Should Parents be Held Responsible for their Minor Childrens Criminal Behavior – Yes

Being in Charge is One Reason Parents are Not Children

Parents should be held responsible for their minor children’s behavior. Enough sociological pointers indicate that parents must provide direction for their children. For example, Hirshi’s socialization theory teaches that children without family connections demonstrate a greater predisposition to being antisocial as opposed to those with family ties. The very concept of “parens patriae,” (literally: “father of the land) at the heart of our juvenile system shows in many ways that the system seems to strive to provide a parent to the juvenile – to adopt the child instead of turn him or her into an adult.

Children have no choice in being born. It is the parents who make the decision whether or not to give a child life and the result of that choice is the child. A parent’s duty is to take full responsibility of their children until they reach adulthood. Failing to take this responsibility does nothing but shift it to others.

Many people have watched wildlife shows and been to zoos but take very few lessons from the experiences. A Kangaroo carries its young one in a pouch. Primates are extremely protective. Many mammals show the kind of dedication to their young that humans should learn from.

Admitting the responsibility for one’s children’s delinquent behavior
does not mean the parent did the things the child did. It means taking charge of duties that the parents assigned themselves by bringing children into the world. To me, it means I am standing on firm ground to steer my children in the direction I best know how, looking for guidance and resources in my community so that my children will also learn for themselves how to raise their own children.

You can do the same thing as a parent to your own children. When your child misbehaves, you should take the responsibility to teach your child what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. You teach your child where his or her boundaries are. This also prevents other parents or people in the community from having to step in to take control of your child when they misbehave or cause damage or harm.

Parents know their own children better than anyone else, but this does not mean that parents always know how to handle every situation. However, it does mean that there is no one better than a child’s own parents to address any issues that may arise with them.

It is an incorrect assumption, of course, that all parents are very close with their children. In some cases a parent may not even be as close to a child as a friend or caregiver or another relative. Even in this situation it is important that the parents make the extra effort necessary to take responsibility for their own child. All children need parental guidance; without it there would be no distinction between what it is to be a child and what it is to be a parent.