Children And Delinquency Research Paper Example
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There are many difficult tasks throughout the world, from the hardest jobs to the most taxing obligations that are expected to be upheld. Nothing compares to the raising of a child. In fact, nothing comes close to the act of child rearing when it is determined how the effect of discipline and nurturing can cause a child to grow up feeling loved, respected, and relatively safe in a world of uncertainties. The opposite of this of course is to allow the child to grow up in an unsafe environment, where care and nurturing are uncertain at best and completely absent at worst. Delinquency in children is not a new development, it has been a part of daily life within the home for a long, long time, far longer than there have been studies conducted as to how it happens and why. Delinquency in children is rebellion, and rebellion in turn is a child’s way of letting parents know: I am not okay.
There are many quotes from the Holy Bible, a text held in high regard by many that would go so far as to explain how parents should rear their children. For example, Ephesians 6:4 states, “fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” In a very broad sense this is telling fathers, and in this day and age parents, to not provoke their children to delinquency, do not give them a reason to rebel, but let them know that they are loved, that they are special and valued in the eyes of the Lord. While that might not be entirely accurate the feeling is that fathers, or parents, should be vigilant in instructing their children, that they should find a way to invoke the best in their children, rather than give them a reason to show the worst.
There is a danger of children that live with their parents will become delinquents. Each and every household runs this risk, though those most in danger or producing juvenile delinquents are those in which there is a family system that is loosely held together or not at all. From the time they are born children are known to look for a nurturing, caring environment, a safe place that they can grow and mature. If this is not given then the baser instincts tend to kick in and take over at a certain age. Those children that grow up feeling as though they must fend for themselves, that they are not cared for by anyone, will likely lean more towards delinquency than others. Of course this is not the only cause of delinquency, but it is a start.
Another very real cause of delinquency is a split home. This is in effect a home in which a mother and father have divorced, a mother or father are living on their own with the child, or some other arrangement has been made in which the child sees their parents or guardians infrequently and likely by court order. In this type of situation it is rare for a child to not feel as though they are the cause of the disruption to their home life, and it is very likely that they will turn inward, accepting blame and thereby creating a self-destructing set of behaviors that will eventually lead to what is termed as “acting out”.
Further along this line of thinking is the effect caused by the splitting of a family, that of resentment and anger that both parents hold towards one another. It is at times important to note the attitudes of other family members towards a child’s mother or father, but this is not often a primary cause in the dissolution of acceptable behavior. Instead, the main source comes from the mother and father, who, upon splitting from one another will often allow their more heated and aggressive feelings toward one another to vent while their child is around or be directed at the child.
While it is a negative and very disruptive behavior that sets this chain of events into motion, the most likely courses to take are for the child to shut down and become socially inhibited, or else turn towards the more self-destructive and delinquent actions that are at times a cry for attention or a need for some sort of structure that is not being provided. Kids of any age require order in their lives, a structured system that allows them to know what is acceptable and what is not. When this is taken away they tend to rebel, seeking their own way towards their wants and needs no matter if it is socially unacceptable. And sometimes, those same children will simply cease to care about what is right and wrong, so long as they get what they want, be it affection or notoriety for being who they want to be.
Insofar as raising children according to an ideal, or as it has already been established above, by scripture, there are no guarantees. Those who raise their children in a religious household are only slightly less at risk to produce social delinquents, as behaviors can be influenced by a variety of factors, few of which seem to take heed of religious boundaries and doctrine. (Benda, Corwyn, 1997) Should a child rebel in such a household the key cause seems to usually be the overabundance of structure, the unyielding pressures of having to please parents that tend to be overbearing and don’t allow their children the freedom to be who they want to be. While structure is important in a child’s life, it is also just as important to know when to let go.
Other more obvious causes are abuse, both violence in the home and the ever-increasing risk of substance abuse. While some areas are at higher risk, there is no doubt a great concern worldwide over the numbers of high-risk situations that exist concerning children. While the numbers will undoubtedly climb along with the rising population in many areas, the startling fact is that it does not take a large population to see high risks of child abuse, neglect, and substance abuse brought on by exposure at an early age.
Though there are many that do not like to hear this, bad parenting in all its forms usually contributes the most to childhood delinquency. Likely as not, those children who become delinquents have one or more influences in their life, such as relatives, who were delinquents at one point in their lives, or are still delinquents during the child’s formative years. This behavior is a cycle that continues on and on until someone is actually wise enough to step forward and stop it by acting in the manner of a “good” parent. (Beidi, Khron, 2014) What that might mean is highly subject to interpretation, but given that good parenting can often produce functioning members of society, the overall feeling is that a good parent will steer their child away from the wrong and potentially hazardous situations they might otherwise attempt.
There is no blueprint for being a parent, and no fully assured guarantee that a child will not travel a hard, dangerous path at some point in their lives, but there is the promise that if a parent is attentive, caring, and nurturing that the child will likely as not take heed of that example and make the right choices. There is no one assured way that a child becomes a delinquent, nor is there any assurance as to who will and who won’t travel such a path, that much is up to chance, and to the decisions made by those who are responsible for raising the child.
Be it believing in the doctrine of Christianity, following published and renown child psychologists, or simply taking heed of what one’s child is doing and saying, there are many upon many ways that a parent can be attentive enough to affect their child’s behavior. Children often emulate what they see, and if they see positive and are made to feel cared for, then it is far more likely that they will grow to be caring, attentive adults. Excuses such as video game violence, being over-stressed, and being unable to deal with one’s child are simple cop-outs that can affect a child’s decisions just as surely as an abusive parent can, and must be placed to the side when considering how to raise a child.
Beidi, Dong; Krohn, Marvin D. (2014) Exploring Intergenerational Discontinuity in Problem
Behavior: Bad Parents With Good Children. Sage Journals. Retrieved from
Benda, Brent B.; Corwyn, Robert Flynn. (1997) Religion and Delinquency: The Relationship
after Considering Family and Peer Influences. Wiley.
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