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Should parents be held responsible for their

minor children's criminal behavior

All parents have a responsibility when it comes to raising their children. Beyond the
obvious, such as providing them food, water and clothing along with a nurturing
environment, they should be expected to teach their children the right and wrong
behaviors that are expected or shunned by society.
This is where the old saying, "children learn what they live", comes into play.
When a parent feels that what their own child takes part in is beyond their responsibility is
the very reason we have thousands of juvenile detention centers filled with youth.
Responsible parenting involves far more then taking care of a child's basic needs: it
requires a mature, adult mind with a genuine desire to raise a child from birth into
adulthood by means of teaching responsible, acceptable behavior. This of course takes
time, common sense, and a genuine love for the safety and future of ones child. In
today's society, parents are consistently using other means, such as childcare centers,
schools, video games or the Internet as the sole guiding factors in occupying children's
idle time.
I don't believe there is any question as to whether a parent should be held responsible for
their minor children's behavior - it's a no brainer. To argue that question would be as
ridiculous as to ask, "Should parent's be responsible for giving birth to their own child"? If
the parents aren't to be held responsible, who is? The same is true when asked who
should be held responsible for the actions that children have either been taught at home
or never taught to begin with. Should I be responsible for what someone else failed to
Parents that tell us they are not responsible for the negative actions of their children are
indirectly telling us that they haven't done a vital part of the parenting role: positive
It is true that we cannot be everywhere are children roam. What is possible, if we care
enough, is to make sure that our children know right from wrong before they venture out.
If we as parents create a hostile, un-nurturing, destructive environment that has been
proven to have a direct impact on young lives, how on earth can we blame others? If we
spend more time away from our children then we do with them, how well do we know
them enough to understand what they have learned or what more needs to be taught? If

we expect our school systems, daycare centers, friends, child peers, or neighbors to
handle our responsibilities, what then is left for us to be responsible for?
We may be the best of parents and things can still go wrong. We may do all we can to
give our children the tools to keep them out of trouble and on the right path in society.
However, I doubt very highly that statistics taken by detention facilities will disclose that
children housed in them had parents fully involved in their lives. The tragedy at
Columbine is a perfect example of parental negligence.
We are responsible for what our children do, because they are our children. We brought
them into this world to become part of society - society did not ask for them. To cast off
blame onto others or pretend we aren't responsible for neglecting to keep our children
safe and society safe from their criminal tendencies is a self-centered, cowards way of
saying, "I just couldn't handle it".
Unfortunately, our society won't punish a parent for irresponsible teachings or lack
thereof. Yet, they will expect others to foot the bill when parents fail to fill their parental
responsibilities and cause society to pick up the cost of their inadequate or non-existent
parental skills.
If bad parenting comes with no cost attached to it, then society should not be forced to
pay for the lack of it either. Bad parents should be given the bill.
Then, at least, they can be held responsible for something. Especially when it wasn't our
choice to take on their 18 year commitment.

Child criminals - should the parents be punished?

After long custodial sentences were handed out to three teenage thugs who
all committed serious offences following dysfunctional upbringings, we ask to
what extent their parents should be held responsible for their crimes?
Lewis Barlow, 14, and Leon Gray, both of Winn Gardens, were ordered to
serve at least 12-and-a-half years for murdering partially-sighted dad Colin
Greenwood at Middlewood tram stop.
Meanwhile, Callum Daniels, aged 15, from the Manor, was detained
for a minimum of five years for robbery, rape, burglary and escaping from
"This is a tough one because, although I feel that it is the responsibility of the
parents and that they should be punished, I also believe that the Government
should provide them with more tools to be better parents.
"Ninety per cent of these so called 'bad parents' will have had poor
upbringings themselves.
"It's a vicious circle which is an extremely difficult one to be broken. Even if
parents are punished for their children's crimes or them missing school, are
they really equipped to stop things happening?
"I'm not convinced that punishing parents will have any impact on improving
things; these parents are not equipped and their actions could even drive their
children to undertake even more crime.
"Poorly equipped parents, i.e. people who have not been provided with the
necessary life skills, are always going to struggle and start on the back foot.
"This applies to childhood obesity as well, which, in my eyes, is a form of child
abuse, as the child straight away will have health problems and social
problems such as bullying and isolation."
Peter Smith, aged 27, Hillsborough.
"It's quite obvious they should be in this case, but the old "approved school"
system seems the right answer."
Richard Roper, aged 58, Gleadless.
"It's no surprise that children turn out horribly dysfunctional when they come
from broken homes - or even a broken society.
"Children who run riot have very little chance in life - educational failure,
chaotic home lives and no discipline are a recipe for crime, drugs and a life
with no real meaning.
"We have to work out how to improve parenting, and be more prepared to
remove children from parents who are patently incapable of looking after them
"We also need to address the root cause of the failure. Social breakdown,
drugs, educational failure and benefit dependency have left our country in a
mess, and there are few obvious ways to fix it."
Rob McIlveen, aged 26, Crookes.
"It is my strong belief that parents should be held fully responsible for their
child's actions.

