Parents often envision a bright and promising future for their children during adolescence, however there are bound to be obstacles, mistakes, and hiccups along the way. Teenagers can go through tumultuous periods, and one of the most serious mistakes they can make is being charged with a DUI (driving under the influence). Facing a DUI charge is daunting, and emotionally, it can be very difficult to deal with. If your teen has been charged with a DUI, it is important to remember to approach the situation with support. This article will discuss some of the ways that you and your teen can work through a DUI charge together, help them learn from their mistakes, and create a brighter, safer future for your child.
Stay Calm and Offer Support
After finding out your teen has been charged with a DUI, it may cause you to feel a mix of emotions – anger, distrust, confusion, and more. However, it is paramount that you remain calm in this situation. Frustration and anger may close off the potential for open communication with your teen, and you want to foster a loving and understanding environment for them. Sit down and have an adult conversation with them. Express your concerns respectfully, allow your child to give their perspective of the accident, listen intently, and offer your full support.
Accountability for the Incident
While offering support in this situation is crucial, it does not mean that your teen should be completely off the hook. Encourage them to take accountability for their actions and mistakes, as a DUI can have serious consequences. Let them know that you will be by their side, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be legal consequences or changes in your parenting.
Seek Legal Guidance
After a DUI charge, you and your teen most likely have a multitude of questions. Luckily, there are DUI defense attorneys who are willing and able to answer your questions and help you navigate the complexities of the legal process. An experienced and aggressive DUI defense lawyer will work with you and your teen to ensure the best possible outcome for your teen.
Coping with a DUI Charge
Your teen will most likely feel ashamed, unsure, and confused about the entire situation after a DUI charge. It is your job to encourage positive coping mechanisms for them to make sure they do not end up in a negative place mentally or physically. Encourage them to find new activities to participate in, from physical activities to art and music, your teen needs an outlet where they can clear their mind and focus on something else other than their DUI charge.
Additionally, your teen may have interest in seeking professional help from a therapist. A therapist can be a great resource for your teen during this hard time by giving them someone to talk to and express their feelings without fear of judgment.
Lead By Example
As a parent, strive to be the best role model possible, as your actions shape the way your child behaves. Practice engaging in safe driving behavior, responsible drinking, and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol yourself. Your teen should know that mistakes are a part of life, and learning from them is what truly matters most.
Facing a DUI charge is a life changing experience, however it will provide valuable lessons for your teen about accountability, good decision making, and healing. By creating an open line of communication between the two of you, emphasizing the importance of safe driving practices, and expressing your support, you and your teen will come out of this hard time stronger together.