I often wonder how different things would have been had my dad been around to guide me or tell me what I was about to do was idiotic. Dad had passed away some 4 years after I succumbed to peer pressure and instant mischief. Even so he wasn’t really around as my mother and he had divorced ten years earlier. So whats a boy to do?
Your child and the law: A Life of Crime
Running with a group of morons is typically what most boys do. Some of the guys I hung out with did have fathers around but for some reason or another just didn’t take an interest (or liking) in them. In retrospect, had he been around, things would probably been much different.
The Questions: “How can parents and teacher help children avoid a life of crime. What are some lessons adults can share with children who are already committing crimes to keep them out of prison.”
In a general heartfelt response I say if you cant be with your child during the years that you will be relied upon and needed, DO NOT have children. Let’s look at a simple term: OPPORTUNITY COST.
Your Child, Jail and Opportunity Cost
Opportunity cost is when you give something up to proceed with another. Example: You decide not to wear a condom during intercourse and through the glory of God and weird science you create life.(no comments please about when life starts – save that for your own hub). So in lieu of protection you decided that wearing a condom (or making your partner wear a condom) just wouldn’t feel good (or whatever – you have your reasons). You will now (and should) spend the rest of your life taking charge of the life you helped create.
But alas, time goes by and love often fades, people grow apart – whatever reason you have to give yourself that it just won’t work – you split apart. Now, not thinking of the children you and your ex-significant other decide to have it out – or take control – what you should have done first is to sit down like adults and talk about the whiplash you are about to create for everyone around you and how you BOTH will deal with feeling, emotions, money – everything. You were adult enough to start the relationship, be adult enough to end it amiably. Bringing this all together now…
What do children need to keep out of prison?
Guiding loving parents (whether separated or together). We all know we cant be with our children 100% of the time, but letting them know within the first 10 years that daddy or mommy is there for them and will always be there for them does wonders for a child.
Here’s what else is important of my list of how to raise a child:
- Ask about their day
- Check their homework, be involved.
- Quit smoking and (heavy) drinking before they are born. This is an odd one because I stated heavy. This is meant for the partner who is not carrying the child (man or woman). For the woman who is carrying, quit drinking all together at this time. I don’t suggest quitting drinking altogether, its nice to go out to eat and have wine with dinner or drinks with friends. I meant HEAVY drinking. if you have a problem seek counseling.
- Quit drugs before they are born they should be your only addiction
- Get life insurance on yourself
- Plan for their future even plan if you aren’t in it.
- Start a college fund for them – up until they are 5 or 6 take their birthday and holiday money and put it into this account
- Don’t bend to their will – your child must understand that they can’t have everything, even if you can afford it. I became minimalistic in thought when it came to my children. When asked if they could have this, or their friends have this and that, my simple statement was for them to save their allowance or to visualize where that object would be in 6 months; not in use, broken, thrown out, on Craigslist, etc.
- Teach them the importance of money at an early age. You don’t need every piece of crap Wally World throws at you – have some sense – you have too much crap already America. Really, dusting? How much junk do you need to dust off every week? This feeds into my next rule:
- Be Clean – house, home, self – teach your children to be clean – I am not saying to be a fanatic, just clean.
- Volunteer. Show your child that community is important. This may not sound like volunteering to you but, many a time if I see a newspaper or bag on the street I’ll pick it up and place it in the trash. I feel this shows community spirit and is my little way of volunteering even though I have a heavy workload.
- Attend their school functions. This is difficult for me to say as I missed a few – but I was able to let them know that I was sorry. I often planned to be off work when I knew what they had going on. Keep current with your child’s schoolwork and activities.
- Never break a promise – enough said
- If you are divorced and only get to see your children a couple of times a week – make this time enjoyable. I don’t mean seeing a movie either. Watching movies takes away communication – no one talks during this time. Instead, take your children to museums, parks or other facility where you can talk and share ideas.
- If you are going to sleep around on your significant other, try to wait until the papers are signed. Children don’t need to see this.
- Let them be children. Children are loud, funny, explorers, investigators, and constantly try to either win your affection or push your buttons. They have it too easy.
- If you come in contact with a police officer, introduce your child to the officer, let them know that these men are good and not to be feared. Often, an officer would let my kids sit in the “front seat” of the patrol car to get a look at the radios and whatnot.
- On punishment: If you feel yourself getting angry or feel you may be ready to hit out of anger – get up and leave the area for a few minutes. Come back with a level head and deal with the issue in a more constructive way. I remember my mom had a pretty heavy hand and a sharp tongue for such a little woman – you never forget that sting.
Now here comes the hard part:
Had I known now what I didn’t know then. Man, this statement comes up often. Would I have had children had I known my wife and I were going to separate, truthfully? No. Nineteen years ago was a very long time, and if I actually took more time to weigh my opportunity costs things would be different. Albeit, I would not have known my three children and felt the love I do for them, would I be an empty shell or …. but I digress.
This post is to be about how to keep your child from going to jail or prison. I feel that if you have read this post you got an inkling. Be there for your child to love, guide and comfort them, but don’t smother or refuse to acknowledge bad behavior. Simple as that. Maybe this should be titled, “Plan Ahead” instead.
As for Teachers within this context, sure, they have their time and place, but YOU only have a couple of kids to mentor, where they have possibly hundreds. As well, Teachers only have your kids for 6 hours per day – you have them forever, don’t screw it up. If you have done everything you can and your child still winds up on the wrong side of the law, buy them this book: “How To Survive in Prison or Jail”, you’ll be glad you did. If they get anything out of the book, it will be how to survive in prison and not make the same mistakes over and over again.