"All parents should be subject to a parenting order the first time a child
commits an anti social act, then the parent and child should then be monitored
by a social worker or probation officer."
James Smith, aged 73, Stocksbridge.
"The parents of the above offenders are clearly not responsible people
"I do think parents should be held responsible for their child's misdeeds. But,
when the situation reaches this sort of level, I do think the law should step in.
"The problem is the lack of discipline. What kind of a society do we live in
today, when a child can threaten to take his own parents to court?
"There is no corporal punishment anymore.
"What hope do the young people of today have, If they clearly don't know the
difference between right and wrong?"
Jane Coulston, aged 47, Crookes.
"Sadly, the behaviour of children is not always in the control of parents. Kids
often copy the culture of their peer group.
"What is needed is the ability to spot early warning signs of criminal behaviour
by combining feedback from the police, schools and neighbours.
"Then, social services may hopefully provide a course of action before
something serious happens.
"This will cost extra money but could prove a worthwhile investment and
perhaps stop the tragic consequences of violent behaviour.
"As the recent Sheffield incidents show, we are simply dealing with
punishment rather than prevention."
Barry Cummings, aged 65, Broomhall.
"I think if you asked a lot of parents where their children were and what they
were up to they would have no idea.
"I hear youngsters walking about the streets in the early hours of the morning
and so, to a large extent, I think parents do have a responsibility for the
behaviour of their children.
"But obviously they can't be watching the kids 24 hours a day so the way they
are brought up has a lot to do with their behaviour patterns as they grow up.
"There seems to be very little deterrent these days to stop children committing
"You don't see many police on the streets on the estates, so the youngsters
seem to think they can do what they want when they want but when they are
caught doing something wrong, they and the do-gooders in our society grab
every opportunity to blame something (eg drugs and alcohol) or someone
"Let's not forget there are thousands of youngsters and teenagers who do
fantastic things in our communities but this obviously does not make good
news or reading, as we hardly ever hear or read of these fine upstanding
young people."
Kevan Smith, aged 50, Manor.
"When these so-called 'children' commit such serious crimes, they should be

treated like any other criminal of that calibre, which means having their names
and photographs published, instead of the usual excuse of 'cannot be .for
legal reasons' rubbish.
"Furthermore, their parents should also be subjected to the same exposure.
And to give (and perhaps warn) the public some indication of the 'child's'
upbringing and circumstances, the parents should also be asked their
occupation or if, and how long they have received benefits, if they are married
and/or have a live-in partner, if they have any other children, and if so, have
they been in trouble with the law.
"Of course, we would always expect the standard 'no comment' answer, as we
don't want to compromise anyone's human rights. Except, that is, the human
rights of the victim."
Peter Charles, aged 50, Hillsborough.

