Reply To: Research

Michelle Hall

When teens are directed to attend the Teen Cafes rather than making a free choice, with few exceptions, they do not participate or worse, they are disruptive. That is why the emphasis is on free choice. There may be incentives, but the teen must take responsibility for his or her free choice to walk in the door.

I have on only a few occasions had to remind a teen that they made a free choice to participate and if they have changed their mind about it, I encourage them to leave. A few leave because they never wanted to be there, but most change their attitude.

If the Cafe turns into any thing but free choice, it is no longer a joy, and becomes a punishment.

I have seen parents make the Cafe a punishment in their over zealous desire for their child to be involved and to like it as much as they do. It is a disaster for the child, when this happens.