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Parents have the responsibility of preventing juvenile crime. Parents need the support of their immediate family members, schools, relatives, related organizations, and the government. It is everyone’s job to shape the youth to become better citizens of their countries.

 

Teen misbehavior often manifests when they are out of their comfort zones. When faced with challenges, frustrations, and unknown surroundings, teens often show their juvenile side. This is why, when dealing with this kind of behavior it is best to think about the emotional needs underlying the way they are acting, since according to experts like Daniel Wong in his article "How to Deal With a Disrespectful Teenager", this could be a way of diffusing the situation. Traveling to a different country is an example of a situation in which teens are outside of their usual environment and may get into trouble. Parents must teach their teens to follow the rules while in another country.

 

What is Juvenile Delinquency?

Juvenile delinquency is the habitual acts of crimes and criminal offenses by individuals who are between the ages 10 and 17. It refers to children who manifest a regular behavior of disobedience and mischievousness. Delinquent actions may include:

  • Alcohol abuse

  • Assault

  • Drug abuse

  • Theft

  • Property damage

  • Public order disturbance

  • Violence and more.

Juvenile delinquency can affect a teen’s emotional, physical, and social well-being. It can affect his commitment to his or her studies, interaction with other people, and relationship with family members.

Juvenile Delinquency Facts

Some of the most intriguing facts about juvenile delinquency are:

  • Juvenile delinquents are already beyond parental control. Instead, their actions requires legal resolutions.

  • Youth who commit juvenile acts are arrested for assault, robbery, drug and alcohol abuse, and disorderly conduct.

  • In 2016, there were 856,130 juvenile delinquency arrests. The highest arrests involved theft, aggravated assault, and drug abuse.

The numbers are alarming, as children between 10 and 18 are getting arrested for crimes that are usually committed by adults.

How to Teach Teens to Follow Rules

Preventing juvenile delinquency is better than waiting for teens to manifest such behavior. As parents, you need to think of ways to relate and connect with your teens. Programs like Respectful Ways are leading the way in this arena, but there is a great deal of work to do. These are some helpful tips to teach teens to respect the law, especially when in another country:

  • Before traveling to another country:

    • Spend time more time together. Families who spend quality time together decrease the tendency of their teens developing delinquent behavior. Parents can guide their children to the right path. Bonding with your children enables you to create a connection that is more than just a parent-child relationship.

    • Eat together. Surprisingly, the dining room table is the best place to communicate with your children. Have a family meal together and enjoy talking about different topics such as movies, school, and your children’s interests.

    • Be involved in your child’s life. You may be busy with work, but find time to take an interest in your children’s lives. Ask them how their day went. Listen carefully and ask for their opinions.

    • Teach core values. Instill positive values in your children. Values such as respect, discipline, kindness, and importance of family are essential to raising kids who can abide by laws and who can help others.

  • While traveling to another country:

    • Learn more about the country’s laws. Study the different rules and regulations for tourists. Search for laws that apply to you. Inform your child and orient him or her on the traditions of the country you’re visiting.

    • Ask for legal advice. If you have questions about your child’s behavior and the consequences, you can ask your attorney’s advice, like the ones here. He or she can tell you more about the laws in any particular country. Your lawyer can also give you pointers on what you should do in case you are involved in an accident while you are in a foreign country.

    • Talk with your teen. Communicate with your children. Ask them where they want to go so they have something to look forward to during the trip. A family vacation is not just about where the parents want to visit. The children should also have an opinion on where the next destination will be.

    • Enjoy your trip. When you visit another country, it is essential to enjoy your vacation. Spend time together with your family and create memories. Avoid entertaining other people who you are not comfortable with. The best way to have fun on your trip is to have a travel itinerary and stick to it. A plan is helpful, especially if it is your first time in a different country.

    • Ask for help. If you are having a hard time navigating the streets of a foreign country, it is best to ask for help. Most countries have stations where tourists can ask for assistance when they are lost.

Communication is critical when forming a relationship with your teen. They are already young adults who have their own opinions, and they want to be heard. Do not treat them like they are little kids. During these years, they long for freedom and independence. Therefore, parents must place their trust in the way they brought up their children and let them learn on their own.

Juvenile delinquency is inexcusable. However, one cannot entirely blame the teens’ parents, as they tried their best to raise the children right. What we can do is help each other. Adults must create an environment that is healthy to raise well-rounded kids in and to allow them to grow in a safe and violence-free atmosphere.

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Thalia Mott

Thalia Mott has had a decade's worth of experience as a law writer, which she hopes to share through her works. She is an avid sports fan and loves watching games if she has free time.