Getting into trouble with the law is something about 30 percent of teens face at one time or another, with the reasons varying for everything from using or selling drugs to committing violent crimes. No matter why your teen is facing charges, it's probably tempting to ground them to their room indefinitely so you can keep an eye on them and ensure they don't get into further trouble. But long term grounding doesn't tend to work well when it comes to teaching a valuable lesson.
In fact experts believe that grounding as punishment essentially teaches kids that the consequences for their actions involve no more than simply "doing time on house arrest" rather than opening themselves up to learn something new about how their actions have effected themselves and the others around them. So instead of grounding your teen as they progress through their legal troubles, consider using one or more of these effective options instead:
Having your teen commit to community service or a volunteer program of some kind for a few months offers plenty of benefits for them to take advantage of such as the opportunity to gain new insight about the world, the ability to more easily fight off depression and maintain personal hope, as well as the chance to be awarded special grants for college.
In addition, volunteer work can help to strengthen your teen's court case by showing the lawyer and the judge they are serious about making positive lifestyle changes. Some options beneficial for your teen include:
It's a good idea to provide your teen with a list of options if they don't already have a program to pursue in mind. This will make it more likely they'll enjoy what they do and give them some control over the time they spend volunteering.
Footing the Lawyer Bill
If your teen is like most, they can't afford to foot the full bill for a lawyer to represent them so you'll probably end up providing financial support for legal fees associated with their charges. But there isn't a reason that your teen can't work to pay you back as time goes on.
If your teen has a job, you can create a repayment plan that involves paying you a small percentage of each check until the agreed upon amount is paid off. Otherwise, you can offer the opportunity to complete tasks around the house that are each assigned a specific value that goes toward the repayment of the lawyer bills you've personally paid out of pocket.
Having you're your teen meet the financial needs of getting through their legal case should help them realize that getting into trouble with the law can be very expensive. And unfortunately, even paying a lawyer for representation doesn't guarantee that the charges will be dropped or that they won't result in jail time and fines.
Writing a Personal Letter
Another great way for your teen to support their lawyer's efforts and to strengthen their case in court is to ask them to write a personal letter to the judge that acknowledges their actions that results in legal charges and that outlines a lifestyle plan that ensures further illegal activity will be avoided. Not only will this provide the judge with some personal insight into your teen's views and commitments, but it will give your child an opportunity come up with an effective plan that helps to keep them on the right path as time goes on.
Hopefully these techniques will minimize the chance of having to face more legal problems as your teenager ages into a young adult.
Going through a divorce? I know how you might feel – alone, stressed out, and probably even a little sad due to the loss of the life you have always known. Whether you have children or not, you might even feel a little guilty about the break down of your relationship. But I'm here to tell you that a divorce is not the end of the world. In fact, once you get used to the idea and start to move on with your life, you may find just as much, if not more, happiness than you ever had while you were married! Getting through the proceedings of your divorce in a dignified manner is the first step, and hopefully this website will give you the insight, support, and motivation you need to get through the process as painlessly as possible.