Parents shouldn't do the time when kids do the crime.
A short-lived television series called "Dinosaurs" used a society composed entirely of prehistoric creatures to satirize sat·i·rize
tr.v. sat·i·rized, sat·i·riz·ing, sat·i·riz·es
To ridicule or attack by means of satire.
satirize or -rise
[-rizing, our present society. In one of the episodes, the father, Earl Sinclair, failed a required test and lost his license to parent. A police officer followed him home, and when Earl attempted to discipline his son, the officer told Earl to desist. The officer announced that he was assigned to the home for the next 30 days to ensure that no unauthorized parenting took place. Earl, unable to do anything else, unwilling complied with the order.
I do not have children of my own. I learned of my inability to bear children more than 15 years ago. Since that time, I have become a keen observer of the ways people raise their children. Because I am a lawyer who represents those accused of delinquency, I have seen many young lives that have gone astray a·stray
1. Away from the correct path or direction. See Synonyms at amiss.
2. Away from the right or good, as in thought or behavior; straying to or into wrong or evil ways. . A delinquent is a child who commits an act that, if committed by an adult, would be a crime. It is the worst time to meet children. It often saddens me to learn of the many ways in which children's parents have failed them. I have learned enough to know that, in many of these cases, lack of responsible parenting is a contributing cause of the illegal behavior. This observation has sometimes led me to suggest cynically that there should be a license to parent.
Less cynically, I have wished that something practical could be done to deal with irresponsible parents when they were an underlying cause of juvenile delinquency juvenile delinquency, legal term for behavior of children and adolescents that in adults would be judged criminal under law. In the United States, definitions and age limits of juveniles vary, the maximum age being set at 14 years in some states and as high as 21 . In many cases it seemed unfair to direct sanctions only against the children. Nothing could be done to the parents in these cases, however, because they were not on trial. That situation has begun to change.
Throughout the country, laws are now being passed that hold parents responsible for the criminal actions of their child if the parents have failed to exercise reasonable parental control. One such law, recently proposed by a city in Minnesota, would require parents, among other things, to keep illegal drugs and firearms This is an extensive list of small arms — pistol, machine gun, grenade launcher, anti-tank rifle — that includes variants.
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It is easy to understand the motivation for such laws. Juvenile crime is undeniably escalating at record rates throughout the country. The rise in the number of such crimes has been accompanied by an equally disturbing rise in the level of violence. People are frustrated frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: by this situation and are demanding that some action be taken to correct it. Such proposed laws and others like them are passed with the hope that parents will begin to supervise their children more closely. It is believed that prosecutions against some parents who fail in their duties will send a message to other parents. Legislators hope that such laws will ultimately bring about more responsible parenting and, accordingly, be of benefit to children and ultimately to society.
The problem is that the mere passage of a law is not the end of a societal effort, but only the beginning. The way in which the law is applied is crucial to its success. In the hands of concerned judges, these laws may be effective in redirecting the efforts of parents of a troubled child. The most useful time for awakening the parents to the need for change in the home is on the first occasion that the child breaks the law. If the courts begin to require the cooperation of the parents in programs designed to assist them in learning the skills of parenting, the passage of parental responsibility Parental responsibility
The current climate in the country may work against such use of these laws. Many states, including my own state of Wisconsin, have passed legislation that redirects the focus of juvenile courts juvenile court
Special court handling problems of delinquent, neglected, or abused children. Two types of cases are processed by a juvenile court: civil matters, often concerning care of an abandoned or impoverished child, and criminal matters, arising from antisocial away from understanding and rehabilitation rehabilitation: see physical therapy. and toward punishment and retribution RETRIBUTION. 1. That which is given to another to recompense him for what has been received from him; as a rent for the hire of a house. 2. A salary paid to a person for his services. 3. The distribution of rewards and punishments. . I am concerned that this same direction will be applied to parents found guilty under the responsibility laws. If courts use this legislation merely to punish the parents as wen as the child, society will gain very little advantage.