P u b l i u s Val e r i u s P u b l i c o l a
The relationship between rights and responsibility is pretty clear. As people gain rights,
they gain corresponding responsibilities. Obviously someone is responsible for any action
that is a criminal behavior. Lets look at trespassing, for example. It is a fairly simple crime
and corresponds easily to a right.
Ask yourself, can a child choose where they go, legally or is that privilege controlled by
their parents? Can a twelve year old child tell their parents they are going to the store
and do so without permission? If a parent stops them will the police interfere to protect
the child's right to liberty? If the parents punish the child for going without permission by
locking them in a closet for 4 hours, will the police interfere to protect the child?
At this point you probably realize that a parent or legal guardian hold a child's right to go
where they want as a legal trust for the child doling it out as they see fit. They can, for
example, tell a child to climb over a fence and go pick some apples. They can punish
them for not doing so. They can control through observation, punishment, and physical
force where a child goes and be perfectly within their legal rights. How then, can you hold
a child legally responsible for going anyplace? They have no legal right to control where
they go, so they should hold no legal responsibility. The parent does hold legal right to
control where a child goes and thus should hold legal responsibility.
There are few instances where this does not apply. Legally, a child does have a few
rights. They legally have a right to live. A parent cannot execute their child. The same
goes for battery and sexual assault. That is pretty much it though.
In a perfect world this would not be an issue. Parents would look after children and wisely
administer their rights. This is not a perfect world. If a child steals my wallet and spends
all my money, their parent can and should be held responsible for compensating me and
making good on the crime. Their child has no right to own money or possessions and
should not be held legally responsible for theft of either until they do have that right.

Leroy Fodor
Parents should be held accountable for the actions of their minor children. Before you
pass judgment take the time to read all of pessimistic view. Absolutely Parents should be
held accountable. I think it is time for the parents to accept responsibility for their actions.
Your child's behavior is a complete reflection of how you have raised them. If you have
taken the time to fully teach your child right from wrong and taken the steps as a parent
to protect them from troublesome situations you will not have to worry about their actions.
If you know your child like you should you will know exactly where they are and what they
are doing. Sit with them and talk about things that are on your mind. Warn your children
about things that they may face in the future. Prepare pros and cons for the subjects you
are about to discuss. Let them know why things are right or wrong. So, yes parents are
responsible for their children.
If the parents are held accountable for their children's actions they will start parenting like
they should and not rely on Internet blocking agents and television codes to keep them
from watching questionable content on television, and visiting websites they may not be
permitted to visit. Parents have it to easy today they just set a code here block a website
their shop for music at Wal-Mart where explicit language is forbidden and they consider
that good parenting. But, is that honestly parenting? That is not parenting that is allowing
the television, Internet, and music production industries to do the parenting for you. Is it
so hard to set rules in your household and enforce them? Tell them not to watch what you
do not approve of; if they do it anyway take that privilege away simple solution to a not so
complicated problem. If you do not like the music they are listening to throw it away and
tell them they can't have it. If you hear it again take their musical device, whether it be
MP3 player, I-pod, CD player and tell them when you learn to follow the rules you can
have it back. Take the time to be a parent and you watch what they do online its not that
hard if you take the time to investigate it. Computers are amazing pieces of machinery
and the things you can watch without even being there is amazing. You just have to put
forth the effort to do so. Take the time to get involved with what your children are doing.
Enter their lives with an open mind so in return they will be equally open with you.
It is not hard to be a good parent, show love, teach them the things to evolve good
morals and values in their lives and you won't have to worry about what they are doing.
Parenting takes time and most important it takes a huge team effort from both parents.
Life is hard and complicated we need to prepare our children for the real word so they
won't get stampeded over the minute they leave our home on their own. If we as parents
can't instill honest hard working values in our children how can we ever expect them to
have the chance to pass that onto their children? We need to take a stand, quit allowing

everyone else to do our job and step up to the plate and take one for the team. Children
can be stubborn we need to be stern. Children will lie we need to show them we know
the truth and can't be played like a piano. If you approach parenting with a warm heart
and a stern hand your children will learn from you, they will do the right thing when faced
with the problems of the adolescent world. Making their life easy as a child will only make
it harder for them to live once they grow up.
A child's behavior is a complete reflection of how the parents raised them. If you can't
take responsibility for your actions in raising your child, how can you ever expect them to
take responsibility for anything they do?