I don’t think there’s any question that children helped by good mentors are less likely to commit crimes whether they’re children of felons or not. I think logic dictates that. I’m reminded of the time I was lamenting to one of my sons, in his 30’s at the time, that I didn’t feel I provided the kind of leadership as a father that I would have liked to. His response blew me away. He said “dad, the thing is as an adult and specifically as a father, you’re leading even when you don’t think you are.” Children need leadership and guidelines.
We all have heard about some professional athletes ranting on about how they’re not paid to be role models and while in fact that’s true, I believe there is an implied responsibility when one is in a position of authority, to be aware of the impact they have on young impressionable children as well as others the come in contact with. I happen to be one of the fortunate ones that lives close to my children and grandchildren, and my wife and I are part of their lives, to the joy of our children I might add. It’s no secret that when parents are missing, a child absolutely needs someone to look up to for guidance and some guidelines. If there isn’t a responsible adult to fill the void left by parents that are incarcerated, or a responsible surrogate, children are at risk and they will find someone to hang on to, and unfortunately we know that a lot of them will gravitate towards gangs. Of this there is simply no doubt.
One of the toughest lessons we learn is that of accountability. Young people without strong leadership in their lives are much more likely to make life altering, irrevocable decisions that will have profound effects on not only their lives but the lives of others around them.
Today there are too many instances where children see adults abdicating their responsibilities and trying to avoid accountability any way they can which of course sends the wrong message to children.
Yes I believe strongly that children are less likely to commit crimes if helped by mentor, and as an aside, the son I quoted and my daughter-in-law spent several years as house-parents to 10 young boys at a home for children in Phoenix.