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Old 4th January 2010, 07:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Errant parenting helps breed teenage crime

Errant parenting helps breed teenage crime



HERE is how to raise a teen criminal:
  • Do not care about the child's life.
  • Do not communicate with him.
  • Regularly abuse him physically and emotionally
.

And, oh, for good measure, make sure he's watching when you yourself are engaged in vices like gambling and smoking.

Counsellors say parents who do not put in the time can expect a crime - that of their children.

'Through it all, they know they won't be penalised as heavily as adults,' said Ms Iris Lin, senior social worker and head of youth services at Fei Yue Family Service Centre (Yew Tee).

There is the growing desire of love-starved teens to grab someone's attention - anyone's.

'To cope with difficulties at home, such as family conflicts, teens may behave in undesirable ways to seek acceptance from friends,' said Ms Yum Sin Ting, senior social worker at The Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centres (Cheng San). 'But indirectly, they are crying out for attention from their parents.'

Take the time to teach him good values, and your teenager will be better equipped to cope with negative influences, counsellors agree. After all, they say, parents are still the key to influencing a child's ability to discern between right and wrong, and fending off bad company.

Even so, getting there is a tough ride for parents. With fewer three-generation households, teens have a lack of consistent adult supervision. What's more, the generation gap of the Information Age means parents have a harder time trying to get into the mind of the average teen, let alone keep him on a leash.

Parenting before the advent of the Internet seemed simpler. Whereas in the past, grounding them was enough, keeping them at home today is no longer a penalty. With access to mobile phones and the Internet, they can stay connected to friends. Their global links have multiplied in the past five years, allowing them access to more information from more sources than ever before, and from a younger age.

But here's a suggested start from Ms Yum: 'Talk to them as equals.' After all, she said, no matter how connected teens are to the Web, they still need their parents' guidance and attention.

Without spending time with them, adults can be a major contributing factor to their increasingly daring crimes, said Dr Carol Balhetchet, director of youth services at Singapore Children's Society.

The extreme of beating the message into them will not work - it could even backfire.

'Many boys I've worked with who have landed in trouble come from 'authoritarian' families: They punish you when you do something wrong, and don't reward you when you do something right,' said Mr Dominic Lim, founder of Splat!, a community arts movement serving at-risk youths and youth ex-offenders.

In fact, parents who wield the stick but hold back the carrot could send their teens swinging to the other extreme.

Dr Balhetchet warned: 'They'll end up trying out everything for the sake of trying. That means smoking, drinking, drugs, sex... or more.'

Source: http://www.asiaone.com/News/Educatio...29-188655.html

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Last edited by *StarDust*; 4th January 2010 at 07:51 AM.
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