Sundance Canyon Academy has helped numerous families with sons who commit crimes. Overcoming delinquent behavior is challenging, and many families need outside help from trained professionals. As a therapeutic boarding school, we implement strategies that are far more successful than military schools or teen boot camps. If you feel like your son needs help to stop committing crimes, please contact us today.
When teens start to commit crimes, it’s difficult for the whole family. Criminal activity in teens can lead to expulsion from school, fines and community service, or even jail time. These actions cause chaos in the home and make life more stressful for everyone involved. As parents, it can be confusing to understand why they would commit crimes in the first place and what to do once they have started.
The most common crimes committed by teens
When you are addressing your son’s criminal behavior, it’s important to understand why teen boys commit crimes. Though most teen criminal behavior mirrors that of adults, there are a few specific crimes that are most common for teens.
- Underage drinking
- Having or using illegal substances
- Minor theft
- Sexual offenses
While they are still under 18, most criminal offenses are counted as juvenile offenses. However, behavioral patterns cemented in the early teen years are very difficult to stop immediately after turning 18. If teens get in the habit of committing crimes and don’t learn to stop, criminal behavior can continue into adulthood.
Why teens commit crimes
There are a few factors that commonly contribute to teen criminal behavior. If these factors apply to your teen, you should consider looking for outside help to break the behavioral patterns quickly.
Being raised around violence
When children are raised in a household or neighborhood where violence is common, they can pick up on that behavior. If violence and aggression feel “normal,” it’s easy to start mimicking violent behavior. If your teen son has witnessed violence in the home, at school, or among his peers, he could be more likely to commit violent crimes.
Children who are raised around adults who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to commit crimes in their teen years. If the parents are addicts, the child may need to fend for themselves to survive. When left to figure out life on their own, teens can turn to negative influences for advice and support.
Personal drug and alcohol abuse is also common among teens who commit crimes. Simply using drugs or alcohol is illegal during the teen years, and it often coincides with truancy and other illegal behaviors. Because drug and alcohol use lowers inhibitions, teens are even more likely to cave into negative peer pressure while using those substances.
During the teen years, children turn to their peers for affirmation and acceptance. If they want to be accepted by their friends but their friends are engaging in criminal behavior, teens are more likely to go along with the behavior.
Mental Health Problems
Teens who struggle with mental health problems such as depression, oppositional defiant disorder, and numerous other behavior disorders are more likely to engage in criminal activity. Teen boys who commit crimes regularly find it difficult to engage with the world in socially accepted ways. When they struggle to adapt to life in their teen years, they can turn to negative and illegal behavior.
How to help teens quit committing crimes
If your teen son has recently started committing crimes, there are a few things that you can try in order to help him quit:
- Talk to him about how serious the behavior is
Some teens don’t understand just how serious crimes can be, even if the crimes are small. Make sure that your teen knows how serious it is.
- Encourage him to spend time doing positive activities
When teens develop positive relationships with peers and adults, they are less likely to engage in delinquent behavior. Encourage him to join teams or clubs at school that will provide a positive influence for him.
- Hold him accountable for his actions
When teens learn that they can commit crimes without suffering any consequences, they are more likely to do them again in the future. Don’t let your teen get away with negative behavior without any consequences.
If your teen son is committing crimes and you don’t know how to help him quit, you may need outside help. By sending him to a therapeutic boarding school, you would remove him from negative influences at home and surround him with positive influences. He would receive specialized therapy from counselors trained in working with troubled teens. Contact us today for more information about how we can help your family.