Tough love needed for tough cases

December 31, 2010

If parents don’t equip their children to do their children to do their best and prepare them for independence, even if it needs a bit of tough love at times, they fail them.

Yet when a political party suggests measures to encourage people off benefits so they can be independent they’re accused of beneficiary bashing.

A relatively few people have physical, mental or intellectual disabilities which prevent them from ever being independent and few begrudge them state support.

Most other people who require benefits do so only temporarily due to circumstances beyond their control. Once they get over the problem they are able to support themselves again.

Some of the rest need help to become job ready. That isn’t usually either cheap or easy but it’s better in the long run for them and society as a whole than letting them languish on benefits.

With a few the problem isn’t that they can’t work, it’s that they won’t. They’re the tough cases and they need tough love.

If the state doesn’t all it can to help those who need it to be independent, which might require both carrot and stick,  it is failing not only them but the taxpayers who have to support them.

Did tough love case have to go to court?

August 26, 2008

A tough love call to police from parents who wanted to give their son and his mates a scare ended up court.

The police prosecutor said the defendent stole his mothers credit card and gave it to friends who used it for a $720 spending spree.

The parents had wanted police to give the youths a stern talking to, offer them diversion and teach them a lesson which would keep them on track in future. However, police said the offending was too serious for diversion and laid charges.

Judge Philip Moran said the two youths who were charged had acknowledged their offending, taken responsibility, and pleaded guilty.

“I am persuaded that young men setting out on their lives don’t need convictions for such serious charges.”

He discharged them without conviction and ordered them to pay back the money.

A friend discovered her daughter had stolen something from a shop. She spoke to the youth aid officer who gave the girl a stern talking to then accompanied her while she returned the goods and apologised to the owner.

But that was several years ago. Don’t police have that sort of discretion now or did they choose not to use it?  Surely if the parents, who were the victims of the crime, only wanted to give their son a fright there was no need to clutter the courts by laying charges.

Fortunately the judge used his discretion. But other parents learning of this may hesitate to use tough love if they think it might end in court.

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