Whether you work with juveniles in Virginia or are the parent of a child, you may have spent time worrying about what the future will look like if youth that you care deeply about become involved in criminal behavior. With a strong network of support stemming from educators, family members and friends, your children may have a much better chance at bypassing the temptations of participating in suspicious activities. 

Prevention of criminal conduct in a child’s pre-teen and teen years begins when you spend adequate time discussing the types of behaviors that are classified as illegal and can instigate a lifetime of criminal involvement. These discussions should also include information about how your child’s involvement in such activities will affect aspects of their life ranging from their ability to complete their education and maintain healthy relationships, to the ability to pursue a worthwhile career. When you are able to effectively discuss consequences and their impact on a person’s future, you may be able to incentivize your children to avoid crime altogether. 

According to youth.gov, if your child has the opportunity to be involved in school programs that address the dangers of juvenile delinquency, he or she may be able to form strong friendships with other participants while learning about the importance of staying out of legal trouble. Some examples of the programs they may participate in include mentorships, behavior management programs and recreational activities. There may also be community programs that focus on communication and conflict resolution which can provide valuable education as well. 

By finding ways for your children to be involved in after school programs that provide support, friendship, instruction and motivation, you may be able to encourage them to stay out of trouble. Their involvement may also be an effective way for them to provide an example to their peers and encourage them to be upstanding citizens as well.