now I am a mom. So I get to see both.
Georgie's turning point came
when she opened up to Cindi about her relationship with her mum.
We do not talk at all.
She is out to lunch and doing this and this, and I'm doing my thing, we're just so separated.
Is hard at is is for you to talk to her, I am sure that is for her.
I didn't know how to talk to my kids.
-I love you.
-I love you, too. You taught me a lot.
I think the Dove's Nest opened my eyes a lot.
Because these women are trying
so hard for something I already have. Like, a family.
I realise that I already have that at home and I'm taking it for granted.
Callum's wake up call happened when he got to know Rico, a former drug addict.
One of the things that I wish that I could go back and change was the drugs and alcohol.
For so many years, I got high. But drugs made me happy.
Made me, you know, I like getting high.
I never knew that eventually it would almost kill me.
It kind of reminded me of me a little bit.
It was kind of thinking, "Right, if I don't stop, I could end up where they are."
And I know I'm smart, I have this ambition to get, like, and go
and teach, but if I carry on taking drugs I am not going to reach it.
-I'll miss you.
-I'll miss you, too.
The Lees made me think "I can do it."
If I want to do it I can do it. Just go for it.
I would easily rather have stayed at the Dove's Nest than at the Lees' house.
I would not go back to the Lees, even if you paid me.
-I couldn't stand them.
-And the feeling was mutual.
I do hope the best for her, but at the same time I am glad she's gone.
-Oh, freedom! Hello.
-Are you all right?
I definitely have a better relationship with my mum since I have come back.
I find it easier to talk to her. I think I have a lot more patience now.
I still believe there is a lot more that I can do. I do agree with that.
But I think I have gone a long way from what I was when I was
so angry and always so abusive and everything.
My communication was just terrible.
I do think that overall, it has improved a lot.
You are too aggressive! You are too competitive.
I feel we still have a long way to go,
but I think we are heading in the right direction now. It is getting better. Slowly better.
I don't care any more!
Thank you very much.
Since going to North Carolina, it has changed my life, it really has.
I think the harmony has been restored in the house,
in the fact that I know when to respect my mum
and it has put my ambition back on the right track.
I want to know when I'm going to go, how I'm going to do it,
and if I ever need help I can always ask the Lee family.
Treats you like a baby, doesn't he, mate? 'Callum knows he has to have self-discipline.'
That if you want to achieve, HE'S got to do it. I can't drag him there.
He has to drag himself.
I have got a young man, with aspirations
and the drive to go through his aspirations now.
I got two Bs is in biology, two Cs in chemistry and a C and a B in drama.
-'I am very glad I went on it.'
It was an experience I will never forget.
I will never forget the Lee family for what they have done.
-I just want money!
-I ain't got no money. I gave you - what did I tell you?
-I don't care, just give me money.
-No, you've got no money.
You get your own money now, yeah? That's what's going to happen.
Two months ago, spoiled college dropout Remzi Tomlin took everything from his father.
-Can I just have money?
-How much do you need?
-I don't know, just money.
I will just give you a tenner, that is all I've got.
Remzi blew all his dad's money on clothes and parties.
If I see something I buy it, even though I don't need it.
I know I am spoiled, but if they said no when I was younger,
I wouldn't be like this.
Joining him a 16-year-old Btyony Harris, who had a very short fuse.
I'll get you a drink, but I'll get you a small bottle.
Dad, that is what you always do! Fucking hell!
Bryony, please, stop swearing.
Bryony's anger meant that she was kicked out of every school
she had ever attended.
She can get quite angry if she can't get her own way.
I get so angry, I can literally feel it all... It's horrible.
Even talking about being angry... makes me angry. I hate it.
With Bryony's future at a standstill,
dad Bill had run out of options.
I think she is a spoiled little cow, yeah. That's my own fault.
She treats me like a slave. She seems to have no respect for me.
I feel like from the time I get up in the morning,
to the time I go to bed, it's just a constant battle.
Hi, I'm Bryony.
-I'm Remzi. Nervous?
