Peer pressure and teen crime: A concern for parents

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2019 | Uncategorized

Parents often act shocked and surprised when they find out that their teenager committed a crime. They can’t believe their child got arrested. Sometimes, they honestly do not believe that the police officers are telling the truth. They think there has to be another explanation.

The reason for this is often that the teen simply acts differently around their parents than they do around their friends. The parents honestly do not know this “other person” that the teenager becomes. And that is problematic when the teen falls in with the wrong crowd and faces peer pressure to break the law.

The link

Experts list peer pressure as one of the top reasons that teens break the law. They believe this link is clear.

One of the reasons is that teens do not want to stay under their parents’ control. They feel independent and seek ways to branch out and create their own space in the world. Of course, their parents have probably taught them how to obey the law and the authorities, so that’s one of the things they may rebel against. They do not necessarily see anything wrong with those ideals, but they may want to do something that their parents told them not to do.

Will they work through this stage in their lives? Of course. As they become adults, they actually become independent and this need to prove it fades away. As teens, though, they simply do not have the independence that they crave, and they’ll look for ways to get it.

At the same time, teenagers still feel a desire to belong. They want to fit in. They want people to like them. They want to prove that they are “cool” and valuable.

You can see where this is going. When a teen just wants to fit into their peer group, but they also want to show their parents that they are independent, they are especially vulnerable to peer pressure to break the law. They feel like they can accomplish both of those subconscious goals at the same time.

This is why teens often get into legal trouble that adults find perplexing. While parents may think that the risk was not worth it at all, putting a college education and a career in jeopardy, teens just do not see it that way at their age.

Protecting that future

Do you want nothing more than to protect your child’s future? When they’re facing legal charges, it’s imperative that you know all of the defense options you have.