7 Tips to Keep Your Teen Out of Jail

Every mother's greatest fear is that their teen will end up in jail. Sadly, teens are being sent there in high numbers every year. This could be due to the outbreak in social media and freedom of access to inappropriate sites on the internet, which goes to show that if you don’t raise your teens the internet will. As loving parents, we want to raise our children to be leaders who make a positive impact on the world. If you’ve noticed your child acting out or disobeying the law in any way, you're probably worried about what might become of them. Ridding a teen of their bad habits is much harder to do than for a child, but it isn't impossible. There’s not one way to keep our teens out of jail. Here are seven steps that you can take to better your child's chances.

#1 Send your child to a youth institution

If you are worried about your child eventually ending up in juvie. A youth institution can help. As you may have realized, without intervention, bad tendencies only worsen over time. If all else fails, sending your child to a treatment center or program may be the only way to reform them. Removing your teen from bad influences like social media, the internet, and other delinquents, might open their eyes to where their life is headed. As scary as it may seem to send your child away, it’s better than seeing them in jail or prison later. 

#2 Quality time

Prioritize having family time, activities, and even meals together. Teens with nothing to do are prone to get into trouble. Keep them busy doing positive activities and spending time with positive influences. If teens are constantly busy doing good things, they won’t have time to fool around. An afterschool job is also a great way to use up free time productively. 

#3 Get rid of social media

Social media is a drug to which teens are especially susceptible. The dopamine rush they get from likes and comments affects the brain the same way a snort of cocaine does. Just as good content and feedback can have a positive effect on someone's mood, so too does cyberbullying and harmful content. 

A few of the most popular yet dangerous apps for teens include Instagram and TikTok. Much of the content is often not age-appropriate.  Some of these should only be shown on X-rated websites and teens have unfettered access to all of it. Although you may have confidence that your child wouldn’t seek out or consume such content, realize that your child’s brain is not fully developed, and they won’t always do the right thing.  Spending too much time on these apps can expose your child to inappropriate images, videos, and words.  It can also lower self-esteem, and cause depression, stress, anxiety, and so much more. Long story short, get rid of, monitor, or restrict social media to keep your children from becoming desensitized and getting into worse things.

#4 Restrict TV and Video Games

“How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives.” - Annie Dillard

If your child watches TV and plays video games every day, that is their life. Although there is a lot of debate about whether video games cause the rise in crime, there’s no doubt that those who play video games and watch a lot of TV are more desensitized than their counterparts who engage in less screen time and more real-life interactions. Desensitization can cause teens to not realize the harm of criminal activities. Kids nowadays can watch a video of someone being killed and not even flinch. It’s a slippery slope not worth going down.

Do some research on the effects too much TV and video games can have on your kids, and try to follow the recommended age limits. Every movie and video game can make a difference in a child's behavior. Your child doesn’t need a lot of screen time, what they do need is social interaction! 

#5 Homeschool your child

Homeschool is not for everyone, but if you are down to the last resort it is a viable option. If there are bad influences at school, or you and your child seem to be drifting, it may be wise to take them out of a brick-and-mortar school. There are online options for parents who are not able to teach their children themselves. If this doesn’t work, consider moving your child to a more respectable school

#6 Be slow to anger, quick to love

Usually, children begin to rebel when they don't feel accepted by the world or most often by their parents. This can be caused by bullying at school or in a friendly environment. They may have been hurt in the past, unbeknownst to their parents. Oftentimes, what they need most is love and attention. Be someone your child can turn to, when they need an ear or shoulder to cry on. If they aren't willing to talk to you, it might be because they are afraid of judgment or punishment, due to how you’ve responded in the past. Let them know you have their back, and that you’ll work through it together.  Listen to what they have to say and respond carefully, and with love.  

If kids or teens don’t feel loved by their parents, they will seek it elsewhere, and often find it in a corrupt source: bad friends, or dishonest adults. Give your child the attention and love they need so that they don’t have to look for it elsewhere, and get into trouble along the way. The more involved you are in your child's life, the better you will be able to guide them.

Remember, the only way to receive respect is first to give it.

#7 Have patience 

You don't get results by doing something once; you get them by being consistent. Change and growth take time. You might not see results for months, but if you don’t give up, you’ll succeed. You love your teen, and by loving them, you are willing to help them live without the things that are hurting the most. 

Be patient with yourself as well. It takes time to get to where you want to be as a parent. The thing that matters right now is that you are trying. 

If you or someone you know is in jail and needs help being bailed out, Sportsman's Bail Bonds is the place to go. We have the best agents in Utah to help you with everything you could need. We do our best to get you fast results.