Despite your best efforts to raise a good kid and provide an equally good life for him or her in Texas, your child has had a few run-ins with the law. Are there factors at play that you are not aware of?
To help you gain a level of understanding, look to youth.gov. They offer risk factors that can lead to juvenile crime as well as protective factors that can set (and keep) teens on the right path.
Individual risk factors for juvenile crime include hyperactivity, antisocial behavior and underdeveloped cognitive functioning. Risk factors unique to the family unit include witnessing family violence, poor child-rearing, few positive parental interactions and a conflictive parent-child relationship. Youths can also hang out with the wrong crowd or experience bullying, which can both lead to delinquency.
Individual protective factors that can keep teens from a life of crime include healthy social skills, high intelligence and participating in clubs. Examples of family protective factors include shared family activities, positive adult role models and open lines of communication between parents and teens. Youths have a better chance of staying out of trouble if they engage in extracurricular activities and have healthy friendships.
Points to consider
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to juvenile crime. That means risk factors do not operate in a vacuum, nor does exposure to one risk factor mean a teen is bound to engage in criminal activity. Just as all teens are different, they are all impacted differently by risk factors and potentially at different times in life by risk factors.
This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.