Friday, November 27, 2009

Juvenile Delinquency: Causes and (quick?) Treatment -- and Prevention

Juvenile Delinquency: Causes, (quick?) Treatment -- and Prevention

Five or six weeks of intensive attention -- at least an hour a day (useful example, driving lessons) – during which six weeks the youngster’s crime spree will not slow down one iota – can turn the most out of control delinquent completely around -- only at the very end -- in my few experiences (no books, no magazine articles, no studies involved; just my personal observations of very unexpected reality).

Here is why and how I think the process of intensive attention works:
--First crazy observation: Boys under 18 1/2 years of age are in the emotionally dependent stage for all practical purposes as much as if they were 12 years old.
--Second: The emotionally dependent stage turns off like a light switch, over about a week’s time (as nearly as I can observe -- a pure social instinct thing).
--Third: If kids in the emotionally dependent stage think (mistakenly about half the time) that nobody cares about them, they literally will not care about themselves: therefore cannot be deterred by any threat of punishment – more out of their own control than anything else (easier to imagine at 12 than at 18).
--Fourth crazy thing: Boys who are simply out of the control of loving guardians (e.g., weak mother’s or relatives) get every bit as what I call “hysterically alienated” as boys from the worst neglectful environments (again, easier to imagine with the worst neglected).
--Fifth: Unlike the two or three decades of positive socialization it takes to dissipate the paranoia that underlies heavy heroin or alcohol addiction, it takes a mere five or six weeks of intensive attention to turn the craziest, out of control delinquent completely around.
--Sixth: The change comes all in one day – I call it “Invasion of the Body Snatchers syndrome” – not gradually. This really drives you crazy near the end when you have established a great supportive relationship with the kid but he still goes out robbing every night – until.

How to get started establishing a supportive relationship (warning: you are adopting a child psychologically – full responsibility -- or it wouldn't work):
You have to start out kissing the kid’s behind and telling him whatever he wants to hear. Say anything opposing him for the first week to ten days and he will go running off: truly hysterical. Gradually you get the kid under your thumb: supportive relationship. Then wait for the new kid (possibly even a whole new personality) to wake up one morning! Crazy experience; nothing you could predict.

[I moved this essay on its own blogspot a year ago but I now have moved it back here because I think that a post attracts more hits if it is on a blogspot that gets other hits.]

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