Raising a Teenager today is no easy task. Especially when you’re running a business at the same time. And even if you’re making time for them, they are not making time for you. You find them withdrawing into their own world more and more.
The last thing most teenagers want is to be parented, right?
Teens think they know everything and we want to trust they do. But they don’t. Sometimes they make stupid choices. Next thing you know, you’re in the office of Mike G LAW, ex-Prosecutor, turned brilliant criminal lawyer.
How did you get here? Let’s explore 4 typical teenage offences that could lead you to a Criminal Defense Attorney.
1. Substance Abuse
Do you know the signs of drug abuse?
They can be easy to miss because many of the signs of substance abuse are things that apply to most teenagers.
- Their moods are all over show. Agitated, depressed, irritable, aggressive behaviour is par for the course.
- Weight fluctuations can stem from yo-yo dieting or bulimia.
- Their sleeping patterns are commonly out of whack. Teens are nocturnal creatures.
- It can be hard to keep up with their friendship circle, they are fighting with their best friend one day and making up the next.
All of these signs could easily be passed off for hormonal changes or “just being a normal teen”.
So look out for obvious signs like bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils and marked changes in any of the habits mentioned above.
And encourage open communication, from an early age. It’s when kids shut down and become unreachable that we can start to worry. Not looking you in the eye anymore can be a sure sign they are up to something that won’t meet your approval.
2. Driving Under the Influence
Teens don’t know their limits yet. They might leave the party after a few quick drinks thinking they are absolutely fine and minutes later, it will hit them. When they’re already behind the wheel. If you’re lucky, they get caught before they cause an accident.
It may sound counter-intuitive but it’s worth encouraging them to drink at home so they can learn their limits and understand the value of eating a good meal and drinking lots of water if they are going to consume alcohol.
You are your child’s best Teacher, you have the power to pass on responsible drinking habits. Remember, children learn more from what you do than what you say. If you’re getting drunk in front of them or driving them home after you’ve had too much at the party, they are going to think it’s okay. Kids notice everything.
3. Sex Offence
The last thing you want to find out is that your precious child has hurt someone they love. Yet, with hormones raging, it can happen. They might cross that line of non-consent. Or they might fall into child pornography to boost their self-esteem.
Be on high alert if your child has been exposed to sexual or domestic violence at home or if they are unsure about their sexual preferences.
The teen years can be a very confusing time and mistakes can happen as children deal with fearful feelings of inadequacy. At the root of most problems, especially in childhood and early adulthood, is low self-esteem.
Build your teen’s confidence whenever you can. Help them find that one thing they are brilliant at and celebrate their success. Even if it’s something that may scare you, like DJ-ing, skateboarding or gaming.
Encourage them to follow their passion and they may just surprise you by staying on the straight and narrow.
4. Destruction of Property
Vandalism and Arson is often a cry for attention. If you’re going through a sticky divorce or working crazy hours and your child is spray painting graffiti on the Church walls, help them find a healthy creative outlet.
Who knows? Maybe they are on the road to becoming a renowned Mural Artist or maybe they will earn a living someday writing captivating slogans. Teens are trying to find themselves. Show an interest in their Art or their passions.
And if it’s attention they are seeking, find something you can do with them. Get them to teach you a new skill.
I believe that we are all born inherently good. Teenagers know the difference between good and bad. They want to do the right thing. They are anxious for our approval. But we all make mistakes. It’s a necessary stage of the learning process. And this is the time when teens need our love and support the most.
If you find your child has gone down some slippery slope, be there for them. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Trust they can make amends and turn things around. Believe in their highest good.
Tell them everything is going to be okay and you will get through this together.
And while you’re at it, don’t be hard on yourself either. You’re not a terrible parent. Mistakes and accidents happen. Breathe deep. You’ve got this. Love will find a way.