Family, though undeniably tricky at times, offers the purest kind of love possible. Even if you don’t particularly like your children sometimes, your love for them is engrained. It’s a good job, too, or else few families would stay together throughout those teen years! Tough as these times can be, coming through with love at the forefront is the best way to guarantee a strong relationship once they get older.
Unfortunately, before that happens, there’s a possibility that your teen will be involved in one of the average 192,000 serious crimes committed annually by teens between the ages of 12-17. If that happens, it can be incredibly difficult to know what you should do. Yet, putting your best foot forwards if vital given the fact that the way you act in this situation can dictate both your teen’s future and the relationship between you. Most notably, parents will want to avoid the following mistakes that could potentially cause further crimes and more damage.
Laying the blame
It’s all too easy to point the finger and lay blame after an accusation of crime. In reality, though, many criminal activities at this age are spurred by peer pressure, involve whistleblowing, and can be entirely misconstrued. Even if your teen is 100% guilty, it’s not your place to point the finger. In fact, your assumption could drive your teen to even more crimes because they’ve already done the time. To avoid that, leave the blame game to the professionals and instead focus on the best ways to harness positive habits in your teen moving forward.
Withdrawing your help
As soon as criminal activity is uncovered, some parents remove support structures or even kick unruly teens out of the family home. These are desperate steps, but they can again perpetuate negative criminal spirals with even more severe consequences. By instead increasing support, you’re far more likely to make a positive difference. On an obvious level,you should seek experienced federal criminal defense lawyers who can prevent permanent black marks on your teen’s reports. It’s vital, too, that support is offered in terms of psychological and monetary issues that may have caused a crime in the first place.
Bad company and negative spirals are often behind teen criminality, hence why many parents approach this issue with their minds set on enforced change. This may mean grounding, the removal of privileges, or even an entire house move to eliminate that ‘bad crowd.’ Unfortunately, enforced changes have no real impact. After all, your teen hasn’t made any resolution to change themselves, meaning that no matter where they are, crime could still creep in. By instead helping them to realize the need for change, you can much better perpetuate positive habits with staying power.
Even if it doesn’t seem like your teen is the child you once knew, it is in your power to help them back on the straight and narrow. You simply need to approach with the right mindset and avoid these mistakes that can make rather than break the problem.