By Sandra Phillip Hodge (contributor)
Kidnapped. Lured into the trap of human-trafficking. Enslaved to pornographic and prostitution kingpins.
Drugged out. Abused. Murdered!
It all begins with separation from family by will or by force.
And it usually happens during the teen years – perhaps just about age 16 when it’s legal to leave home, and parents are enabled by law not to ‘support’ you.
I may have missed the public consultation on this issue of a proposed law to give parents the right not to financially support a 16-year old who “voluntarily withdraw from parental control”, for any other reason besides physical violence or abuse. What a thing!
Who determines what’s “voluntary” in this case?
Number 1. Financial support is one of the main responsibilities of parents.
Capable children are forbidden by child labour laws from earning supplementary income to help their parents with the cost of living, especially in ‘single-parent’ families.
Number 2. Corporal punishment is outlawed. Parents and teachers are considered criminals if they refuse to ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’.
Parents face legal challenges for exercising authority over their child, and it’s questionable whether these laws are designed to support or to separate families.
Number 3. The proposed law. The prickly issue of parenting has worsened as suspicious laws are implemented as substitutes for timeless values and principles.
Where did this idea come from? Who’s advising policy-makers?
Which country are they now trying to copy? How does this new law blend with the National Youth Policy?
It seems logical that the only reason a ‘child’ should want to leave his or her parents’ control is because of violent and abusive treatment.
If that’s not the case, why leave?
Or why should they be allowed to leave if parental consent is still needed for the big things in life (like taking out auto insurance on a motor scooter)?
Disobedience does not pay
Instead of encouraging children to “honor [their] parents so that [their] days may be long upon the earth,” the proposed law is saying it’s okay to disregard your parents, but your parents can get even with you by not supporting you, so “how you make out, you make out” [my paraphrasing], which amounts to virtual banishment.
The majority of young adults caught up in the evils of the world includes immature, rebellious teens who struggle to get along with their parents.
They turn to ‘internet friends’ who talk them out of their parents’ home, isolate them and take advantage of them.
Independence can be an attractive idea to the young who aren’t able to fend properly for themselves as yet.
It cannot be over-emphasized that parental guidance is needed in life, and even long after the age of 21, not to mention at age 16.
When parents are disqualified for any reason, a legal guardian should stand in the gap for such a teenager.
I must give credit to those young persons who are wise beyond their years.
Some of them have had to take on responsibility for younger siblings at an early age.
Persons like myself, as a teen, had to help my mother financially after I graduated from high school and got a job before age 18.
Not all young adults are fortunate to have parents to support them until they’re in their 20’s and beyond. Some have to strive to survive, and by God’s grace are able to do so legally, and positively.
They are to be commended, as they seem to be the exception, rather than the rule these days.
There needs to be a law that gives parents more time to get it right before their children attain the age of consent, whatever age that is, before they can legally voluntarily leave home.
There may also need to be a law to protect parents from their adult children.
However, no amount of laws can do what a little commonsense, human decency, love and respect can achieve, if all concerned recognize the mutual benefits of cooperation, God’s way.
Copyright © 2017 by Sandra Phillip Hodge (Related by Humanity)
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