12 Rules for Raising Delinquent Children

The “12 Rules for Raising Delinquent Children” was issued by the Houston, Texas, Police Department in a leaflet that was included in the printed copy of the Chamber of Commerce publication.  Here are the rules if you want to raise a delinquent child:

  1. Begin at infancy to give your child everything they want. In this way the child grows up believing that the world owes them something.
  2. When they pick up bad words laugh at them. This will make them think they are cute and encourage them to pick up cuter phrases that will blow your mind.
  3. Never give them any spiritual training. Let them wait until they are 21 and let them decide for themselves.
  4. Avoid using the word “wrong”. It may develop a guilt complex. This will condition them to believe later, when they are arrested for stealing a car, that society is against them and they are being persecuted.
  5. Pick up all they leave lying around the house, books, shoes, clothing. Do everything for them so they will be experienced in throwing all responsibility to someone else.
  6. Let them read any printed matter they can get their hands on. Be sure to sterilize the silverware and plates and dishes, but let their minds feast on all kinds of garbage.
  7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. And that way they will not be shocked when the home breaks up later.
  8. Give the child all the spending money they want. And never let them earn their own. Why should they have it as tough as we had it?
  9. Satisfy their every craving for food, drink, and sensual pursuits. See that all their desires are gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustrations.
  10. Always take your child’s side against the neighbors, teachers, and police. They are all prejudice against your child.
  11. When they get into real trouble, apologize for yourself by saying, I never could do anything with them.
  12. Prepare yourself for a life of grief. For you probably will have it.

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16 Responses to “12 Rules for Raising Delinquent Children”

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  1. Hi Lin,

    Even when all parents aren’t “following” these rules, due to the litigious nature of our society, often times, the schools take care of reinforcing many of these wonderful lessons.

    I got a call last year from my son’s assistant principle. Apparently he was listening to his ipod in class, and disrupting the other students. I expected that he was in some pretty serious trouble.

    As such, I was pretty amazed by what I heard next …

    The assistant principle assured me that he wasn’t taking the teacher’s side (since it was merely his word against my son’s), and since there seemed to be a “personality” conflict, he was going to move my son to another class.

    Needless to say, Justin and I had a “little talk” when he got home that day.

    But even now, I still can’t get over the fact that the teacher’s word wasn’t good enough.

    lol, and to think, I’d considered becoming a teacher after I retire from the military.

    … not in a million years now. at least not in Hawaii for sure.


  2. Lin says:

    Hi Todd, I have so much respect and admiration for teachers today. Being a teacher is something I know I could never do, as today’s kids would drive me crazy with their disrespect of teachers and anyone else in roles of authority. And, as you said, even the school principal often is of no help at all.

    Personality clash or not, I would listen to both my child and the teacher and then consider how I know my child better than anyone else and would decide for myself what to believe.

    Then there would be firm consequences at home, regardless of any punishments or discipline the school may give such as detention etc.

    Kids today show nearly no respect for teachers, but my kids knew that disrespect or misbehavior at school of any kind would bring immediate consequences at home, and they knew the discipline would be swift and firm.

  3. With all the literature and information out there regarding how to properly (and improperly) raise a child, it’s amazing how many people either don’t seek it out or just ignore it. These are good tips, presented in a way that doesn’t say “Don’t” at the beginning of each one but still obvious that these are things we don’t want to do (because who intentionally raises a delinquent child?). I partially disagree with #6 though. I don’t believe that censoring your child’s reading material is a good idea. Instead, I think it would be a good idea to discuss the merits of the content of his/her readings. But censorship would lead to narrow mindedness and a sheltered lifestyle of conflict avoidance, as well as an inability for critical thinking. One of the main aspects of reading, that we should be teaching children, is to critically evaluate the worth of what they are reading, to realize that not all printed word is the authority on a particular topic and that all printed word is subjective.


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