From friends for mischief to partners in crime!
How kids can easily transform from friends for mischief to partners in crime!
When school kids are not educated or warned or deterred when they get involved in doing mischiefs in a neighborhood (be it their own or a community that they pass through when walking back home from school), there is a high possibility they might eventually turn out to be ‘partners in crime’ later if left to themselves.
It is probably the fact behind many juveniles going/returning to prison sooner or later in America today (and any place for that matter)?
But it all starts at home. Let me illustrate. Once, as a child, I picked up or stole ‘a single peanut’ from a street vendor just to impress friends/peers while walking back home from middle school. The vendor reported to my Mom. Immediately, my Mom handed me over to be disciplined to the Vendor telling him: ‘I do not want to grow a thief in my house.’ Well, long story short, eventually, I was sent home with a strong admonition from the vendor as he knew me (I was not a habitual thief) and my family quite well. That was my first and last shoplifting!
The incident was immediately embossed on to my mind. I never forgot that incident and the location where it happened though I have forgotten the Vendor’s name. Though, at the moment, I hated my Mom for a little while, it left a lasting impression on my life: “never do it again even for fun”
Recently, a school boy passing through the neighborhood we recently moved to tried to steal a push scooter that I had bought for my daughter. She had left the scooter near the garage door as I hurried her up to come with me to pick up her sister from school. When we came back, my kids were busy with their homework and completely forgot about the scooter. This boy had the guts to walk (actually run according to the neighbor) about 20 feet close to the garage on my driveway! Another neighbor caught him red handed while he was running/riding away with my daughter’s razor scooter and called the police .
I was surprised to see an officer at my door ringing my door bell! I opened the door and the officer explained what happened and asked me if I wanted to press charges against this boy. I declined to press charges.
When the officer told the boy I did not press charges against him, he turned and thanked me. Later, the police required that one of his parents come pick him up: did not let him walk home that day. Thirty minutes later, his parent/guardian (probably what looked like his Mom) did come in an SUV and picked him up from the location where he was caught.
Months later, I happened to meet the same officer at another incident/location (it was an accident this time) in the same neighborhood. The officer told me that the same boy was involved in many other such incidents in multiple neighborhoods. I was shocked. I/we thought he learnt the lesson. I was wrong.
This is what prompted me to write this article.
Here is a real life example of a ‘partners in crime!’ incident in the 1990s.