Despite parents’ efforts to keep their children on a straight path, various influences may push a child astray into juvenile delinquency. However, the National Institute of Justice finds that problem-focused therapies do more to reform minors than incarceration-based punishments.
Parents should look out for the following areas that can negatively influence a child toward involvement in crime.
Negative peer pressure
Classmates and friends who commit crimes may induce others to join. Parents who are aware of a child’s close associates can cut off negative influences early. Mothers and fathers should monitor online activities, which can be a secret space where youths might dabble in internet crimes like harassment or account hacking.
Drug or alcohol abuse
Stress and the pressure to succeed may even push upstanding students to experiment with illicit drugs or alcohol. Dependence on a substance can move a child to commit other crimes to support the habit. If a parent or custodian abuses alcohol or drugs, the child is much more likely to abuse. Parents should not only be cautious of illegal drugs but also of prescription and over-the-counter medications that can become habit-forming.
Struggles at school
Inconsistent structure and low standards in a school system can be factors that expose children to criminal paths. Low involvement in school activities and weak attendance are often a door to truancy and subsequent errant behavior. Parents help students stay connected with quality education through tutors, mentors, extracurricular activities or alternatives like private schools or homeschooling.
A child’s path to successful adulthood is not an effortless course. A parent’s steady guidance can smooth the bumps and bruises along the road and help youths avoid the sad consequences of juvenile crime.