Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 14, 1954

Rules For Making Delinquent Children

Rufus R. Clifford, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee

We hear and read much about juvenile delinquency being one of our major problems. Juvenile delinquency is only a symptom of the disease which is eating away the foundation of our country. The disease is a lack of Christ-centered homes. For the most part, delinquent parents can be said to be the cause of delinquent children. A wayward youngster and an erring parent are usually but the opposite sides of the same bad coin. The following rules on how to make a juvenile delinquent, as prepared by Juvenile Judge P. G. Gilliam, of Denver, Colorado, and Probation Director W. J. Harper, of White Plains, New Jersey, appeared in one of our local newspapers.

Don't give your son any religious or spiritual training. Just take care of his bodily needs.

In his presence don't be respectful to womanhood or of law and government. Belittle "dames" and the courts, the police, public officials, the school, the church, and business. "It's all a racket."

Never look for the real cause for untruthfulness in your child. You might discover he learned the art of lying from you.

Be sure to humiliate your child in the presence of his friends. It adds to his respect for you.

If a conflict in will arises between you and your child, don't try to reason with him . . . just knock him down ... your father was boss of his home and the kids may as well learn the "hard" way.

Don't have any constructive discipline, and disagree with your wife or husband in the child's presence so that the child will learn on whom to depend.

Be sure to criticize departed guests in the presence of your child. He will respect your integrity.

Never give your child a reason for the commands laid upon him; let him guess ... it's easier.

Don't consider his educational and emotional development a parental responsibility. What are the schools for?

Don't let him discuss his plans, problems, or pleasures with you. Just be too busy, so he won't develop affection or security or trust in you.

Don't open your home to his companions; they will muss up the place. And don't be concerned where he spends his free time.

Don't be calm and poised. Be shocked and explode when he tells you he has done something wrong. Then he won't confide in you the next time.

Don't make a pal of him. Go alone to your sports and entertainments. He would only be in the way.

If you forget all the above, just remember this one. Be a poor example yourself. You know, "Do as I say, it's no business what I do."

To the many parents, who are contributing to the delinquency of their children by not living faithful Christian lives, by not attending Bible classes and worship services, and by not bringing them up in the way the Lord would have them go, we commend to you the above rules. Just follow the above rules and the state will take care of your child for you!

We need more parents who are following Paul's command, "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Eph. 6:4.) There is nothing more desperately needed in our nation than God-fearing homes. We need more homes imbued with the Spirit of Christ. From such homes there will come law-abiding citizens and God-fearing men and women. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22:6.)