Writing Task 2:
It is argued that parents of children who break the law should be punished as they are responsible for their children’s actions. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Sample Answer band 7.0+
Children violating the law has been of growing concern in today’s world, and it is often believed that parents should be punished if their charges are involved in any illegal activity. My view is that teachers and peers have just as much influence as their parents do at home once a child goes to school, and therefore I partly agree with this opinion.
Educating children to understand the need to obey laws and respect others always begins in the home and is widely thought to be the responsibility of parents. They will certainly be the first to help children learn how they are expected to behave in their community. If adolescents are forced to pay fines when being charged with minor offenses such as theft or vandalism, it is obvious that their families should bear the whole cost.
However, learning to understand and share the value system of a whole society cannot be achieved just in the home. When children enter a wider community, they will experience working and living with individuals from all walks of life. They might learn good habits from those they interact with, but chances are they would also be negatively affected by bad people, which is totally not their parents’ fault. If young offenders are believed to be a threat to others, there are effective ways of punishing them such as curfews, community service or regular reporting to the police. In such cases, there is no need to hold parents responsible for their children’s wrongdoing. In worse circumstances, if children commit a serious crime, including murder and assault, they should be given a custodial sentence as soon as they reach a certain age instead of their parents being imprisoned.
In conclusion, while parental responsibility should be taken into consideration when it comes to juvenile delinquency, it stands to reason that young children themselves should be held accountable for their criminal behavior.