Every mother's greatest fear is that their teen will end up in jail like that other teens in their grade. It is sad to say, but recently more than ever, there have been a lot more teens being sent to jail. Which could be due to the outbreak in social media and freedom of access to horrible sites on the internet. If you aren't raising your teens and training them, the internet will. As a loving parent, all of us want to raise our children to be leaders and make a good impact in this world. There are too many sad, horrible people out there. We need to be the ones to raise the good ones. If you notice that your child has been acting out and is disobeying the law in any way, you're probably worried out of your mind that they'll end up in jail. Getting a child out of bad habits in their teen years is a lot harder than when they are younger, but it isn't impossible. There is a lot of research that talks about what we can do to help keep our teens out of jail. Here are seven steps that you can take to better your child's chances of staying out of jail.
#1 Sending your child to a youth institution for troubled teens
If you are worried about your child because of things that have happened in the past, a youth institution can help. As you may have realized, situations will usually only worsen over time without the right help. Sending your child to an institution will give them the social experience they need as well as limiting their time on the internet and social media, helping them return to everyday daily life. The thought of it is scary, I know. A mother's life is devoted to their child and sending them away to someone they barely know is stressful. But, it might be what they need. If you truly love your child, sending them out for a little while might be your best option. However, I know how hard it is. So I have some more options for you if you prefer to help them yourself.
#2 Spend more family time with them and talk to them as a parent
Frequently a child's rebellion starts to come out when they don't feel accepted by the world and sometimes even by their parents. This is usually because of bullying at school or a friend's environment. There might be people in their lives that have hurt them in the past or friends that misunderstand them. To help them feel loved, you need to help them see your love for them. Including family time in the home at least once a week can help. You will also want to be there for them when they need someone to talk to. If they aren't willing to talk to you, they might feel like you will only judge them. In order to fix this, you need to let them know that you are going to love them no matter what happens or what they tell you. Suppose you've said things in the past that made them feel this way. That might be why they shut down when they are talking to you. Be willing to listen to what they have to say and prepare yourself beforehand so that you don't say anything that might make them feel unloved. If parents can't love their child despite their mistakes, they will try to find someone else who will.
In most cases, they will find a friend or girlfriend/boyfriend who will love them despite their flaws. Because of this, they might find someone with more drawbacks than them to feel understood. Getting with someone like this will only make it worse. So talk to them and be open to accepting their flaws so that they don't end up with someone who makes them love making mistakes to feel loved.
#3 Get rid of social media
Social media can be as bad as drugs if used in the wrong way. Teens are addicted to it enough that they revolve their whole life around it. They base their mood on how many likes they get and feel bad when they don't get as many as they would have liked. They start feeding off of this instead of enjoying the life in front of them.
These days one of the most used forms of social media comes from an app called tik tok. This app is filled with horrible videos. Some of which should only be shown on X Rated websites. You might think that your kid wouldn't feel comfortable watching the kinds of videos on there. But, over time, your child will be so used to it that it becomes part of their life. Having horrible videos playing in their mind for hours at a time is like a lousy mind movie. It devours their thoughts and eats at their sanity. This can cause depression, stress, anxiety, and so much more. Long story short, get rid of social media and let your kid have a life outside of their phone.
#4 Watch less TV and Video Games
I know many people have their own opinions on TV and video games but here is mine. If your child's life is sitting down watching TV or playing video games. Their life becomes TV and video games. They care what they start to include in their life, and what they play becomes normal to them. Video games that involve shooting innocent citizens shouldn't be allowed in the home. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind video games every once in a while. However, I will never support games to destroy the human mind into thinking that doing evil things is normal. Kids nowadays can watch a video online with a guy being killed and not even flinch. Not to be rude, but that's not okay. A person shouldn't be okay seeing someone die. It should break their heart for sympathy for the person that died. If your kid is already acting out and rebelling, I would take away TV and videos and limit them to once a month. Video games may be an hour a day at most. I'd also make sure to read up on any video games and movies you allow in your house. Every movie and video game can make a difference in a child's behavior.
#5 Homeschool your child
Now homeschool is not for everyone. But if you are down to the last resort and you can't figure out how to fix it, homeschooling is an option. I know that you might be stuck at work and not have time to stay home and teach your child. That is okay, and I understand your situation.
Something at your child's school might be tearing them down and tricking them into making the wrong decisions. If it does end up being something from school, such as friends or peers taking them out of school or moving them to another school is an option you should consider.
#6 Resist all anger, be slow to speak, speak with love
Anger never solves any problems in the home, and it never will. Anger is the leading cause of divorce and the main reason so many children grow up to hate their parents. If you are going to say something, think about the way it will affect your teen first. Don't call names or accuse your teen in anger. Use love and respect. The only way to receive respect is first to give it. Refusing to use anger or allow anger in the home will make a massive difference for your child.
#7 Have patients
You don't get results by doing something once; you get them by being consistent. A child takes their time to grow, and so does effort. You might not see results for months, but over time you will get them. Your child won't want to follow through with these steps and might be frustrated with you at first. But it would help if you gave it time. You love them, and by loving them, you are willing to help them live without the things that are hurting the most. You will also need to be patient with yourself. 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.