Parents

Parents banish teen to backyard tent for theft: Too extreme?

Are a New Mexico mom and dad being too strict in punishing their teen son for theft by banishing him to a tent in the backyard?

Jacob and Angela Boggus chose a decidedly non-air-conditioned method for disciplining their 16-year-old son Adam after he stole his little sister's iPod and other items from his family. Since May 23, Adam has been spending his days camping out in the backyard of their home in Belen, outside of Albuquerque.

"I am just trying to teach my son a lesson,'' Jacob Boggus told Janet Shamlian on TODAY Thursday. "You cannot take from anybody without their permission for any reason."

Adam says he loves his parents and he knows they love him. They are just trying to teach him a lesson "not to take other people's stuff," he said.

"If I ever want them to be proud of me, I've got to get through this and prove it out in the real world,'' Adam said on TODAY.

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He's allowed back inside to sleep at night, eat meals and use the bathroom. His banishment will end once he's read five books and written reports about them for his mom.

During the day, though, he has to deal with sweltering temperatures and bugs in his tent.

TODAY
Adam says he understands his parents are trying to teach him a lesson "not to take other people's stuff."

"I mean, the book reports themselves are probably the hardest thing out of all this,'' Adam said.

Watch on NBC News: Teen boy living in a tent as punishment

Before sending him to the tent, Adam's parents tried taking away his electronics, restricting him to his room and taking him to counseling, all with no results.

Neighbors have called the police about the tent situation, but the Bogguses checked with the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department to make sure they weren't breaking any laws.

"And they said nothing,'' Angela Boggus said. "You are not depriving him of anything. And we're not, except for maybe air conditioning."

TODAY
"The book reports themselves are probably the hardest thing out of all this,'' Adam said.

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