A second problem with this legislation is that it will often come into play far too late to be effective. Few parents look at their younger than 5-year-old child and see a future criminal. Yet this is the very time in the child's life when responsible and loving parenting is essential. Quite often in the course of my work in juvenile court, I have heard a parent say, "l don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. how to control my 16-year-old child. He just does what he wants to do. What can I do?" An out-of-control 16-year-old is, in fact, a very difficult person with whom to deal. I usually answer such a parent with another question, "What did you do when he was two?" Most people in this situation admit that they did not do the things that must be done to raise responsible children. Sadly, this realization often comes too late to be of any real use to such parents and their children.
The episode of "Dinosaurs" mentioned above highlights the problem with early and preventative intervention by society in the lives of families. These attempts would be useless without a system of enforcement, and enforcement would involve unacceptable interference in a family's daily life. Even parents who recognize the need for help early in their child's life would undoubtedly resent having it forced upon them by the state.
The final problem with parental responsibility legislation is that the required parental behavior results only in adequate supervision of children, not necessarily in good parenting. My years of observing children have taught me that those children who receive consistent and loving guidance from a parent are the ones who rarely end up sitting at a table next to a lawyer in juvenile court. Of course, legislating leg·is·late
v. leg·is·lat·ed, leg·is·lat·ing, leg·is·lates
To create or pass laws.
To create or bring about by or as if by legislation. love and concern is an impossible task, as is legislating responsibility. You cannot force parents to love, care for, and be responsible for their children. Love, concern, and responsibility are meaningless if they spring only from a need to comply with the law.
Even though parental responsibility laws are not a viable solution, there is a way that society can begin to combat the alarming increase in juvenile crime. That way has existed for many years and has proven successful. Rather than abandoning it in favor of punitive legislation, we should try to strengthen its effectiveness by using it more often. This method is the consistent and early involvement in the life of a potentially troubled child by a trained and caring adult volunteer.
Many mentoring programs that match willing adults to children at risk exist in this country. Programs like Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America have met with a great deal of success but continue to struggle with an insufficient number of adult volunteers. It is not difficult to identify children who are probable candidates for reckless and criminal conduct. The warning signs are visible to neighbors, relatives, teachers, and pastors. These people would be more likely to urge parents to use mentoring programs if they were readily available. These programs do not present the problems of parental responsibility laws. By their very nature, they concentrate on solutions and not punishment. They come into effect at a time when the assistance is most needed, and they are not coercive co·er·cive
Characterized by or inclined to coercion.
co·ercive·ly adv. .
I have seen children who come from the most deplorable de·plor·a·ble
1. Worthy of severe condemnation or reproach: a deplorable act of violence.
2. homes learn to live responsible lives because of the early intervention ear·ly intervention
n. Abbr. EI
A process of assessment and therapy provided to children, especially those younger than age 6, to facilitate normal cognitive and emotional development and to prevent developmental disability or delay. of one adult. It is surprising how little it takes to inculcate in·cul·cate
tr.v. in·cul·cat·ed, in·cul·cat·ing, in·cul·cates
1. To impress (something) upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition; instill: inculcating sound principles. values into a young person. An adult who is willing to walk with a child, to answer a child's questions, and to provide an example of a life well led provides that child with a firm foundation. Moreover, the child learns that there is someone in this world who cares about him or her simply because of who he or she is. The child knows that the mentor's consistency in seeing him or her is neither based in a duty imposed by blood nor in an obligation arising from a job. The value placed on the child by the mentor is a mirror from which the child can see his or her own self-worth.
There is another advantage to mentor programs. Occasionally, when I am dealing with a parent whose child has been brought into court, I am asked by that parent if I have any children. When the person learns that I do not, they often dismiss my advice. They reason that I know little or nothing about children that can be a benefit to them merely because I am not a parent. In some ways, they are correct. I have not experienced the trials of parenthood. It is not my place to stand on the sidelines On the sidelines
An investor who decides not to invest due to market uncertainty.
on the sidelines
Of or relating to investors who, having assessed the market, have decided to avoid committing their funds. and interfere with "other people's children."
