i was a good kid for an extended period of time. my parents placed me in religious school. additionally, we were fixtures at saturday morning jr. congregation services. from the outside, people saw me as an upstanding child.
at some point, however, i went off the rails. bad influences around me promoted petty theft and drug use. i entered two periods of bad behavior; one of theft and one of drug use.
how did this happen?
upon much thought, i believe that, at those particular times, i was caught in a vacuum. for a period, i wasn’t around any contemporaries that were better role models than my bad role models. i succumbed to peer pressure and made bad mistakes.
thus, parents should wary of these vacuums. as much as a parent can offer religious guidance and instruction, the peer element can powerfully shape behavior. peer interaction, unlike religious instruction, occurs in real time during real life events. peers can make a child engage in immoral activities.
as such, parents must constantly monitor their children’s peers. they must make proper assessment of whether the peers present positive moral conduct. parents should work to cultivate positive peers for their children to hang out with. if not, they run the risk of creating a vacuum that can allow their children to end up with the wrong peers.
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