Parenting a teenager, especially one going through an intense, rebellious phase, is difficult and stressful even for the best of parents. When your teen calls you looking for help because of an arrest, you might feel tempted to let them spend the night in jail to teach them a lesson.
In fact, you might even hope that the criminal justice system will straighten them out and help you drive home how dangerous their rebellious behavior actually is. Unfortunately, while the juvenile justice system in Florida does focus more on rehabilitation than the adult criminal justice system does, being left at the mercy of the system won’t benefit a teenager, especially one going through a difficult time.
Defending themselves, likely with your help, will be critical to their future success and growth.
Feeling abandoned or worthless could do long-term damage
Teenagers who go through over-the-top rebellious phases may have underlying psychological issues that prompt them to behave in that way. Low self-esteem, difficulty understanding where they fit in in a broad sense and many other forms of emotional and social stress can contribute to teenage delinquency and rebelliousness.
Feeling like everyone has turned against them or abandoned them may only exacerbate those negative feelings, resulting in even worse behavior and reinforcing the mental health issues that led to the issue in the first place. Mistreatment by others in the juvenile justice system could further damage their self-esteem, leading to a cycle of bad behavior and punishment.
The right support now can help your teen get their life back on track
From counseling to address issues that have manifested in behavioral issues to support in forming a long-term life plan that might reduce the likelihood of future lawbreaking, the right support during a difficult time can make all the difference in a teen’s life.
While you obviously want them to understand the severity of their actions, the criminal justice system will impress that upon them without your assistance. You can let your teen know that you feel disappointed without leaving them to navigate this difficult time alone. Helping them with their defense and getting them other supports now can help you prevent problems like this from occurring again in the future.