No child is born a criminal, nor do they wake up with built-in morality. It’s up to you as a parent to teach your kids right from wrong. Ethics and manners should be learned at an early age. But what if your child has a penchant for misbehaving despite being taught the rules?
In order to prevent them from getting into legal trouble, you need to be aware of what causes young people to commit crime in the first place. Let’s start with the main reasons.
What Causes Involvement in Crime?
There isn’t a simple answer here. Certain circumstances can be a factor, including:
- Substance misuse
- Dysfunctional family relationships
- Influences from the media
- Poor performance at school
- A lack of boundaries and supervision
- Mental health issues such as ADHD
The Role of Parents
You are probably the most important person in your little one’s life. A parent’s views and actions can have a negative or positive effect on their child’s behavior. Your kids are less likely to get into trouble if you:
- Agree on clear and sensible rules
- Maintain an open and honest relationship with them
- Know who they’re with and what they are doing when going out
- Stay involved in their school life and encourage extracurricular activities
Even children who were raised right can end up doing dangerous or foolish things. They might be in the wrong place at the wrong time, with the wrong people. Sometimes, they can act out of character or be misinterpreted. Of course, it’s important to take note of any instances of abnormal behavior.
When it Happens
Remember that the police are not on your side. They’re doing their job, which is to respond to crimes, analyze the situation, and act accordingly. If your child is caught by the authorities, explain the following to them:
- Be respectful and courteous
- Remain calm and don’t jump to conclusions
- Provide any details that are requested
- Ask to have your parents come in for further questioning
When in custody, your child should ask for a lawyer. Resist the temptation to handle the situation yourself. The legal system is complicated, and a criminal defense attorney is your best chance at ensuring a positive outcome. Look for a reputable and reliable legal expert who specializes in the field that’s relevant to your case.
Getting Additional Help
Whether before or after committing a crime, kids are less likely to fall on the wrong side of the law when they have a strong support system. This can include participating in activities or interests in the local community, such as youth clubs, sports groups, and religious groups.
It may be necessary to enlist the help of a therapist or another professional who your child can feel more comfortable with opening up to and explaining their concerns. That’s not to say you shouldn’t put the time and effort into fostering a better relationship with them, but some outside assistance can go a long way.
If your child ever gets into trouble, remember not to panic. Take the right steps to get them back on track and you can raise a successful adult.