It should come as no surprise whatsoever to learn that Nanny's much vaunted Anti Social Behaviour Scheme (ASBO) has become something of a "must have badge of honour" amongst many of the teenagers of Britain.
Although Nanny is totally enamored of her "brilliant" idea, youth workers, some judges and magistrates have serious reservations about ASBOs. They believe that they are being overused, because they require a lower level of evidence than bringing a full prosecution in court.
ASBOs were introduced in 1999, by the end of September 2005 7,356 had been imposed. Breaching an order can lead to a jail term.
Seemingly 49% of ASBOs given to under 18s had been breached, with the majority flouting them on more than one occasion.
One magistrate is quoted as saying in a recent report on ASBOs:
"It's being used as a badge of honour."
Parents and carers of teenagers handed the orders said that they were viewed as a "diploma" and boosted the miscreant's "street cred".
Research conducted by the Policy Research Bureau and the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders quoted one mother with 3 sons:
"Some of the friends are left out now because they are not on an ASBO.
I think they all want one.
It's like a new street cred."
I would have thought that it was bleedin' obvious that this would happen!
The solution to teenage "issues", for want of a better word (I have no intention of following Nanny's reasoning that all teenagers are yobs), is as follows:
- Parents need to take a proactive, hands on role in the lives of their children. Letting children hang out on street corners all day and all night, or stuffing their rooms full of gadgets so as to avoid interacting with them is lazy parenting.
Despite what Nanny's education system is trying to do to the brains of children, children are not stupid; they pick up very quickly that they are not wanted (be it because they are left to hang around on street corners, or because they packed off to numerous after school activities). Children need interaction with their parents and the guidance that only a parent can offer. Those parents who say that this is too hard should ask themselves why they had children in the first place.
- Local pubs and clubs should start to offer what was once common place, boxing lessons for youths. These were an effective means of channeling the aggression of a hormone bloated male, and an excellent means of instilling a sense of self discipline and pride.
- Where the above fails, and the teenagers "run amok", put the offenders in the stocks and humiliate them. Nothing curtails a teenager's ego, and dampens his "rumbustuousness", like a bit of humiliation.