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Thursday, August 12, 2010

20 Reason Why Good Kids Make Bad Choices!

Every day in our communities good kids make bad choices. As a crime and violence prevention consultant, I have compiled a list of 20 reasons as to why this is so. I have found that these reasons generally fall under the two general categories of loss of family or loss of community.
1. 50% of marriages end in divorce - 1 in 4 women in abusive relationships - Children learn behavior from adults.
2. Adult bullies: Mental abuse with put downs, insults, belittling, cursing, screaming and controlling without listening or guiding.
3. Physical abuse: hitting, whipping, slapping, kicking or sexual abuse of a child.
4. Bio-parents have authority to discipline and guide children, stepparents, boy friends or girl friends do not.
5. Emotional women (crying, pleading, begging) lose their authority with teens, especially boys.
6. Adults, who don’t listen, send a message… ”I don’t care.” Children become frustrated, lack self-confidence and may become socially isolated.
7. Neglect and abuse creates anger. Anger prevents emotional growth and a lack of self-awareness, which puts youth at risk.
8. Parents who can’t say NO, will experience resentment, anger and disrespect. They are teaching their child to be self-absorbed!
9. The neglect of a child's spirit: If adults fail to teach children about their awesome inner power and potential, they may not value themselves or others.
10. Bullies are emotionally “off-center” with a wounded spirit: This child uses intimidation and fear to gain power and control over others...and to hide their pain.
11. Pincushion kids (victims) are emotionally “off-center” with a wounded spirit: Shy, sensitive children may feel inadequate, suffer in silence and become easy targets. Bullies and victims are often attracted to each other.
12. Bullies and “Pincushion" kids (sensitive) lack healthy role models. Strong “centered” adults create a network of support, listen and stay calm when disciplining and guiding children.
13. Children lacking spiritual values and support do not discover a healthy balance between ego and spirit. Peers can become their teachers as they experiment with drugs, alcohol, sex or other self-destructive behaviors.
14. Youth, unable to cope or “fit in,” can become disconnected from family, friends and feel alone. They are likely candidates to dropout of school, join gangs or become addicted to drugs. Some may even runaway and become homeless.

15. The loss of neighborhood support creates more social isolation for families. Youth do not see neighbors as role models, mentors or problem solvers working together to keep their neighborhood safe for everyone.
16. Gangs, drugs and violence become a life style for alienated youth. Gangs use fear to control neighborhoods as they become role models for children. Rival gangs kill for power. (Primitive ego-driven tribal behavior) Note: Terrorist use the same tactics to gain power and control over others.
17. Violent movies, video games and TV reinforce the bully/victim behavior for disconnected youth. Sex and violence used to degrade and control women.
18. Easy access to drugs (escape from reality) and guns (power tool for youth disconnected from community).
19. The religious community has lost influence with many of today’s families due to scandals, corruption and the sexual abuse of children.
20. Religion, the foundation of a free society, has neglected to reach out and “Love thy Neighbor.” Working together…the religious community has the power to bring neighbors together, become role models for youth and create peaceful communities.

Every bully, delinquent, truant, abuse victim, drug dealer, gang member, and child struggling to grow up with drugs and/or domestic violence lives in somebody’s neighborhood.

By Stephanie L. Mann, Family and Neighborhoods Safety Consultant
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  1. Stephanie, I really agree with what you are saying. I think we must create a community of caring again for our young people--reaching out to them, and watching for signs of neglect or sadness. While I am glad that young people today are living in a world of affluence and access to very sophisticated technology and information, they still need us as a source of warmth, support, caring and love. We want our young people to be smart, independent and sophisticated, yet we must recognize that they still have an emotional core that is very youthful and in need of guidance, support and wisdom. So I agree, we need to illuminate the unwise choices, and assist then in making better choices, but also giving them our support, interest and listening ear, as well. Cessaly - Decatur, GA

  2. Thank you, Safe Kids Now! Each and every point under loss of family and loss of community is so true. I remember (as does Stephanie!) a great gentleman named Richard Arthur who showed clearly why young people who joined gangs were seeking the exact same things that a true, loving family is supposed to provide. Then we move to our neighborhood, community, churches (faith organizations) and can really get into it!

    One way to make our website more catchy is keep up with - and advertise - the current media coverage of bullying. In the link below of Scholastic Magazine, Choices for example, Demi Lovato confesses that she used to be bullied by other girls when she was in junior high and goes on to share how she overcame it (Demi refused to be a "pincushion" as Stephanie describes many of the victims who find themselves targets for bullies.)

    To view this article, copy and paste:


    onto your browser. Then click on:

    2) DOWNLOAD THIS ISSUE'S FEATURE STORY! Click here to download a PDF of "Exposing Bullies."

    Keep up the good work - and let's think and pray about how we can join you and work together effectively in our communities in order to make a real positive difference in the lives of our youth.

  3. Message posted by Steve Q Shannon on "Ezine Articles"

    This powerful article gets 20 cogent points across without any long winded prologue. I could see this as a poster in civic, social, educational, and law enforcement locations not to mention as a flyer inserted in the material sent home with the new Mom and Dad when they and their baby are released from the hospital or clinic. It's that important. Re-purposing expands and nurtures the life of excellent articles like this one.