Thursday, March 16, 2006

How to stop violence before it starts

“Jump in boys' violent crimes alarms judge”

“The judge in charge of sentencing young offenders is becoming increasingly worried by a surge in serious violent offences by teenagers,” states a New Zealand Herald front-page article (27 February 2006). Although its title implies that it is the jump in “boys' violent crimes” that alarmed the judge so, it is a sad fact that it’s both boys and girls who are becoming more violent, not only in NZ but also in Germany and other countries.

The increased violence among very young offenders (teenagers aged between 14 and 16) is disturbing. We can blame the TV, or drugs, or the divorce rate, or the Double Income Long Hours family model. But it’s not about blame, it’s about solutions.

To solve the problem, let us examine the reason behind it. Let’s ask ourselves what is really going on with these troubled teenagers.

So what is really going on? Chances are, these young people turn to violence out of frustration, boredom, low self-image or the sense of not belonging (reasoning that it’s better to belong to a criminal gang than not to belong at all). In all likelihood they don’t have a support structure at home and they don’t perform well at school. (To improve your child’s school results, please check Learning Styles on

Now, I’m not saying that Learning Styles are a cure for all evils of today’s society, but I can’t read about these violent incidents without wondering whether we could reduce the future crime rate by making teachers and parents aware of children’s needs at school and at home.

Of course, it would lead to better school performance and a better self-image for the teenagers, but Learning Styles are not just about learning. Learning Styles are about day-to-day behaviour. They are about understanding why your teenager seems listless or hyperactive or stressed. They are about knowing what it means when they answer with an “I dunno”, or stare into space when you’re talking to them.

Knowing your teenager’s Learning Style will help you know your teenager. And that’s the first step towards keeping them safe from ill influences.

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