It is universally acknowledged that young people go through a phase of rebellion when they are about to become adults. They want to assert their individualities and they seem to think that the best way to do this is to be anti-establishment. This sentiment of being anti-establishment is manifested in a few ways.

They range from arguing with parents to running away from school rang home to committing crimes. Much of their behavior is centered around bravado – to attract attention to themselves and to impress their peers. Frequently, what they do is harmless, but it is unfortunate that they often get into trouble with the law.

Seeding Of Crime

The seeds of criminal tendencies among young people are often planted while they are mere children. This has been proven true through analysis of the behavior of young and even older criminals. Criminals are sometimes created in childhood. Abused children who grow up with the violent behaviors of their parents often become violent in their later lives. A lot of crimes committed by young people are copied from what they see in the movies or on television. Observation of, parental behavior, movies and television all take place at home. Seeing crimes glorified on television and violent behavior of parents make the young think that such is acceptable behavior.

Hence, the first place to look at to encourage young criminals to behave differently is to begin with their homes. It is the tendency of parents today the world over, to want to earn more. Hence, we have a breaking down of traditional roles. To the growing child, and teenager, there is often an empty house or a maid to greet him or her everyday. Left on their own, children resent and feel abandoned. This makes for a lack of control and guidance. The only people who understand this are their peers.

Here, we are left with a delicate situation: At a person’s most impressionable age, he or she is with other people who also have no guidance. All that is needed now is a strong teenage gang leader to lead the teenager astray. If he commits one crime and gets away with it, it is easier the second time around. A few more and he begins to think he can get away all time.


Soon, it becomes a thrill. Before long, the law catches up with the criminal and he is punished. At this point, he may either learn that it is better not to commit crimes or become hardened enough to commit more. A deep psychological scar is inflicted. In an enlightened country, much is done to rehabilitate the young offender, but in many this is not enough. The home should be the first place that builds good citizens and if parents cannot find a good alternative to taking care of their children, they must be prepared to sacrifice their careers to stay at home for the children’s sake. Is the life of a human being worth all the wealth in the world?

How Education Helps?

Schools, too, can play a part in moulding the behavior of young people. Education should lay greater emphasis on character building than on filling a person with knowledge. Ultimately, what ensures a person’s ability to get on in the world is his character and not so much his ability to absorb and remember facts. Yet, it is disappointing to know that even in schools where the criminal tendencies of students become evident – as revealed through their participation in activities such as gang fights and vandalism there is still the same emphasis of making sure that there is the highest percentage of passes possible in the examinations. Frankly, does success in examinations and the fame of the schools really matter so much?

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How young people can be steered away from crime is known to all parents and to schools. The only problem seems to be able to put them into practice. Parents must be prepared to make sacrifices and stop thinking that their children will not get into crime, since they have ‘given them everything they need. If this is true, there just will not be so many crimes committed by young people today. Schools must see their roles as teaching students to become useful citizens and not merely to fill them up with knowledge.


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