Juvenile delinquency is a situation whereby a minor participates in criminal behavior. It is a situation where a child under 18 years old engages his or herself in smoking, drinking alcohol, property crime, violence, and all forms of unruly behaviors against the family and the society at large. Understand that the worrisome part of juvenile delinquency is that it is being committed by minors. By minor, we mean under-aged children who are supposed to be the joy and pride of their parents and the future of society.
Today you hear of baby soldiers amongst terrorists, and militants undertaking dangerous missions without the full knowledge of the consequences of their actions and behaviors. The question is: who is to blame for their delinquency, what are the causes? Is there any way out? This article intends to seek answers to these pertinent questions.
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WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY?
- Over pampering of children, and wards by most parents and guardians by failing to nip in the board bad behaviors observed in their children early enough. Read Proverb 29: 17-21.
- Parents and guardians living in a dirty strained relationship: Most times, they exhibit these dirty behaviors before these children. Other times, the children stop quarreling, fighting, and correcting them as well. Children learn very fast.
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- Divorce or marital collapse. We spoke at length concerning this subject matter in our last publication. We talk about the causes of marital collapse as well as the capsules to resolving marital problems. Please, read them up. The consequences of divorce are so huge and devastating that one needs to think twice before you mention the word “DIVORCE”. It is a major cause of juvenile delinquency. Children suffer mental agonies particularly in the case of separation/divorce of parents.
- Abnormally large families [Extended family]. Extended families have done more harm than good to the lives of children from such homes. Most times, they are left to fend for themselves and survive in the street all alone without the proper care and guidance of their biological parents because they are too many to be taken care of by their parents.
- Television and videos: children are influenced majorly by what they see and touch. The entertainment industries and social media are also not helping matters. They encourage all sorts of violence, pornographic materials, and programs that are detrimental to the growth and development of a child without a strict parental guide. See1John 2:15.
- Peer group influence is another stronger promoter of juvenile delinquency. Children most times pick up these deadly criminal tendencies from friends and associates. There is every reason why a parent should know the kind of friends their children keep. In as much as you cannot completely stop them from keeping certain associations, there is a need you guide them on who to mingle with, even in their schools.
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- The poverty leading to kids street hawking. This you will agree with me has exposed so many children to grave danger. In fact, poverty is worse than an epidemic that has succeeded in rendering so many societies into crime zones. In our previous edition on resolving marital problems, one of the recommended capsules is that couples must fight this monster called poverty by planning and having a reliable family income before raising their children.
- Housemaids / domestic servants: Surprise to see this? Yes, many housemaids and domestic keepers have been seen to be agents of darkness sent to wreck down homes. Most times if they can’t go through the couples they will divert their mission into making sure they ruin the lives of the children in the absence of parents.
These maids/servants pollute and corrupt these children mentally, and even went ahead to practicalize their delinquent invention with these children with a strong warning not to reveal it to anybody, not even to their lovely parents.
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WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY? [Gal. 6:7]
- Corrupting influences [Exodus 23:2]: one of the results of juvenile delinquency is abnormal negative behaviors from you’re once a nice boy/girl. This means that a wicked seed has been sown in the life of the child that has or is trying to germinate, [3John1:11].
- Secrete cult activities
- Losing interest in education, and quest for materialism, Hebrew 13:3
- Stealing, armed robbery, drug abuse, fraud, etc [ Eph. 4:28]
- Rape – a common crime, 2 Samuel 13:12-15. The problem with rape is that most victims are always afraid to open up to anybody for fear of social stigma, and they die in trauma.
- Teenage pregnancy/abortion – Many have lost their womb in the process. This is a dangerous result of juvenile delinquency.
- Teenage mothers: This situation is on the increase in Africa. These young children face social humiliation and rejection because no special programs are designed to help them resume their normal lives after birth.
- Shame and sorrow to the parents and society, [Prov. 17:25]. No parent will be proud to see his or her teenager regarded as a societal menace. It is a consequence of juvenile delinquency.
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PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO JUVENILE DELINQUENCY [Deut.4:9]
- Parents, teachers, and guardians should live an exemplary life, a model for their children to emulate, Matthew 8:6-7
- Live a devotional life through family altars, and spiritual activities, [Gen.18:19]. It makes them reason sensibly and prevents juvenile delinquency.
- Caution/discipline your children/wards any time the need arises. Rebuke wrong behaviors, do not expose their dirty secrets before their friends or strangers and correct them with love, [Prov. 29:17]
- Bridge the communication gap, and do not be a terror. Make them have the liberty of discussing their needs and challenges freely with you.
- Provide, support, and encourage your children/wards especially those in college, tertiary institutions. This a good way of preventing juvenile delinquency.
- Share domestic work among your children, and the maids.
- Pay an unscheduled visit to your children’s school from time to time.
- Learn to pray for your child/children always. This can avert danger and spiritual attacks away from the.
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The war against juvenile delinquency is a war for all. A peaceful home and society shall be our benefit if we can play our roles properly as parents and society. I hereby recommend that:
- Everybody should see juvenile delinquency as a global challenge that requires global attention.
- Government should come up will special, comprehensive, and all engaging correctional/rehabilitation programs for the homeless children on the street.
- Correctional facilities like home should be built for these street/broken homes children. A place with that sense of a real home, full of love and care. This will make them psychologically organized and rehabilitated.
- God-fearing individuals should be engaged to manage our correctional /rehabilitation homes instead of mean, and heartless individuals seen in those facilities today, who are rather reminding those children of their pasts in the name of correction.
- The religious organization should also assist the government in ensuring that children are properly rehabilitated by teaching society the right moral values and living by it too. They should also engage in philanthropic work, and not just preaching it.
- Parents should learn that it is on them to give birth to a child and train the child. Above all, they should give birth to as much as they can train.
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Williams Education Foundation blog Team!