Recent figures show an increase in violent crime among youngsters under the age of 18. Some psychologists claim that the basic reason for this is that children these days are not getting the social and emotional learning they need from parents and teachers.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
Children are nurtured by parents and teachers at home and at school. As their first source of contact, they are influenced and imitate the behaviour of those who they spend the most time with. Unfortunately, in today’s competitive world, adults do not spend enough quality time with their children.
Children who are left unsupervised for hours on end are not likely to learn about boundaries and what is appropriate social behaviour. With plenty of free time on their hands and no-one to keep them out of trouble, youngsters may engage in criminal activities such as vandalism, hooliganism, shoplifting and petty theft. As no-one guides them in the right direction, the friends they make might easily sway them into a life of crime. Similarly, teachers focus on their job of teaching school subjects rather than trying to keep youngsters trouble free.
There are many reasons why youngsters may opt for a criminal lifestyle and these are not always related to parents and teachers. In some cases, children are bullied at school and their reaction is to get back at society as often happens in high school shootings. Other times a youngster might have been born with criminal tendencies irrespective of the loving environment they grew up in.
Concluding, I believe there is no single reason that draws youngsters into offending. It is unfortunate that crime is on the increase when it comes to the under 18 year olds. Sometimes instead of instructing children in social behaviour and emotional learning, instructors and parents might be the actual cause of youngsters turning to crime.
Question taken from IELTS FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES: 6 PRACTICE TESTS p. 38