Parents Talk Poll: Should Parents Be Held Accountable for Their Children’s Delinquent Behavior?

If a child is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, should the parent be held accountable as well?

As I check out the news each week, it’s not uncommon to hear news about juveniles being cited for breaking the law.

Whether it’s allegations of , or a variety of other crimes, there is no ignoring that some of our juvenile population are causing some trouble (as are adults). According to the U.S. Department of Justice 2009 data, U.S. law enforcement agencies made an estimated 1.9 million arrests of persons younger than 18 years old.

In this week’s Parent Talk, we ask for you to take our poll and share in comments – should parents be held accountable for their children’s delinquent behavior?

Carrie Ritchie September 07, 2012 at 02:01 PM
It depends. What age and what crimes are we talking about. Also, what has the parent done to try to train their children and teach them better? What have the parents done to try to prevent these crimes from happening. It is really something that should be decided case by case. Sometimes, there are mental health issues that are contributing to the matter and that cannot be helped unless the child is willing to help themselves by taking medication which can be difficult with a defiant child. I do not believe parents should always be held accountable for everything their children do.
plymouth resident September 07, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Like the others said, parents are already held accountable by having to pay the fines but I do think more could be done to scare the children straight. I had a couple instances with my teenagers, one involved marijuana and I asked the police officer to arrest him and take him to jail but he said he couldn't do that because there were two kids, two bags of pot and two pipes and he would have to prove what belonged to who which didn't make sense to me when he could have charged them both. The other involved a stolen item from a car and again my son was not arrested when I asked for them to arrest. The bottom line is kids know that under the age of 18 they will only get a slap on the hand so there is nothing to stop them from these kinds of activities. I think they should be arrested and put behind bars for just one night to scare them and maybe a Saturday of community service. This probably won't work for all kids but I bet it would for most.
Jay Hinker September 07, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Oakdale residents, near Tartan High School, already know school's in session again because 'boom boxes', squealing tires, and speeding cars are evident in Oakdale streets near the Tartan campus. Oakdale City Council, Police Dept, and area residents took necessary action two years ago to limit Tartan student, or anyone else, parking on streets adjacent to the campus. Those restricted parking areas worked well last year and, hopefully, will this school year. This negotiated parking change is a good example of how to be 'responsible for our children'. I see Tartan has a new Principal; I expect Mr. Ehrmantraut will be responsive to community input, as was Dr. Bezak. I experienced two successful requests, sent to Dr. Bezak, to ask Tartan Student Council to consider neighborhood problems with Tartan students. I recommend continued citizen requests be addressed to the Tartan Student Council because peer influence, always, trumps parent or adult supervision.
Dale Butler September 07, 2012 at 10:43 PM
I don't think parents should be required to be with their children over about 12 yrs. of age 24/7 and if those children commit crimes they should not be fined as the parents will be the ones to pay. that teaches the child that they can do whatever and mom and dad wil bail them out. Juvenile defenders should have to serve time of some sort, in some cases jail would be appropriate, in others community service might be sufficient. That way they would be in training for the real adult world. If more juveniles were punioshed the right way maybe they would refrain from committing more serious crimes as an adult.
Deb M September 13, 2012 at 07:36 PM
If the child has a chronic behavioral issue then yes parents must be part of the solution. I have no problem ordering parents to take parenting classes, anger management classes, family counseling , whatever it takes. Children with chronic behavioral issues tend to come from families with issues.


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