I was 17 once. I hung around with good kids, not so good kids and very bad kids. Teens heavily influence one another in ways that can have a direct impact on their futures. When you are young and new to the world, you are seeking out how things are supposed to be. Your gauge is guided by what your parents have become, but kids don’t often think their parents are smart enough to make the right decisions. So even if the kids’ parents are great, the kid may rebel and do stupid things.
At a young age, a kid that seems to have his act together by his peers, may become a leader. That kid may be a great influencer but may not have his act together at all. He may be a leader, but a blind one. As the saying goes, the blind leading the blind.
In California “police have arrested High school football players in connection with a string of street robberies that targeted teenage boys over the past two weeks. The teenagers were wanted in connection with a string of five robberies that began June 30. After police alerted the community via e-mail and local media, someone called and offered a tip that led police to the suspect’s home. Police said the teens in custody told them that the victims were targeted because they were walking alone and distracted, either by listening to music or talking on their cell phones. In each of the reported cases, a vehicle appeared to canvass a street for an unsuspecting teen. One occupant would get out and walk ahead of the victim. He would then turn around and punch or grab the victim and steal his electronics, usually an iPod, cell phone or both, while shouting threats.”
When I was a kid, I saw this. Teens I ran with thought behavior like this was “cool”. Fortunately for me, I didn’t see the fun in that kind of behavior. I think I got lucky. Today, many of those kids I ran with are messed up, dead or in jail. When young and impressionable, even a good kid can go bad when with the wrong crowd. And for the rest of his life he will pay the penalty. My parents were great. As good a parent as you may be, your kid can get caught up in something like this. Have you talked to your kid today?