When some people are caught breaking the law, the reasons may be clear. Maybe someone was shoplifting because they recently lost their job, so they don’t have money to buy food for their family. This doesn’t mean they haven’t violated the law, but someone can easily understand why they did it.
This is why parents are often very frustrated when their teenagers break the law. They know that the teenagers didn’t need to do so, and parents also understand how big of an impact this can have on the rest of the young person’s life. So why do teens do it anyway?
They’re seeking independence
In some cases, teens intentionally break the law simply because that law exists. They want to feel independent. They don’t enjoy being told what to do, even when those restrictions are very realistic.
They’re developing an identity
Teens are also going through an incredible stage in brain development. They are developing their own identity. Testing authority may be part of this process. They may also simply want to demonstrate how they are different from the grownups around them and society as a whole.
They are experiencing peer pressure
Speaking of society, teenagers have an inherent drive to fit in with their own social group. This means that the peer pressure that a group uses can be very effective. Many teenagers will commit crimes simply to demonstrate their standing within that group or to impress their peers. They’re not thinking about the long-term ramifications of doing so.
Parents are. If your teen has been accused of a crime, be sure you understand all of the legal defense options they have.