-Yeah, really nervous.
The teens were sent to Buenos Aires in Argentina
to live with the strict Bustamante family.
The first and most important rule in our house
is to follow the rules.
The Bustamante system of parenting worked by their kids earning rights.
If they respect the rules, they can go to parties.
If they don't respect the school rules or our rules,
they know that the answer is no.
Oh, my God, imagine if we lived there, look at that.
Look at them houses.
They better be rich. I can't sit in a hut.
'It was horrible, I thought we were going...'
..to stay in a slum, all these buildings falling down and stuff.
Oh, I wasn't happy.
You felt like you were in a different country
when you went in the gated community.
It was just like America. It was crazy.
Just to see, outside this wall was a slum
where people are like starving and stuff,
and then you've got people that...
I don't know, it's just crazy.
Dad Gonzalo had a military upbringing
and was quick to give the orders.
The first rule is respect the rules of our family.
As we tell our kids, school is your job.
You're going to go to school.
No, I'm not fucking going to school.
When we first got told the rules, we were a bit like,
"some of these rules are a bit stupid." We didn't care,
we were like, "We're not going to stick to these, what the hell?"
On the teens' first day at school,
Bryony's anger got the better of her.
-You don't want to read and you don't want to work, it's OK.
Yeah, but you're being disrespectful with that attitude.
I can't deal with fucking English.
'I've already been to school, I've finished school now'
and I didn't want to be sitting listening to English.
I do get a bit claustrophobic, and I was getting so angry,
'so I was like, fine, I'll just have a cigarette here,
'but then she snapped it.
'And then I was trying to get out, it was a bit of a struggle.'
-You fucking what!?
-Don't touch me.
Don't you fucking do that!
Fucking move now!
'But in the end I did push her a bit, a little bit.'
-Do you want a punch?!
-Do you want a punch?!
-I don't need to be aggressive.
'I just felt bad about it, I wish I didn't do it,
'cos pushing someone's just harsh'
and there's no need for that, she was just trying to help.
The turning point for the teens came
when they helped out at a small nursery school in a slum.
Never been to a place like this before in my life.
'When we drove through the gated community to the slums,
'there was a river of shit, basically,'
and houses falling into it, and I was just amazed.
I was really scared.
They're all just staring. I was like, "I could die."
I was convinced I was going to die!
SHE SPEAKS SPANISH
Bryony and Remzi.
'I feel like such a mug, like.'
Them kids, instead of going out roaming the streets,
I have gone to... basically a youth club -
what these two amazing people have built on the back of their house -
Over here, you don't get that but there, it's all about education
so you don't have to be in that slum.
It was just mind-blowing, I think.
The teens were asked to redecorate one of the classrooms.
Is it going in?
Bits on the side, so that's fine.
'They haven't got much but it's a lot to them.'
They're happy, I didn't think they would be but they're happy.
It's made me realise that I don't really need all the stuff I've got
and I get angry if I don't get what I want.
When Gonzalo discovered the teens had been expelled from school,
he said they had to earn the right to continue their work at the slum.
Thursday, I think you are not going again, to the activity.
You have to earn it.
But we're not earning, we're helping people who are less fortunate.
You won't even let us help people?
If you want to go back...
you know, effort, OK?
'When he said we weren't allowed to go back unless we made an effort,'
I think it hit us, especially me, cos I've really enjoyed it so much
and I think everything changed then.
Looking back now, I really understand why he did it.
It wasn't because he didn't want us to go,
it was because... we didn't deserve to go.
To prove to Gonzalo they could change,
the teens spent a day doing chores.
And as a reward, they returned to the slums to finish the job.
Going into that slum, I think that was the highlight of the experience.
I was just so proud.
We did a whole room and painted it in like, two days.
It's the first time I've done something for someone
and actually enjoyed it and wanted to do it again.
I just want to carry on.
They all want to thank you very much for having done the painting
and the drawings
and they're very grateful.
CHILDREN: Thank you!
