Fed up parents are turning to a group of former Australian soldiers to snap their teenagers out of the virtual world.

A nine-day boot camp is being hailed as the new frontline in the war on teens and their addiction to their screens, reports 7 news.

There’s one major rule all teens enlisted must adhere to – strictly no technology.

“The second they get on our bus we take their phones and any technology they have off them straight away,” Glenn Filtness, Veteran Mentors, said.

“We have kids coming in that are lacking self-confidence and addicted to technology,” Filtness added.

The camp, run by soldiers straight from the frontline of Afghanistan and Iraq, not only includes the rigorous routines of their daily life – including polishing boots – but it also focuses on social behaviours: “Doing real stuff, forming real relationships, not this stuff they’re doing on a screen.”

“It’s very tough for the participants and that’s why it’s effective – if it wasn’t tough it wouldn’t work,” Filtness added.

Watch the 7 news report below.

Is this the answer? Or do parents just need to step up and take more control? 

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  • Think that the boot camp won’t change the behavior learned over a life time without strict reinforcement from the parents. Just a gimmick


  • In some cases for parents to take more control they would need to physically lock the devices away. I know a child who had one taken away from her, she found it and started using it again – in her room – her Mum thought she was reading a book as the last time she saw her she had a book in her hand. She has been a “bookworm” since before she started school. Some kids are very defiant and sneaky. e.g. go to bed, wait until everything is quiet then sneak and do hat he/she wants to do. I have gone through that when “childminding” a friend’s child overnight. I woke up and discovered there was lights on in a living area that had been switched off before all of us went to bed in our rooms.


  • Think certainly it might work. The only thing is that’s just a camp. How can you change you change an addiction in just a week or few weeks, when often the addiction became persistent over years ? It would need follow up and support to bring that what was thought, bring in practice in every day life.


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