You want to do what's best for your kids. That's just part of being a parent. It's not always easy to know what's best, though. We hear a lot about “tough love,” for example. If your child winds up charged with a crime, you may believe the solution is to let them pay the price for their actions. Certainly, it's important to teach your children lessons, and sometimes that means letting them suffer a little when they've made a mistake. Letting them be convicted of a crime, though, is never the answer.
Kids Make Mistakes
Kids do dumb things. You might say it's in their DNA. Humans are built to explore in their early years, to learn about their world and test boundaries. In fact, it turns out that trying to shield them from making mistakes can backfire in big ways. Failing helps children learn resilience. It also helps them to become explorers. No less an authority than Neil deGrasse Tyson has written,
One of the great revelations of parenting: when you have curious, motivated children, the intervention of a grownup carries almost as much risk in squashing their ambitions as it does in nurturing them.
In simplest terms, a child who isn't allowed to make mistakes never gets to establish their own independence as a human being. Far from helping them learn how to behave properly as adults, too much discipline can keep them from becoming an adult at all.
The trouble is, our society has grown intolerant of children's mistakes, impatient with letting kids discover on their own. We insist children behave properly, and we punish them severely when they don't, even though we know their mistakes are driven by their biology.
The Stakes are High
There's nothing wrong with tough love. Kids will make mistakes, and lots of them, but they must learn how to deal with the consequences of those mistakes. There may have been a time when that kind of that approach included letting children face the legal consequences of their actions. A night or two in jail, and maybe your kid thinks twice about drinking and driving.
That's simply not true anymore. Sentences in our legal system have become far too draconian over the past two decades, and that extends to the juvenile justice system as well. Judges aren't willing to give defendants a pass anymore just because they might be minors. As a result, if you let your child “accept responsibility” for what they've done, they could wind up with a sentence all out of proportion to the nature of their offense.
Maybe more importantly, in today's world, a criminal conviction doesn't just involve serving a sentence. It can affect the rest of a person's life. The advent of criminal background checks means your child could wind up unable to get an apartment or even a job, not just in the near term but for the rest of their life. No one should have to pay that kind of price for something they did before they even turned 18.
Contact Attorney Joseph D. Lento for Help
If your child has been charged with a criminal offense, don't trust the justice system to look out for their best interests. Those days are over. You need an attorney, and you need one now, to make sure your child's best interests are protected.
Joseph D. Lento is a defense attorney who specializes in youth cases. He's helped thousands of families over the years, making sure kids were able to take reasonable responsibility for their mistakes while working to put their lives back together and move forward. Attorney Joseph D. Lento will make sure your child is treated fairly and that they get the very best possible resolution to their case.
For more information, contact the Lento Law Firm today. Call 888-555-3686.
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