When I finished that wall,
after we'd painted it and the kids put their hands on it,
it was...it was just amazing, it does make me more happy, thinking,
"I've finished that and they're probably still enjoying it."
-Thank you so much.
-I love you.
-I love you, too.
It was horrible, I didn't want to say goodbye.
I didn't want to let go, I just couldn't stop crying.
Didn't want to get in the car and go.
-Thanks for everything, you have made a big effort.
-No, you've made an excellent effort.
I thought family was nothing, I could stop talking to them when I'm older,
they don't matter to me, but...
Your family, like, they're there for you no matter what.
Your friends could just go away and leave you
but family are there forever.
Yeah, I did appreciate my family more after that.
How's it going, give us a cuddle. Aw, that's nice!
Good to see you, son. You been all right, yeah?
Since I've been back,
I try and get up at ten, have a shower,
eat breakfast and I'll wash up,
hoover, then wipe down all the sides and mop if I can.
I may seem nothing to me cos it only takes me half an hour,
but to my dad - it's a huge difference.
He used to come home and have to clean up my mess,
and wash up after doing a nine-hour shift.
It was really selfish and horrible.
I really, honestly didn't think that this day would ever come.
I'm just...gobsmacked that he's changed everything.
He's just like a new kid, you know?!
My dad's wallet was like, my little piggy bank
but now I'd think, "Do I need it for the day?"
That's the best thing - not just taking money that I don't need.
-All right, babe?
I'll pass it to you, all right?
Since I've been back,
I just respect things more
and I respect what I've got.
I keep my room tidier, I tidy up, I wash up for my dad.
I put my washing and ironing upstairs now, and stuff.
Just little things, it does help and what I didn't think would help,
it does, it makes a big difference, really.
I'm proud of Bryony for putting herself up
and she's growing up, every day she's changing
and I think she will find some kind of direction in the near future.
It was a life-changing experience.
I don't shut up about it, I love it, even the arguments.
If there were no arguments, I wouldn't have learnt anything.
It was definitely the best...the best experience so far in my life.
Three months ago, 18-year-old party girl Jade Bare
was driving her mum to distraction.
Her all-night boozing was out of control.
Start out getting drunk at a friend's house or my house -
drink a bit.
On the way here - drink a bit.
Go to a bar - drink a bit.
Get here - drink a bit, by the time we leave...legless!
It's getting out of hand and it's painful.
To see somebody just... literally destroy themselves.
We can't walk in our fucking nice heels! What's your problem?!
Jade's dad died two years ago
and her drinking spiralled.
I really, really, really loved my dad.
He was a proper, main part in my life.
Now he's gone, I don't care about anyone else.
If I wasn't going out I'd just be depressed.
But since I go out, I just think it's fun.
I don't think there's a point of life if you're not going to go out.
Over in Swindon,
Connor Jones' weed addiction was tearing his family apart.
I smoked it once a week, twice a week
and then it got to three times a week and now it's every day.
I now have to smoke more than £10's worth.
His family even believed he'd stolen money from them.
Connor, your brother had £10 in his wallet.
I never touched it.
-So, who took it, then?
I've sat and cried on me own, and thought, "Where've I gone wrong?"
I'm just hoping in a few years' time that he realises what he's doing.
It wasn't just his mum who was affected by his behaviour.
I'm a dad. He's six, eh, seven months now. A little kid called Lewis.
I was with the girl for eight months and she fell pregnant,
so she had the kid
and I haven't really paid any attention to it, to be honest.
For the first two months he was a really good dad,
and then after that he just started fading away.
If I had a tenner, I'd think,
"Lewis and weed - shit, I'd actually buy weed with it."
-You all right?
The teens were sent 5,000 miles away to Seattle,
on the west coast of America, to stay with Smith Irwin family.
Lord God, bless this food...
Rob and Denise are devout Christians with strong views on parenting.
Quite often when I'm having conversations I will use the term,
WWJD - What Would Jesus Do?
After an accident left her paralysed,
Denise and Rob's rock-solid faith helped them through.
You know, every step of our lives and our decisions
are strongly based on a Christian fundamental belief.
