I AM a mother of two boys aged 8 and 6. For most of the week, these boys are at home or in school. At home, they would usually stuck themselves in our room, playing with their toys or watching movies. They would also go out and run around the yard, playing with water and sand. I still bathe them every day and wash them up after poo poo time. When they have exams, I help them study their lessons. I also help them finish their assignments and projects. During weekends, they would bond with their dad while playing with Tamiya. They always cling to me, always turn to me for help, and always ask for my hand.
This means how innocent and uncorrupted children of this age are. I know it’s not right to make a hasty generalization based on how my kids are developing at this age, but it is safe to say that kids who are always guided by their parents are less prone to violent ways.
In my humble opinion, (and again I reiterate that this is just my point of view) kids who are involved in crimes and violent activities are those that lack parental guidance. Speaking from my experience, I also grew up in a loving atmosphere where my parents continuously provided me the necessary love, care, and guidance. In turn, I am doing just the same with my two kids.
In the book entitled “Family Life and Delinquency and Crime: A Policymakers' Guide to the Literature,” it is stated that based on research, “children raised in supportive, affectionate, and accepting homes are less likely to become deviant. Children rejected by parents are among the most likely to become delinquent. Studies also indicate that the child's disposition plays a role in this causal chain. A troublesome child or adolescent is more likely to be rejected by parents, which creates an escalating cycle that may lead to delinquency.” Furthermore, the book also reveals that children with criminal parents have greater possibilities of becoming delinquent compared to children with law-abiding parents.
Therefore, what is known as positive parenting, plus normative development, monitoring, and discipline, has a clear effect on the child’s behavior and public demeanor. The book also cites that “adequate supervision of freetime activities, whereabouts, and peers are critical to assure that children do not drift into antisocial and delinquent patterns of behavior.” Studies have also identified the greater probability of juvenile delinquency in single-parent families, and in particular mother-only families.
I am on neutral ground with regard to the proposed bill to lower the age of criminal liability to nine years old which was recently approved in the Lower House. I am neither for or against it, but I just want to cite the various situations surrounding this legislative measure. It is true that the number of children allegedly being used by syndicates and other criminal groups, and that more and more kids are becoming more and more delinquent on their own.
At the same time, I cannot, in my life, imagine how a nine-year-old will be subjected to criminal punishments. The bill proposes that “children 9 to 14 years old who will commit serious crimes – such as murder, parricide, infanticide, serious illegal detention, carnapping, and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 – be subjected to "mandatory confinement" for rehabilitation at Bahay Pag-asa.”
As a parent, I have only one stand on this. This is to advocate how parenting has the greatest effect on how a child will turn out to be in the future. Let us always remember that these children were given to us to instill in them the positive values that will make them good individuals in our society. Let this be a reminder that we, parents are the ones responsible for the demeanor of our children especially when they become adults themselves.