For the same reason, parental responsibility laws are unlikely to succeed. Such laws are society's attempt to deal too late with other people's children from a comfortable distance. A mentor who walks with the child and the parents, on the other hand, cannot be dismissed so easily. Someone who is willing to spend time will be greeted more warmly by inadequate parents than the intruding in·trude
v. in·trud·ed, in·trud·ing, in·trudes
1. To put or force in inappropriately, especially without invitation, fitness, or permission: police officer who walked into Earl Sinclair's kitchen.
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The best way to
help parents raise
Education. Most bad parenting, I believe, is due to ignorance. Parents of juvenile delinquents juvenile delinquent n. a person who is under age (usually below 18), who is found to have committed a crime in states which have declared by law that a minor lacks responsibility and thus may not be sentenced as an adult. should be required to attend a parenting course.
Provide jobs whose wages are high enough so that only one parent has to work.
Parental responsibility laws won't deter juvenile crime.
Adults would work to be more attentive parents if they knew they might be punished for their kid's crime.
Abide by the law yourself and suggest family guidance of children.
Held drug addicts and alcoholics get over their addictions. Then encourage good preschools and positive TV shows like those on PBS PBS
in full Public Broadcasting Service
Private, nonprofit U.S. corporation of public television stations. PBS provides its member stations, which are supported by public funds and private contributions rather than by commercials, with educational, cultural, that instill in·still
To pour in drop by drop.
instil·lation n. good values and morals. Intersperse in·ter·sperse
tr.v. in·ter·spersed, in·ter·spers·ing, in·ter·spers·es
1. To distribute among other things at intervals: low-income housing among all communities so we don't have pockets of poverty. Make it worthwhile to work by offering better wages so children can see the benefits of honest work.
Children become juvenile delinquents as a result of:
17% bad parenting.
19% lack of a positive
18% peer pressure.
16% violence on
television and in
9% the community
they live in.
tr.v. le·gal·ized, le·gal·iz·ing, le·gal·iz·es
To make legal or lawful; authorize or sanction by law.
le cocaine, marijuana, and heroin, thereby getting sales of these substances off of the street. Sell it in drugstores or liquor stores, with restrictions.
To have stricter juvenile laws An area of the law that deals with the actions and well-being of persons who are not yet adults.
In the law a juvenile is defined as a person who is not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. and mandatory curfews.
Give good consistent modeling, especially in little things
Little Things is an original novel based on the U.S. , such as returning money when overpaid o·ver·pay
v. o·ver·paid , o·ver·pay·ing, o·ver·pays
1. To pay (a party) too much.
2. To pay an amount in excess of (a sum due).
To pay too much. by a cashier CASHIER. An officer of a moneyed institution, who is entitled by virtue of his office to take care of the cash or money of such institution.
2. The cashier of a bank is usually entrusted with all the funds of the bank, its notes, bills, and other choses in ; obeying traffic laws and regulations; speaking positively about authority figures, such as police and teachers; and talk about how laws help us live in an orderly society.
Offering at-risk children help, such as mentoring programs, is unrealistic.
Some very good parents have children who end up delinquent.
Rather than punishing parents of delinquents, we should require them to participate in juvenile rehabilitation programs Noun 1. rehabilitation program - a program for restoring someone to good health
program, programme - a system of projects or services intended to meet a public need; "he proposed an elaborate program of public works"; "working mothers rely on the day care .
Provide good schools, child care, and jobs and deconstruct de·con·struct
tr.v. de·con·struct·ed, de·con·struct·ing, de·con·structs
1. To break down into components; dismantle.
2. gangs through partnerships, such as government, business, police, and churches.
To develop an entire package of parenting tools. We require blood tests, counseling, and such to be married and testing for a driver's license Noun 1. driver's license - a license authorizing the bearer to drive a motor vehicle
driver's licence, driving licence, driving license
license, permit, licence - a legal document giving official permission to do something
, and yet we require no preparation for the care of another human life. What does this say about the value we place on our children?