To us, it's basically a daily part of life.
-Hi, how are you?
Connor, Jade, could you guys come down here?
We'll have a quick talk.
I didn't really care about the rules cos I knew I'd break them anyway
so it was just like...
First and primary things that we insist on is that
we don't permit drinking, smoking.
No alcohol, no cannabis, no cigarettes.
Is there no way we can smoke anywhere outside the house?
We're expecting that you're going to give up cigarettes
-and there is not going to be any smoking this week.
-I will not give up my cigarettes.
Sitting at that table then was so stressful, horrible.
You're just sat there, your brain's hurting,
you've been listening to his dull voice for ages.
You're like, "Come on." I just thought, "I'm going for a cigarette.
"I've had enough of this."
An hour after hearing the house rules, the teens were lighting up.
What a twat. At the end of the day, I want to smoke.
It's my choice to smoke if I enjoy smoking.
At the moment, I'm enjoying smoking, aren't I?
It's like zombified in that house. They need livening up a little bit.
They need some fucking alcohol in them, that's what they need.
The second day of their stay in Seattle was Independence Day.
So you guys know we're going over to a party this evening
and there's going to be some alcohol there.
We don't want to take any of that.
'I didn't really think it was a party because it actually wasn't a party.'
No-one was having fun. People were obviously having their own fun
'in their own way, but I didn't think it was fun.'
It was the shittest party I've ever been to.
The Independence party was awful.
'It was so bad. Everybody was just standing around like sardines
'and had one or two beers.'
If that was me, I'd be on my ass halfway through that party.
With free booze up for grabs,
it wasn't long before the teens were breaking the rules again.
It wasn't technically stealing cos they were giving it away.
It's just that we weren't allowed it.
'Technically, it was just borrowing. I should have put it back,'
but it was like an alcopop. I don't feel guilty. Connor might.
What is there to feel guilty about?
When you're used to drinking vodka and Sambuca and stuff
'that is just juice.'
The following day was a turning point for Jade and Connor.
Is there anything you need to tell me
that happened yesterday at the party?
I was completely lying out of my ass, it was awful.
Every sentence I said was a big lie.
'It was really bad cos they brought Connor out first came out first.'
I was just like, oh my God, what if he said, yeah, and then I say, no?
Or what if he says, no, and I say, yeah? I got really scared.
But then when Connor was walking past he said, no, so I was like, OK.
My initial feeling is that...
I believe you
and I'd like to continue believing and trusting you.
I feel so guilty. I feel so guilty.
'They are all big about trust and they said they believed us'
and they trust us so I feel like shit, to be honest, about it.
The Smith Irwins were determined to show Jade and Connor their future
if they didn't stop drinking and smoking.
So they sent them to a local homeless refuge.
'I walked through the door
'and I just wanted to turn around and never go back.
'That place was awful. It was like a zoo.'
It was awful. I didn't like it at all.
'I actually really didn't want to be there.'
It sounds really rude but I felt really dirty.
What you'll find is it's fun for now
and you'll have friends who will party with you but let's say
you don't have the money to buy the drinks
and you don't have the money to get the pot,
those friends are going to fade away.
You're going to be possibly doing stuff
that you never considered yourself doing.
'Some of them have had really hard lives
'but some girls went from just being like me in school'
going out, having fun and now look where they are.
It made me realise I probably shouldn't drink as much.
'The biggest thing I learned was completely, stay off weed
'and not take anything for granted. I'm definitely glad'
weed's out of my life cos I was always associated
as a big weedhead and stuff like that.
All the time, I'd get texts saying, "Are you coming out for a smoke?"
I still occasionally get ones now but at the end of the day
I don't really want that any more.
As the week drew to a close, Denise wanted to understand
the reason behind Jade's drinking.
My dad died when I was 15...
Yeah, just before my 16th birthday.
-That was fairly recent?
Do you miss your dad?
I don't know. I'd rather just, like, forget it.
You know, if you think about it and you talk about it,
instead of bottling things up,
if you let things out and discuss them, you feel better inside.
