If not the parents, who? The minor child is not a ward of the court, in most cases, but a ward of his or her parents. The minor child is taught right and wrong by the school system, yes, but more often and more completely by the child’s parents. That’s the way it should be at any rate. It is the parents’ responsibility to raise their children, not simply provide for them. It is the parents responsibility to make certain that they don’t overlook issues that are present in their own children before those issues manifest themselves in criminal behavior.
A minor child is just that, a minor. By law, they are not responsible for making intelligent or informed decisions. So if we hold that point of view we must, as a consequence, hold that the parent of the minor child must be lest we decide that no one is and thereby allow any child under the age of seventeen free reign to cause as much harm or damage as they choose without the threat of consequences.
It is the right of any free person to have a child. No argument there. But, is not anyone’s right to avoid the associated responsibilities of making the child they choose to bring into this world a law abiding member of the society. Parents know their children better than anyone else possibly could. They know the behavior and should be able, if they are in any way involved with the child, see where the child’s behavior goes astray and take the appropriate steps to address any troubles that might turn criminal.
Parenting, we are told so often, is vital in the creation of healthy and wise decision making among the children. So when the child doesn’t heed the parent or isn’t made to or the parent simply doesn’t bother to parent at all should we simply choose to allow the parents that created the criminal by neglecting their responsibilities to wash their hands of the little monster and move on to making another or to raising the descent one that hasn’t turned bad yet? Should we not look to the upbringing in hopes of discovering how Junior came to choose breaking and entering or murder as a fun way to spend time? Should we just blame the video game manufacturer or the film maker? Is that the easier way to deal with these little criminals? We would be making a horrible mistake if that is what we decide. All the little Juniors of this world will quickly figure out that they are free to do as they choose free of any real punishment if we decide that their parents aren’t responsible either.
Parents take heed; you’re little angels aren’t. Not always. You have to take this responsibility upon yourselves. We, those who don’t have children or at any rate don’t have yours, aren’t making the criminal behavior your children practice. You are. If not you then, certainly, it is your neglect or unconcern. Some of us really don’t care much for it, by the way. It makes us angry and you won’t like us when we’re angry.