Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Parenting a High-Risk Child: How to Handle a Teen’s Brush With The Law

Although many parents work hard to raise obedient children, the kids can become rebellious once reaching the teenage years when they gain independence. Many teens have brushes with the law, which can threaten their future and remain on their record. When raising a high-risk child, there are a few important steps to take once they’ve broken the law.

Seek Professional Help

After your child has broken the law, it’s important to get them back on the right track by seeking help from an outside source. Find your child a mentor with a professional who has a background in the school of criminal justice to ensure that they begin making good decisions. This will allow them to have guidance from someone who can help them develop into a mature adult and take responsibility for their past actions.

Establish Rules

You’ll need to implement certain rules in the home after your teen gets into trouble to prevent them from repeating their behavior. Consider restricting use of a vehicle, setting a curfew, or taking the door off of their bedroom to ensure that they understand the severity of their actions. This will reduce their risk of breaking the law in the future and will limit their freedom until they earn your trust again.

Spend Time Together

Make it a point to spend more time with your teen to ensure that they feel supported in their home life. Schedule movie nights or go out for ice cream to strengthen your bond and avoid any feelings of neglect that they may be feeling. This will prevent them from getting into future trouble, which can often be a cry for help.

Discuss Their Actions

Although confronting your teen on their actions may be difficult after they’ve had a brush with the law, it’s important to communicate to understand why they made a bad decision. Sit down with them in a safe and comfortable setting and discuss their reasoning to understand if there are underlying issues present. This will allow you to determine if there are certain needs that they have, which may not be met.

Although parenting a high-risk child who has had a brush with the law can be challenging, there are a few ways to take control and prevent the mistake from happening again. By taking the time to discuss the incident and by disciplining the teen, you can allow the child to learn from the mistake and make better decisions.


Tim Esterdahl

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