I don't know.
'It doesn't make sense'
but it was like, my dad's just gone away, he's coming back.
That's what I was thinking, that's why I was like, whatever.
But when I went away, I talked to Denise
and it actually made me realise that my dad ain't coming back
and there's nothing I can do to get him back.
So it was like, oh, I might as well grieve or whatever you call it.
Change came for Connor when he attended an activity day
for disabled children.
'It reminded me a lot of my son, of how I could be a dad to my son.
'I did feel good that I was having the experience'
but I felt really guilty cos we went to the park
and we were playing all these games
'and then I would never have done that with my son.'
Do you want me to clip them up for you?
'It really made me want to be a better dad. It completely changed'
the perspective I had over being a dad.
If I show you...
Go like that and then like that.
Do you understand?
'When we went kayaking, all he wanted to do was go faster
'and faster and I was really making the effort for him to go faster.'
I kept picturing my son's head on the back of his head.
I really wanted him there.
I just want to say goodbye. Thanks a lot for coming out this week.
Thanks for having me.
Their time with the Smith Irwins had come to an end.
I've realised that everything I was doing was ruining my life'
instead of making it better.
-Hello, stranger. How are you?
'When my dad died, I just think'
I kind of blamed it on my mum.
But now I don't blame it on my mum, I don't blame anyone.
'Being away made Jade realise that...'
..the way she treats me is not right.
It made me realise mum isn't going to be here for ever.
You should cherish all the time that you have with your parents.
'She should try and remember the positive things
'she had with her dad.'
Time is the greatest healer.
-I missed you.
Yeah. How was your week?
I missed you as well, mate.
'The biggest change in Connor and the thing I'm most pleased about is'
him stopping smoking weed. That has made such a difference
'to his mannerisms, his health, his attitude,'
totally different personality, totally different.
That's the thing I'm most happy about.
Before I went, my relationship with my mum was awful.
'But when I got back, we were just like best friends,
'like bread and butter.
'Everything we do together. We go for walks.'
We go to the cinema. It's just like little things we do with each other.
It's really good. We get along.
'We still have our little arguments but every family has arguments
'but it's not like it was at all.'
'I'm really proud of him. Before,'
he didn't love himself, couldn't be bothered.
I'm really proud of him.
'I've been seeing Lewis a bit more since I've been back
'and it's a lot better.'
He's actually starting to realise I'm his dad
and it's really nice to see him smile with me and know who I am.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
We catch up with ten terrible teenagers and find out if their experiences of strict parenting abroad made any lasting change on their lives back home.
Hamzah Wali's traditional Pakistani parents wanted their son to pray at the mosque and read the Koran, but Hamzah was more interested in smoking, drinking and chasing girls. Along with 17-year-old Charlie Denny he was sent to South Africa to stay with gay mums Anna-Marie and Suzanne. Sparks flew when Hamzah tried to skive off work and Anna-Marie faced up to him.
17-year-old Shola Bruce-Coker was obsessed by her image. She was failing her exams and on a fast track to nowhere. Joining her to stay with the strict Virk family in India was shy Joiee Birch, who used alcohol as a social prop. A storm broke over Shola's head when she refused to wear a headscarf to the memorial service for dad Ashwani's dead father. Ashwani marched her out of the apartment and shut the door.
16-year-old Bryony Harris was an angry young lady. Kicked out of school for bad behaviour, she was diagnosed with ADHD. She had given up on education, on work and on life. Bryony and money-mad Remzi Tomlin were sent to stay with the Bustamante family in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Connor Jones was a dope fiend and a teen dad. Connor spent all his time and money on feeding his addiction instead of his son Louis. Did his trip to stay with Christian fundamentalists the Smith Irwin's, in the leafy suburbs of Seattle, change his attitude for good?
Tough cookie Georgie Weare was angry and aggressive and always got her way. She spent a week in North Carolina, USA with a Chinese-American family, the Li's.
Three months after their return we catch up with all the teens to see if their experiences have made any lasting impression.