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Juvenile delinquency refers to the participation of young children in illegal activities, and the age group is usually defined between 10-17. It also applies to those children who show a persistent behavior of malice and defiance, which are uncontrollable by parents and become the subject to legal action (Rutter and Giller, pp. 82). There are punishments and penalties for Juvenile who violate the rules and commit a crime. However, these procedures and regulations are different from those, which are defined for adult offenders.
As society is organized by standards and ethical codes of conduct, the violation of those codes of conduct is considered against the law. There are individuals including juveniles who are involved in violating those codes and standards of society. If these activities are not controlled, there would be an alarming situation for the communities. Starting from minor crimes, juveniles led to commit misconducts at a larger level. In that case, it becomes difficult for the society to smooth such actions later on. Juvenile Delinquency is looked over as a challenging issue for the whole society. There are many causes of the problem, and one of them is social interaction. Somehow, the social interaction with stubborn kids may influence their behavior. This term paper provides evidence for the involvement of a child from a good family into juvenile delinquency. It will reflect on the social interactions that influence the behavior of the child and lead him to get involve into illicit activities. Moreover, it also indicates the interactions with the juvenile who is involved in delinquency.
A family is considered as the critical part of the life of a child. It has a significant role to play in developing the child's social and personal growth. Due to some forces in the family, a child develops anti-social behavior. When a family is unable to provide adequate support to the children during the period of dependency, they create a personality that goes against the social norms and values (Loeber and Stouthamer-Loeber, pp. 29-149). A child develops distrust, hostile or hatred behavior then the society blames the child for it instead of looking into the factors and influences.
There are multiple causes for a child to develop anti-social behavior and most of those factors are related to the family. When a family rejects or neglects a child, then he or she learns hatred, disrespect, and distrust (Meldrum et al., pp. 1623-1644). These factors have a more significant role in developing criminal behavior in a child. At the same time, a broken home can have a negative impact on sensitive children, and they find it difficult to conform to the social norms because of their personal experiences.
This is the story of a friend who is very close to me, and we have enjoyed our whole childhood together. He lives with his family in my neighborhood. We used to go to school together. An incidence I am going to discuss had happened when I was in 6th grade.
My childhood memories are amazing because of a friend. I have known him since Kindergarten. However, until the 3rd grade, he was very active in class and used to participate in all the activities actively. Over time, I felt a change in his behavior towards the class and sometimes, he would behave oddly with me. I felt the difference in his behavior, but I could not figure out what was happening in actual. I noticed that he started missing the classes and whenever he came in class he would come without his homework. Due to his behavior, I started disliking him and tried to make new friends. I was afraid that my teachers and classmates would despise me for remaining friend with him. However, I made new friends and moved on with my life but I always silently cared about him.
I would notice that he did not make any friends and he was seen alone in the school. Even after School, I did not see him coming to the playground near my house where we used to play. I was somehow curious about him, but after making new friends, I was happy with them. Maybe it was because of my age that I was not able to identify the actual story. However, due to his non-serious behavior, he could not make it to the next class. He remained in 3rd grade, and I was promoted to the 4th grade. After that, I would rarely see him at School. The days passed, and I reached 6th grade. He made it to 5th grade also. One day after school when I arrived at my home, I found my mother sitting with my friend. I shocked to see him with my mom. However, I was welcomed by my mother and my friend. I tried to read the faces of both. My mother seemed calm to me, but there were disappointment and shame on the face of my friend.
I forgot to mention that my mother is very supportive and sympathetic, she has this quality of philanthropy. I sat with them, and my mother was cheering him that it is okay, do not feel sorry for it. She continued “I can understand your situation and I want to help you”. There was an apology in my friend's eyes. He was continuously staring at me, and then my mom told him that she did not know about our friendship. Otherwise, she would not let me do this. It made me feel uncomfortable because I was not on the wrong side, but he was. I complained about the activities of my friend, and she responded that she knows everything about him. Then, she told me that she also know what I do not know about my friend. I was a bit surprised by my mother's point. However, she asked my friend to go to my bedroom and take some rest.
I did not like the way my mother told him to use my bedroom without my permission. When he was gone, my mother asked me to sit next to her, and she had something to tell me. She said to me that my friend had been into drugs from last two years. Initially, he used to smoke but then, he got into other drugs. His parents were unaware of it, and they did not notice even he insisted for more pocket money. He would get the money, but then my friend's mother noticed his son’s behaviour. She stopped giving him money that resulted in the stealing of money. He started stealing money from his mother’s purse that was not even noticed by her. When he got into other drugs, he needed more money. As a result, he started stealing money from the neighborhood. At that morning, my mother caught him stealing something from her room, and she had to stop him. Using her skills, she made him comfortable to sit with her and share his problem. Upon asking, she came to know about the whole story. She told me that his parents are not very supportive. They are having conflicts with each other, due to those disturbances he stayed away from home. He got into some bad company from the neighborhood, and they influenced him to get into drugs. Due to unavailability of money, they were unable to get stronger drugs. Therefore, they used my friend to steal money through blackmailing. They had made his video while he was smoking, and they were threatening him that they will send this video to his parents. I felt very sorry for him and somehow blamed myself for his behavior.
My friend stayed at my home that night, and the next day my mom went to his parents. She told them the whole story and asked them to let the kid stay at our home for a few more days. They agreed upon it and were very ashamed for their behavior. My mother also took legal permission from his parents for counseling my friend. She also asked me to help her in this matter. Onwards, my friend started coming to school with me, and I was told by my mother to look after him at school. She also involved our principal in this matter and secretly told the teachers to give more attention to my friend. She dropped our bus, and she would drive us to School. After school, she would take my friend to the doctor. As a result, we saw improvements in my friend's behavior with the passing of the days. I could see hope and motivation on my friend's face. It shows that the availability of little encouragement of juvenile at risk can play a more significant role in the prevention of juvenile delinquency (Utting and Henricson, p. 30).
From this incidence, I learned that when a family is disharmonious, it pushes the children away from home and they go out looking for a contact who can resolve the feelings of insecurity and frustration. A human being is a social animal. He or she needs a company of other human beings to survive in the world. However, when this need is not fulfilled at home, he or she goes out seeking for the company. In the case of children, they are in a very sensitive phase of life. All the time, young children require emotional, social, economic and physical support which comes from the family (Cernkovich and Giordano, pp. 295-319). When all the requirements of the child are not provided, then he or she finds an escape in unlawful activities.
In conclusion, Juvenile delinquency is one of the serious of matters of society, and it can bring severe consequences if not dealt properly. There are various factors of it, and one of the main factors is the role of a family. However, it can be controlled at the initial stage when interacting with the child who is at risk of delinquency. At initial stages, it would be easier to bring back the child.
Loeber, Rolf, and Magda Stouthamer-Loeber. "Family factors as correlates and predictors of juvenile conduct problems and delinquency." Crime and justice 7 (1986): 29-149.
Meldrum, Ryan C., et al. "Parental low self-control, family environments, and juvenile delinquency." International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 60.14 (2016): 1623-1644.
Cernkovich, Stephen A., and Peggy C. Giordano. "Family relationships and delinquency." Criminology 25.2 (1987): 295-319.
Rutter, Michael, and Henri Giller. "Juvenile delinquency: Trends and perspectives." (1983): 82.
Utting, David, Jon Bright, and Clem Henricson. Crime and the family: Improving child-rearing and preventing delinquency. London: Family Policy Studies Centre, 1993.
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