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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Youth Killings: The Unspoken Causative Elephant in the Room

Recently, after yet another shooting by a teenager, New York City's Mayor Adams asked where their parents were when the youth wandered the streets at night. Or, to put it more bluntly, why were his parents so lacking in parental responsibility. For expressing this truth the mayor was widely criticized, which is why this sound position is so greatly ignored.
That early developmental experiences are the bedrock of adult behavior is unquestioned for that is when the basic ego capacities governing thinking and behavior are formed. For this a "good-enough" parenting is needed, but this is a wide range with only greatly deficient parenting causing problems. Yet even here the presence of a helpful relative or teacher can make a difference as the child's mind latches onto the healthier notion of life from them. Nor, except in extreme circumstances, should parents be blamed for their child's misbehavior since children are not born with instructions and parents are a product of their own childhood and have their own issues. After gaining treatment for their child they should not feel guilty since they have done all that can reasonably be expected.
Thus does the Elephant in the Room of parental responsibility remain as politicians, who prefer to spout voter-popular phrases, fear to confront it.

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