Do You Think Parents Should Be Punished for the Crimes Their Teenage Children Commit?
Do you think parents should be punished for the crimes their teenage children commit? Teenage crimes are on the rise and in trying to prevent this condition from aggravating, people start to consider an alternative solution – to punish the parents instead. The question is, are parents really the core of the problem or are there other bigger issues we have to consider? Punishing parents by law is certainly not the ideal way to handle these rising crime rates.
Though it cannot be denied that parents are responsible to a small extent, they should not be punished by law for the crimes their teenage children commit simply because they have limited influence and control over them As studies have shown, parents are not the only influence in a child’s behaviour.
What plays a bigger role is the society. The school and the media are two major components. Typical children in today’s society spend majority of their youth in school, not at home. In schools, these teenagers are often affected by peer pressure.
They are often blinded by this desire to be accepted and to blend in with the rest of their friends. Many a times, children are influenced by the wrong kind of peer pressure – pressure to behave inadequately, including committing crimes. The media is another powerful influence. The pervasiveness of the media makes it difficult for children to avoid all those violence and negative demonstrations in television programs, movies, music, advertisements and so on. What children see and hear from their friends or the media are often reflected in their actions.
Exposure to such an undesirable environment with many negative influences have instigated them to make the wrong decision and lead the wrong path. Children do not always grow up to become the kind of person their parents desired. Parents could have provided their children with appropriate moral education, living conditions and the warmth of a family. Unfortunately, due to all these powerful external influences from the society, their children turned out to be a huge contrast to what the parents were expecting. Moreover, it is beyond the parents’ capabilities to achieve complete control ver their children’s actions. In this phase of life, teenagers are often rebellious and tend to oppose their parents. Parents have limited control over their children. In other words, they have only as much control as their children would allow them to. Every individual has his or her own mindset, rights and ability to make decisions. It is impossible for one to have full control over another. Therefore, parents cannot be expected to control the uncontrollable. In addition, children can abuse the law in order to get their parents to let them have their own way.
All they have to do is to threaten that they would commit a crime and get their parents into trouble with the law. If this is beyond the parents’ control, punishing parents for their children’s crimes will not work since it does not in any way allow them to have complete control over their children’s actions. Furthermore, it might even put parents in a difficult position. In face with situations like this, parents are helpless too. On the contrary, parents are the ones who brought their children into this world, not the society. It was their choice and they have to take responsibility for it.
Creating a child is different from nurturing a child. Nurturing would require parenting, and parenting encompasses a myriad of responsibilities. Parents have to teach their children of the moral values and it is from all these values that children can learn to control their own actions independently. If parents neglect their children, it is not surprising that they are easily influenced by the society and cannot make the right decisions – the result of bad parenting. Parents are responsible for their children’s crimes, however, to only a small extent.
Appropriate parenting is crucial. Nevertheless, even the best brought-up children can go astray too, like any other children, because of all the society’s negative influences. Due to limited control, parents can do nothing much if their children has set their mind into committing the crime. Therefore, it makes no sense for parents to be punished for crimes their teenage children commit. In fact, parents have already paid the price through all the disappointment and shame. Hence, neither is it justified, nor effective, to punish parents for a situation which society has created.