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Articles > Marriage and Family: > Why Teenagers Turn to Violence

Why Teenagers Turn to Violence

7. Teenagers who kill have lost hope for any enjoyable, meaningful life. We see this rampant in ghetto areas and among gang members who will cavalierly shoot another human being as an initiation rite. Feeling cut off from the larger society, hopeless about ever getting ahead in life, and with nothing much to live for, they see no reason not to steal or kill.

8. Having lost all hope for a decent life, many violent teenagers no longer care. After years of feeling different and unloved, they have given up hope. The only way they know to mask their hidden hurts and longings to be held, known, and loved is to quit caring. Outwardly they put on a tough, uncaring front, devalue all of life, and choose to leave at least one mark on this world, even if it is tragically hurtful for others.

9. Many violent teenagers live in subcultures that donít value human life. As our culture becomes less Christian, people increasingly lose the only solid foundation for a sense of dignity, worth and value. Instead of seeing every person as created in the image of God, many see themselves and others as chance beings in a meaningless universe. To violent teens life of another human being means nothing to them.

The average child sees over
10,000 murders on television before
he graduates from high school.

10. We live in a society where violence has become an accepted part of our entertainment industry and an acceptable way to solve conflicts. What can we say when the average child sees over 10,000 murders on television before he graduates from high school? The accumulation of these television murders, violent films and daily reporting of death leave their impact. We become accustomed to violent death. For troubled teenagers who are prone to violence, this deadening of caring removes one of the last barriers to carrying out their vengeful fantasies. In fact, rage music and murderous films can also give disturbed minds permission to kill and ideas of how to do it.

Preventing Teenage Violence

The next question we ask is, "What can concerned parents, teachers and other citizens do?

  • First, be alert to danger signals including the following: Frequent loss of temper. Vandalism. Repeated physical fighting. Trouble controlling anger. Withdrawal from friends, family, and normal activities. Increasing use of drugs and alcohol. Strong interest in or fascination with guns. Interest in violent magazines, movies, videos and organizations. Association with violent or threatening groups. Hateful attitude toward all authority and/or carrying a weapon.
  • Second, within your family commit yourself to build the most enjoyable, loving and spiritually sensitive home possible.
  • Third, help your children develop a healthy emotional life and good communication skills.
  • Fourth, know your children, their friends, and their activities.
  • Fifth, help with youth activities in your local community.
  • Sixth, encourage your local schools and churches to take preventive action.
  • Seventh, financially support organizations that are helping needy children, teens, and hurting families.
  • Finally, pray always for your children committing and trusting them, along with yourself, to the Lord every day.
Copyright © 2001 by Bruce Narramore

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All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.

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