Kidnapped: Shannon Peters, mother of 2 ½ , and wife of Frank
Kidnappers: son, John, age 16, and daughter, Skye age 7
Opening a new business is hard on any family, but for Shannon’s kids it has been devastating. With “bQute Boutique” up and running for a year, you would think their mom could make a little time to relax with the family. Working 7 days a week for up to 15 hours a day, Shannon shared her priorities…first herself, then her career followed by her kids. With her third child on the way, the Peters family seemed desperate. Luckily her husband works with her and he gets to catch a glimpse of her now and then.
The kids were missing their mother. Although Frank did his best, the looks on John and Skye’s face said it all. “I think my mom loves work more than my family” John told the producers. 16 is such an important age and he was at a pivotal point. He needed her in his life. Then Skye shared “I spend time with my mom never” as her eyes dropped to the floor. It didn’t take much to see these kids felt unloved and hopeless.
To help, Shannon and Frank talked Frank’s mother, Yvette (aka TeTe), into moving to Palmdale so she could help with the kids. “I consider Yvette more of a mother figure in my life than my mom.” As for John, he was responsible for making sure his little sister was taken care of. With his mom absent from his daily life…for most of his life…John has lost trust in her being there for him. “I feel like she just doesn’t want to spend time with me.” Frank is concerned about losing him. Not to the streets, but he fears John will give up and just want to leave.
Clearly the kidnapping was a must…they just needed a plan. John knew exactly where he wanted to take his mom…the snow. She had promised him for years that she would take him there and he was going to make it happen. Once Frank agreed to work out the client he has the issues, they kids secured Yvette for a ride to the salon. Then they all sat down and wrote a letter to Shannon about how they were feeling.
The day of the kidnapping they arrived at the salon and Skye began to read her letter while her mother continued to curl hair. I was worried. Was she even going to stop and listen to her kids? Then John began reading and his mother seemed touched knowing that he doesn’t always express himself. Once the kids told her she was heading to the snow, she agreed to go. John took her phone and laptop, she began to cry. “I really have wanted to take time but I just don’t know how.”
As they arrived at the cabin amidst all the snow, they wasted no time settling in and playing. After a while they sat down to talk…and John’s walls were still firmly in place. Shannon tried, but it was obvious that this was going to take some time. As they arrived home, Frank couldn’t help but wonder how things went.
Shannon shared that John was still resentful and recognized her own standoffish behavior in her son. Just as they seemed to pull the band-aid off, everything changed. John told his family he was going to TeTe’s house and never showed up. When he came home, him mom confronted him and he packed a bag and took off. Nervously, they searched for him. He had never been out all night before and everyone was worried. Eventually they found him sleeping in Yvette’s other car parked in front of their house, sleeping. Frank eventually coaxed him into the house. John and his mother sat down to talk. He no longer trusts her. He feels there is no respect. It was all coming to a head.
At that point, the family made a wise decision…they called in a family therapist for an emergency house call. Dr. David Swanson arrived and Shannon explained the argument that occurred the night before. Dr. Swanson tried to listen and understand. Without hope and full of resentment, John struggled to communicate. Dr. Swanson helped him to find his words. He also shared that their son’s opposition came from the pain that he was feeling. John no longer believe his mother could or would change. Honestly, I think he was afraid to believe and open himself up to the possibility of disappointment. It is scary to have hope when you know you can be hurt.
As the therapist suggested making a committed time for each other every week, a smile peeked out of John. Shannon brought up her struggle…that many parents have…of cutting back on work meaning a change in the family’s lifestyle. “Being a family person means I work hours that are respectful of my family” the doctor shared. Reminding her that she can be part of a family or part of a salon, but she needed to choose. Feeling like someone was finally on his side, John couldn’t stop smiling as he told the producers that he thanked the lord that his prayers had been listened to.
At the end, the family gathered to read their final letters to each other to express what the kidnapping has meant to them. Hearing the kids Frank shared “as much as we needed therapy, it’s time for us to implement change.” Shannon and the family agreed leaving John hopeful. This kidnapping was just in time…it truly saved their family!