If youngsters commit crimes, is it mainly their parents fault?If youngsters commit crimes, is it mainly their parents fault?

Expert Answers
clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You really cannot make a generalization on this topic.  The law generally holds parents liable for children's actions a pretty small minority of the time.  Sure, it happens, but not often.  In some states, 16 and 17 year olds are even treated like adults in a court, so parental blame is out in those cases.

Sure, society can look at individual crimes committed by children and shake heads and fingers at the parents - but when it comes to consequences, individuals are pretty much responsible for their own actions.

That said, however, I'm also an advocate for the idea that the decline of the family unit and namely, a strict family dinner time, is directly correlated to most problems in today's youth, crime being only one facet of these.  When kids aren't in the habit of sitting down, once a day, and learning/practicing communication and how to do life with a family, I think they are more likely to get into trouble.

ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe that everyone must be held accountable for their actions.  When I was a young child I stole something from the grocery store.  When mother realized what I had done she took me back to the store and made me return it.  My mother raised me to be a good person, but I made a bad choice.  Life always comes down to individual choices.  Parents can influence our choices, but in the end it is up to the individual as to what he or she does.


pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not think you can really generalize too much.  I think that there are certainly parents who raise their kids so badly that they do not think it is wrong to commit crimes.  But I also think that it is possible for kids to do bad things simply because they are kids.  I think that good kids do bad things and times.

I also think it's possible for a kid to be bad, at least for a while, even if their parents raise them as well as possible.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think it may be somewhat dependent on what the crime was and the reason that it was committed. In some circumstances, I believe that parents are to blame because they had bad parenting skills. On the other hand, I have known adults who have been excellent parents, yet have a child who has gotten themselves into trouble.

This is a really tricky question and I really feel that it is dependent on many different factors.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Who knows.  I don't think peoples' motivations to commit crimes are ever this black and white.  I think parents have a huge influence, and are able to direct their children towards healthy adulthood, but it's not as if kids from wealthy, well-adjusted homes with loving parents don't ever commit crimes.  Clearly there is more to the equation than just the parents.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
This is a difficult question and the answer is that it depends. You have to take it on a case by case basis. Some parents turn their children into criminals directly by teaching them or indirectly by neglect. Some people are just born bad though. Not all criminals are created by their environments. Some have good, loving, attentive parents. Most do not though.
user230787 | Student

depending on the age around 13 and up its the horemons and pubrty along with peer pressure causing them to commit the crime

djuggs | Student

In whatever angle you see it, parents often get the blamed whenever their teens would commit crimes. But I honestly think it's only a part of it. Our kids are different individuals with judgements and personalities of their own. Bad influences from peers or personal struggles may also be some of the factors that affect every kid's behavior.

The only parenting mistakes that these troubled teen's parents have committed are to be complacent that it's impossible for their kids to be involved in illegal acts. I think that is one thing that parents find frustrating, thinking that they have done everything to raise a responsible and respectful individual but in reality, it is indeed a possibility despite all efforts from good parents.

kc4u | Student

I would prefer not to jump on to easy conclusions. Yes, on a wide general plane, the parents are to blame. But these days, parents are not always the only or majormost influence on the youngsters. Family ties have loosened for so many reasons; teenagers are not particularly home-spun creatures now-a-days; they have their own choicest friends, associations, exposures, obsessions and so on. They have access to the net, cyber cafes, media and the like; they have ample opportunities to satisfy their aspirations and fantasies.

I do not intend to bail out the erring / irresponsible parents who are all too busy with themselves. Parents are still the best teachers for the youngsters, but rapid changes in the family as well as in the society must also be taken into consideration.

nusratfarah | Student

In my opinion, though parents can not be alleged entirely responsible for their children's involvement into crimes, but they are the most faulty.

If parents can bring up children with good care and provide proper guidance, then children become good civilians. Parents' duty is not finished by giving birth. Home is the best place for education, it is not baselessly said. They have to look after whether or not their children are getting proper education, going through the correct track, and learning the values. They should be enough friendly with their sons/ daughters. But this lack of sensibility influences the children's process of growing up. many parents fight each other in front of children. This is really shameful.

If parents become more sensible, the children would be more careful about their own future.