A film called Beautiful Boy premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. It stars Timothée Chalamet as a well-behaved teenager who becomes addicted to meth and ends up in a downward spiral. The film is based on a memoir written by Nic Sheff and his father David (played by Steve Carrel). This tender deconstruction of what it’s like when a good person is suddenly plunged into criminal darkness is simultaneously terrifying (especially to parents), but also reminds the audience not to judge troubled teens so harshly. The truth is that teenagers are impressionable, and even those with the best of support and balance can crash and burn sometimes. What happens next could determine whether or not they have a future.
As teenagers, we all have misadventures. Maybe the cops brought you home once or twice; maybe you were suspended from school. Because a bit of mischief is part of every adolescent experience, it’s tough to know when you – the parent –needs to step in and take action. Aggressive parenting can have the opposite of the desired result, but doing nothing at all, of course, is impossible when it’s your own kid.
In this post, we’ll look at how to find the middle ground, and offer a bit of advice if your teen lands themselves in trouble with the law.
Right off the bat, it’s important to make sure your teen has people in their life who they can talk to about their fears, hopes and dreams. Whether it’s you, a sibling, a counselor or a responsible friend, that connection is everything. Teens who feel isolated and misunderstood act out,and this will often lead to destructive behaviour like drug abuse and drunk driving. If your teen is angry and doesn’t have anyone to talk to, it’s important to strategize and figure out how to connect them with a friend, family member or counselor. Feeling understood can take the edge off the angst.
Team sports, music, art class or theatre all have the ability to connect your teen to a community, but if they are unwilling to participate, it’s back to square one.
If your teen is charged for theft, dealing drugs or driving drunk, it’s important to find a reliable lawyer and a psychological counselor immediately. The criminal law experts at Shaffielaw.ca agree, reminding parentsthat criminal investigations are conducted by police and often only highlight the worst inyour teen.To secure the best result, they often recommend a dual approach: one that involves hiring a capable criminal defence lawyer to handle the legal side, while enrolling the teen in counselling that could address the root of the bad behaviour.
Resolution discussions with Crown Attorneysprovide a platform to show that your teen is willing to address the underlying reason they broke the law. Whether it’s a matter of addiction, mental health, or even if the arrest happened because of a misunderstanding, willingness to seek help and look inward can help nip the issue in the bud. Even if the prosecution persists aggressively, Crown Attorneys or judges will think twice before treating a young person too harshly. Even if your child is found guilty, willingness to enter counseling and amend their ways and genuinely showing remorse will help soften and reduce the sentence.