If your children decide to drive while impaired by alcohol, it is likely that they do not understand the consequences of their actions until it is too late. Experiencing legal repercussions firsthand is likely to instill a change of heart.
The criminal defense process can be a more complex and intimidating affair than most young people are ready to face. After emerging from the other side of a lengthy legal ordeal, your child may need your help to move on emotionally and mentally.
Be an Ally
Your first reaction upon hearing that your child stands accused of driving under the influence might be anger or disappointment. In many cases, however, drunk driving may simply be the result of a momentary lapse in judgment rather than an indication of a delinquent personality. Your child likely knows that they made a mistake and needs you to be a supportive ally rather than a source of harsh punishment.
Seek Professional Help
The sense of guilt can weigh heavy on a young person after realizing the true consequences of drunk driving. If your child is struggling to move on, one of the best things you can do is contact a therapist or counselor who is better equipped to provide the assistance your child needs. Multisystemic therapy can not only reduce the chances of future criminal behavior but can also improve your child’s mental health and restore relationships.
While a parent’s job tends to include teaching and disciplining, there are times when children will reach an understanding of the consequences without your intervention. In such times, a parent’s role changes to one of guidance and support.