“In a lot of distressed communities and for a lot of offenders, they don’t see a future,” Piquero said. “They think, ‘Why do I have to go to school? I’m not going to make it past 21.’ And in many of our interviews with these kids, they basically said, ‘I’m not going to make it until next week, so why would I even care?’”
Self-fulfilling prophecies are the interplay between belief and behavior. As parents, mentors, educators and role models, we must understand the many opportunities we get to shape kids’ perceptions of both themselves and their possibilities in life. How we articulate their potential and help them define their best selves is a responsibility that holds great power.
Esther J. Cepeda is a columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group. She can be reached at email@example.com.