Anyone with experience in parenting teenagers can tell you that they all have their own problems from time to time – every teen has to deal with hormones, growing up, homework, dating and thinking about the future. But, some teens are more troubled than others, and sadly, more likely to get in trouble with the law. Parenting a teen who’s been arrested or is on the wrong side of the law can be a tiring and emotionally draining experience. You want to be there for your teen, but it’s also your job to discipline them for the behavior that’s gotten them to this point. Getting the balance right can be difficult; these tips are designed to help you cope.
Tip #1. Ask for Help:
Nobody will expect you to deal with a troubled teenager all on your own. Bear in mind that in certain cases, getting into trouble with the law can be the best thing that ever happens to a teen; depending on how their case is handled and the severity of their crime, it can often be channeled into a positive, learning experience for them which helps them to mature and finally begin to settle down. Never be ashamed of asking for help from the emergency services, your doctor, a therapist, or even family and friends – they are all here for you.
Tip #2. Get Good Legal Advice:
Having the right legal support by your side will make everything so much easier for yourself and your family. When a teenager gets on the wrong side of the law and is expected to appear in court, it can be a terrifying and heart-breaking experience for any parent. A good lawyer with experience working and winning juvenile cases will help you and your teenager navigate through this difficult time and provide the best defense for their case.
Tip #3. Look for the Source:
If your teen’s brush with the law is completely unexpected, or you’ve noticed differences in their behavior recently such as acting out more often, skipping school, drinking or trying drugs, it’s usually due to a deeper source. Often, your teen’s bad behavior won’t be the main source of their problems. Although it’s important to set firm limits when it comes to what you are allowing your teen to get away with, seeking the source of any bad behavior, especially when it is unlike them, is important. Speak to your teen’s teachers and coaches; ask questions and pay attention to anything that could be significant. Give your teen the opportunity to speak to a therapist alone; they may be harboring issues that they’d feel more comfortable talking about with somebody impartial.
Tip #4. Listen:
Lastly, one of the best coping mechanisms that you can use is to simply listen to your teen, even if your relationship is a little rocky right now. Bear in mind that for most teenagers, simply being heard and understood is their biggest need. Parents who spend a lot of time yelling or pep talking their kids often miss out on a lot of important things that their teen needs to say. Ensure that they know you’re always there to lend a listening ear, even if you don’t always agree with them.
If you found this information helpful, we’d love to hear back from you in the comments.