Community self-help parenting workshops that convey parenting with rules, boundaries, and, most important, consequences. Teach the importance of following through when rules are broken. Instill the significance of leading by example.
The best social response
to unfit unfit
not properly prepared, e.g. physically incapable of performing hard work as in racing, because of lack of training. Said also of food prepared unhygienically.
unfit for human consumption parents
In cases where birth parents are grossly negligent, abusive, or uninterested in the child, parental rights should be terminated. Too often, children languish in foster care or are shuttled from foster care to birth parents and back again with no hope of ever having a loving, permanent family. Children have a right to a family that supersedes the negligent parent's right to indefinite numbers indefinite number
A variable number. of attempts to get themselves together.
To hold them responsible for their kid's actions.
Education and rehabilitation.
Providing the parents with opportunities to learn parenting before they are parents, with ongoing support as needed as needed prn. See prn order. .
Require parents and their delinquent child to attend a series of parenting, child-raising programs with follow-up responsibilities to an officer of the court.
Positive redirection Diverting data from their normal destination to another; for example, to a disk file instead of the printer, or to a server's disk instead of the local disk. See virtual directory, symbolic link, shortcut, redirector and DOS redirection.
1. immediately applied; sometimes a sharp wake-up reprimand REPRIMAND, punishment. The censure which in some cases a public office pronounces against an offender.
2. This species of punishment is used by legislative bodies to punish their members or others who have been guilty of some impropriety of conduct towards them. is warranted for the parent(s), either from a friend, neighbor, family member, or authority figure.
Removal of the child from the home and placed in foster care until parents shape up. If there is no improvement, then the child should be placed for adoption without consent of parents.
An attempt should be made to help the parents recognize their responsibilities. We must all accept the fact that some of us have profited from the constructive attitudes of our parents and grandparents grandparents npl → abuelos mpl
grandparents grand npl → grands-parents mpl
grandparents grand npl . We should be willing to contribute to benefits for those who have not been so fortunate. After all, we didn't earn our inheritance.
When parents are prosecuted for the crimes of their children, it will send an effective message to other parents.
I would be willing to volunteer as an adult mentor.
Along with Mary Ann Perga, I believe that parents shouldn't be punished for kid's crimes.
The church can play a
bigger role in the proper
parenting of a child by:
Staying in close touch once a couple becomes parents: through Baptism classes, mom's groups, parenting seminars - helping them connect with other parents. Ask them what they need and want, and try to help. Stop wringing wring
v. wrung , wring·ing, wrings
1. To twist, squeeze, or compress, especially so as to extract liquid. Often used with out.
2. our hands over the fact that young parents don't come out to meetings and workshops and use creative ways to reach them and help them feel connected to the church. When times are tough, they will turn to the church for help.
Offering assistance to parents by sponsoring programs for both the parents and the children - programs that assist the parents in managing their own stress. This will help parents learn effective skills for disciplining their children and will offer children and parents appropriate role models for both effective adult/child interaction and for adult-to-adult interactions.
By providing programs that will give both parents and children a deep sense of God's love for them and the understanding that they need to respond to his love by living responsible, moral lives.
Inclusion in homilies of parenting, parental responsibilities, supervision, and children's behavior. In all my years at my parish, these issues have never been addressed by our priests.
Providing activities that would allow parish children to come together, such as sports, socializing, and participating in parish charity projects.
I think we need to let God back into our schools and our lives. Take the trash off our airwaves airwaves
Informal radio waves used in radio and television broadcasting . We are a Christian nation, and we don't need to let the minority rule.
Parents need to feel good about themselves before they can help their children feel good about themselves. They also need to develop their gift of faith - see the Mass and sacraments as a source of strength and thus participate fully and instill a feeling in their children that God, faith, and church matter.
As a church and as a society, we need to stop trying to find quick fixes that address only the end results of deeply rooted problems. We need to care enough about other people to find long-term solutions that address the causes of human misery - dysfunctional lives.