Watching your child grapple with the legal repercussions of criminal activity can cause angst. You might feel overwhelming sadness when you think about the path your child is on and how drastically it may differ from the potential you recognize as a parent.
Despite your child’s mistakes, you could have some influence that might reduce recidivism risks. Your proactive encouragement and unconditional love may be what it takes to turn your child’s life around.
One of the common reasons why children might dabble in criminal activity is a lack of structure and discipline. As you prepare to navigate the aftermath of your child’s choices, consider introducing new boundaries. Focus on choices and the consequences of those choices. Implement a structured routine with accountability checkpoints.
Look for ways to get your child more involved in community activities. If your child is old enough, discuss the benefits of having a job. Research opportunities to volunteer in your community. This type of engagement may help your child to learn critical skills and develop meaningful relationships with others. Forming these connections may improve your child’s self-confidence and effectively reduce recidivism risks.
Showing support when you feel disappointed can have its challenges. Expressing your sadness is an important part of helping your child understand the gravity of his or her actions. However, do your best to show support and express unconditional love. According to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, your child may qualify for an expungement. If approved, court officials will seal or expunge any offenses on your child’s record. If you verify that your child meets the requirements, you can show your support when you facilitate the expungement process.
Juvenile delinquency does not have to be the reason your child lives an unhappy, crime-filled life. Focusing on improving structure, leveraging consequences and encouraging community involvement might give you the chance to lower your child’s recidivism risks.