Proactive Action to Help Your Utah Teenager


If your Utah teenager is having problems or you think that trouble may be brewing, take proactive action to help protect their freedoms and innocence.  Below are some basic tips that we hope will help you during your trying times.

Be Observant and Aware

Problem signals that parents should look for may include abrupt or unexplainable changes in behavior patterns such as dress and grooming styles, negative changes in school grades, the choice of friends, the use of free time, changes in attitude toward family members, expressions of hostility toward authority figures and predominance of anger and rebellion in the home.

Don’t Be Confrontational or Judgmental

Anger, critical accusations or negative responses toward a troubled adolescent will destroy the important communication relationship that is necessary to help a young person through a personal crisis or potential criminal circumstance.  It is important to listen carefully and let the adolescent know of your genuine concern and willingness to help.

Be Consistent in Maintaining Behavioral Standards

Often a young person becomes entangled in criminal activity because of a lack of understanding or an appreciation of the law, a challenging disrespect for authority or rebellion, and/or the pressure from influences by peers or others outside of the home.  The just and consistent enforcement of rules and standards in the home and school are helpful in preparing the adolescent to understand proper respect for the rules and laws of society.

Seek Assistance and Education From Knowledgeable Authorities

There are several sources available to parents who have challenging questions or may be frustrated by inappropriate circumstances involving their adolescent child.  In addition to respected family and friends, parents should consider their religious leaders and school administrators and counselors.  They often have access to educational and counseling resources.  Also, the government provides assistance through programs such as the Utah Juvenile Justice System.  One important source that should not be overlooked is a defense attorney who specializes in juvenile crime.  The defense attorney has firsthand experience dealing with issues related to adolescent behavior.  In addition to important legal advice, the qualified defense attorney can readily be part of the action team that will provide confidential, knowledgeable, fair and equitable assistance in removing or reducing the problems faced by an adolescent and his or her family.