Juvenile delinquency in boys could be cry for help when they need parents the most

FILE PICTURE: SAPS members search a boy at Ngqayisivele High School in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni.
FILE PICTURE: SAPS members search a boy at Ngqayisivele High School in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni.
Image: JAMES OATWAY

We have just celebrated Youth Month. This makes me reflect on the challenges that the boy child is facing.

How do you explain or rationalise a phenomenon where boys are ganging up to rape, molest and even kill their victim?

On a daily basis, young girls are violated by boys who they had hoped and thought would protect them. We are indeed in serious trouble when boys, as young as 12 years old, plan to rape and kill young innocent girls.

Our boys also are taking drugs as if these drugs are going out of fashion. They even rob and maim their elders without fear of being arrested. Where has their conscience gone to?

What has happened to them to behave like cold-blooded monsters?

Or is it because society does not care for them anymore that they have lost interest in life and its challenges?

Maybe we are in a spiritual warfare against the devil that aims to destroy our future generation.

If these boys continue to indulge in drugs, unprotected sex and rape, what kind of fathers, husbands or future leaders are they going to be?

We need to act now to avert the birth of a generation of doom.

Mostly it is the choices that these boys make that get them into serious trouble. It is always expedient to blame their parents for their indiscretions but that does not absolve them from responsibility for their decisions.

Most parents do their best in raising their boys to be law-abiding citizens. No parent enjoys seeing their child becoming a social misfit.

However, in most cases, it is the type of friends that boys choose which leads them into untold misery and suffering. Parents always wish the best for their children.

The sad reality, however, about children is their propensity to shame their parents and delight the devil.

We should not give up on our boys in the face of such a concerted onslaught from the devil. If we do, we would unwittingly be satisfying the devil's desire.

Timeous intervention is key for our boys to realise that peer pressure actually destroys their future.

They can stop all this self-destruction if we, as parents, show them that there is a lot that they can do with their lives other than crime.

At the end, it is the parents who become a laughing stock of their neighbourhood just because of their children's misbehaviour.

Our boys should know the emotional hurt and pain that they put us through, as parents, with their criminal behaviour.

My heart particularly goes out to those parents whose boys have brought them so much shame to an extent of wishing the world would swallow them up.

I, therefore, appeal to all black businessmen and women out there to invest in the boy child so that we could reap the rewards of better responsible adults in future.

It is unfair to continue blaming the boys for their violent and criminal behaviour as they inflict pain and suffering on those who they purport to love.

We must not ignore the reality that it could be as a consequence of lack of grooming and investment in their lives, especially from the business community.

Another mistake by parents is not to listen to their children, especially boys, about issues that trouble them. We must also guard against being prescriptive in our responses lest they rebel.

There is a lot at stake; as parents we can't afford to throw our hands up in despair. This is the time our boys need us the most.

It is what we do today in their lives that determines their future.

Let's act now, for our interest's sake and that of the country's future. We can't afford to lose our future.

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