In my post “Parenting: A Struggle for Better Tomorrow”, I made mention of the anti-parenting elements that have established `themselves core agents making effective parenting difficult. To re-iterate this submission, children have a greater tendency to become anti-social agents in a highly charged anti-moral environment. The learning as well as the adoption processes of anti-social behaviours are easier than the construction and incorporation of godly or essentially required behaviours in a personality. Mostly, in the respective environments, individuals grew up to see failures of noble characters and qualities, and the evil that have suffocated the ambience. Each grew up to hear of godly and moral values expected out of the nature of wickedness and vices inherent in him. By natural expectations, it cannot be a struggle to live congruently in the persistently evil and corrupt world. Human beings are void of goods naturally. No doubt, it becomes a series of continuous struggle when an individual tends to be incongruence with the natural for the purpose to fill up his being with virtues, be it psychological, philosophical, religion-related or any other possible means of becoming a better healthy personality.
With regard to adults with well defined personality concept and values, the influence of anti-societal goods might be of little impact. But to the children yet fully incorporated to the defense mechanisms and other enabled means of fighting through these agents, it is of adequate necessity that they be guided to a safe-zone worthy of societal acceptance and applause. This responsibility rests more on the parents. Anti-social elements will not cease to exist and become more subtle (in operation) and impact-ful. So also the behaviours targeted at promoting them. It is the children that will be snatched away from their influential captivity. To be reminded, the core values imparted on them during their childhood developmental stages- either beneficial or detrimental-proceed with them to adulthood. By that, it is necessary to catch them young between the adequately reinforced walls of social norms before anti-environmental agents do.
The definition of anti-social behavior is not in terms of individually proscribed behaviours; rather, it is based on a set of general conditions. The meanings attached to the concept of anti-social behaviour, as it is currently evolving in political and legal discourse, include;
1. It is the behaviour that is harmful to other people (but not including immediate family members).
2. It is persistent and serious (that is, it is not a one-off event and is not of a trivial nature from ordinary disputes of everyday life).
3. It does not necessarily constitute an infringement of the criminal law.
4. It is (particularly in the case of children and young people) an indicator of the risk that the perpetrator will go on to commit criminal offences.
5. It constitutes a series and widespread social problem and therefore justifies the use of formal, legal interventions.
Examples of anti-social behaviours include; harassment of residents and passers-by, racial abuse, threatening behaviour in large groups, substance misuse, vandalism and criminal damage, noise nuisance, infringement of social or moral norms etc.*
The above set of behaviours is the element the parents geared their relentless efforts, day by day, to shield their children from. Practical intervention is indeed needed, and be purposely directed toward ensuring reliable results. There might be numerous means to achieve this goal. However, in my proceeding postings, I will base my mean and strategies on five solution points;
1.Selection of environments
2. Healthy disciplinary methodology
3. Early introduction to godliness and societal norms
4.Living by examples as parents
5. Selection and the moderation of the children’s peers and friends and other inanimate elemental relationships.
*Preventing Children’s Involvement in Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour: A literature Review
A paper produced for the National Evaluation of the
David Prior and Alison Paris
Institute of Applied Social Studies