A lot of parents go through myriads of challenges when trying to tackle the offenses of their children. Juvenile delinquency is typical among minors between the ages of 10 – 18. Inherently, this child displays debatable and problematic behavior in any given environment. Therefore, making him violate social laws. Consequently, when your child engages in this kind of behavior, handling this issue can become a herculean task.
Moreso, finding a panacea to this challenge can look hopeless. However, there are ways to help your juvenile delinquents as parents.
1. Identify the problems
Springing into action to get a solution or disciplining your child without putting your finger on the cause of the challenge is not beneficial at all. Subsequently, this would aggravate the delinquent behavior of your child into adulthood.
One of the ways to help your juvenile delinquents is to diligently observe the situation of your child. Peruse the inherent behavior that your child is projecting to the world. Endeavor to evaluate the origin of such hideous actions as children and teenagers are adept at imitating their role models or mentors.
Delinquent activities include underage substance abuse, property theft, sexual assault, violence, truancy, amongst others. If your child is conspicuously taking hard drugs or alcohol, only counseling will not be remedial here. Note that in some countries, if your child, between the ages of 15 and 18 years old commits a very serious offense, he may be treated like a criminal.
2. Set Boundaries
in the first place, inform your kids of the rules of expected behaviors you have set up for them. Secondly, as soon as they default, let them be aware of it. Even more, use actions consciously and not just verbal communications to register your displeasure of any of their provocative behaviors. Translation: Every negative step will attract a negative consequence. Studies have indicated that most juvenile acts occur within the hours of 2 pm to 8 pm. (1)
Henceforth, sticking to boundaries like doing domestic chores, curfews, and returning home in time is essential for you as parents to help your juvenile delinquents. For instance, your child begins to play truancy at school, and you have been notified of it. You should withhold privileges and penalize him/her for it. The punishment should be equal to the offense committed. If you fail to do this as parents- with time, they begin to take you for granted.
3. Cement your relationship with your child
It is advisable to use the carrot and stick approach to help your juvenile delinquents. You should tackle their deleterious acts if you truly want to get the desired results from your child. On the other hand, you can support your child to reach his potential, and you should give a reward when necessary to motivate your child to be on the right path. Reflect on how you live with your child at home- Is there any squabble that may have brought out the monster in your child?.
Furthermore, consider ways to make your home a safe harbor for your child and his peers. This would help you monitor the kind of company they keep. Remember, “birds of a feather flock together.” The most important of all relationships your child can have is a parent-child bond.
4. Keep your teen occupied
Of course, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” Your kid is likely to commit offenses when idle or due to peer pressure. Notwithstanding, your child can be influenced positively when they mingle with reputable and supportive individuals. Certain voluntary associations such as the Red Cross Society, Fire Brigades, and Road Safety can keep your child busy. Thus, you’ll be able to reduce the number of spare time for juvenile acts.
5. Be involved during detention
If your child has been put behind bars for breaking the laws. You should get a qualified lawyer to help your juvenile delinquents. A qualified lawyer would help protect your child’s delinquency record for future references. This way, it would be eliminated completely as soon as your child is of age.
Penalties and consequences are the aftermaths of the arrest of a child. Minors are less likely to go through the rigors of paperwork the court has made compulsory for them, so as parents, do not abandon your child now even though he took it to the extreme point this time around. Try to stay in touch regularly with the correction officer, probation officer, and any other public officials involved in handling the case of your child.
6. Avoid repeating the offense
Once discharged from juvenile detention, your child will experience a kind of lag in adjusting to a free life. Hence, parents should put in the required effort to ensure that their teen tows the right path. This would form a new foundation of patterns for your child to sail in life.
For example, your child was earlier detained for substance abuse, but you would love to put an end to this behavior. Some ways to help your juvenile delinquents desist from doing so a second time are to enroll your kid in extended counseling and drug rehabilitation programs.
7. Develop yourself as a parent
You need to upgrade yourself as a parent if you truly want to help your juvenile delinquents. Take time out of your busy schedule to learn more about how best to train your adolescent or teenage child. As parents, it will be good if you keep updating your knowledge of your child’s different stages of growth and development.
This stage of growth is critical as your child begins to think of themselves as no longer kids. Some will even make this kind of statement to you ” I am 16, almost 17, let me be”. In other words, always be prepared at any stage your child is.
I hope this article came at the right time to help your juvenile delinquents as parents. Even if you are not yet a parent, as long as you love to raise a kid someday, this is of immense benefit to you too. No knowledge is a waste.