Ways to Prevent Juvenile Delinquency

10 Problems of Juvenile Delinquency in Nigeria and Possible Solutions

Stemming the spate of crime committed by minors, a young person under the age of 18 years involved in acts such as aggression and violence, assault, rape, substance abuse, underaged drinking and smoking, gang violence, stealing, cultism, robbery, etc.

A juvenile delinquent is any young person whose conduct is characterized by antisocial behaviour that is beyond parental control and subject to legal action. The habitual committing of criminal acts or offences by a young person, especially one below the age at which ordinary criminal prosecution is possible. Boys with chronic delinquent behaviour who are at risk of incarceration.

The Effects of Juvenile Delinquency

Risk Factors

Causes of juvenile offending include broken families, poverty, frequent parent’s fights, poor parenting, peer pressure, lack of parental supervision, lack of discipline, family violence, lack of education, substance abuse mismanagement of family conflicts, poor parental behaviour, uninvolved parenting, unequal treatment between children, siblings with behaviour problems, etc. These contribute to the onset of criminal behaviour in a child or adolescent.

Delinquency Prevention Programmes

FIND FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES – early intervention for vulnerable families

Early intervention for vulnerable children and their families. Early intervention is support given to a family. The most effective way to prevent juvenile crime is to mitigate the risk factors in the family. Early intervention means identifying and providing early support to children and young people who are at risk of poor outcomes.

Benefits of early intervention for families

Early intervention services can change a child’s developmental path and improve outcomes for children, families and communities. Families benefit from early intervention by being able to better meet their children’s needs.

Families going through challenges can find family support services providing services appropriate to their concerns. Family support services make use of trained personnel who will give you the appropriate support, advice and help to deal with your challenges in confidence.

Their benefits and importance include providing need-based support to families parents, children and spouses affected by a range of events divorce, separation, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, unemployment, etc.

They work with families in crisis and parents in need of support to help their children. Examples of family support services are health services, temporary shelter, emergency food supply, education services, family mediation services, housing services, free school supplies to enhance the well-being of families and their children.

Providing support system around families in need of support services such as former inmates and their families, adolescents on probation and their families and youth who are at risk of developing delinquent behaviour or who are already involved in delinquent activities.

The siblings of youth on parole are less likely to commit crimes because of the help their family has received. Youth out of detention readjust to free life and do not go back because of the improved condition of their families thereby ending repeat offences.

 

Juvenile Delinquency: Prevention, Treatment, and Risk Assessment - Soapboxie

CONFLICT RESOLUTION SKILLS

Conflict resolution is an important life skill. Delinquency and violence are symptoms of youth inability to handle conflicts constructively. Teaching young people to manage conflicts can reduce juvenile delinquency and violence. It can prevent juveniles from ever encountering the justice system. Teaching the child healthy actions, social skills, coping skills, problem-solving skills to deal with difficult situations.

They learn skills to control emotions and behaviour under extreme stress, actively listen, effective communication and address the underlying problems causing a juvenile’s behaviour and actions. It empowers young people to identify factors that escalate and de-escalate conflict. Youth develop the skills to manage conflicts and disagreements with peers, family and friends.

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Positive Behaviour Support

Skills to resolve disputes peacefully, reduce antisocial behaviour and violence. They learn to effectively manage conflicts and respond to conflict situations in non violent ways. It instills in them self awareness for conscious knowledge of their own feelings, traits, character and behaviour.

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They have a skill set for reducing incidents of fighting, bullying, harassment and other forms of violence among young people. They manage competing needs and interests without resorting to violence, stay out of trouble and happy.

 

Child Well-being: Good Co-parenting Relationship

 

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Divorce can be traumatic for children. It has a negative impact on children and can subject them to behavioural and mental vulnerabilities. It can increase destructive behaviour and anger, compromises children’s emotional and relational stability and adversely affect their academic performances.

Parents can protect their children

Parents can protect their children from the destructive effects of separation and divorce. They do this when both parents work together to raise their children even though they are divorced or separated putting the well-being of their children before everything. They can stop fighting and work out the issues between them in a healthy way. When they avoid hostility, acrimony and focus on the needs of their children.

Separation and divorce can be difficult for parents and impact children adversely. The factors that influence the well-being of children during these events are within the parents control. The quality of parenting provided over time and the quality of parent-child relationship can mitigate or reverse potential serious outcomes for the children.

Managing conflict and effective parenting foster strong parent-child relationship. Parents not compromising on effective discipline, enforcing the rules, monitoring children’s behaviour and genuine manifestation of love will help shield children from deviant peers and behaviour.

Effective co-parenting relationship

Parents can choose to Imbibe protective factors for the sake of their children such as being involved in the lives of their children. Cooperating to resolve disputes between themselves. Placing emphasis on supporting and caring for their children. Focusing on what is in the best interests of their children and doing what is the best for themselves.

Since children are involved and the parents will always be parents, you have to learn to communicate with the other parent. You can achieve this by maintaining a business like relationship and learning not to control your children’s allegiances or use them to manipulate your ex-spouse.

Recognize that your children need to have relationships with both parents and that your children’s affection for the other parent is no personal threat to you. It is in the best interest of the children for both parents to be involved in their lives.

This might mean agreeing on a custody arrangement with a focus on what is best for your child or children. Whether to adopt shared parenting or sole custody whereby your children live with one parent but see the other parent very often, deciding the amount and consistent payments of child support by the non custodial parent or non resident parent (usually fathers) for the care and support of the children. Putting the children first always.

A child should never feel he has been abandoned because when children feel they have been abandoned by the other parent (usually fathers), it can lead to increased risk for violent behaviour. Fathers will do well for themselves to be involved in the lives of their children and contribute to raising them.

 

Separation: Financial Arrangements for Children

Progress in fight against child poverty could be wiped out by Covid, says report | Global development | The Guardian

Legal Assistance for Custodial Parents (Focus on women parenting alone after separation) in obtaining financial support.

Parents are legally responsible for the financial needs and security of their children following separation and divorce even if you do not see them or if agreement about access to the children happened separately. Visitation and child maintenance are separate issues in the eyes of the court.

Child maintenance (child support) is for the welfare of the children. This is paid by the non custodial parent (usually the father) to the mother who has day to day care of the children. Maintenance is for children below 21 years of age in Nigeria. However, maintenance order may be made in favour of a child above 21 years in exceptional circumstances. Child maintenance based on the Children’s law terminates when the child reaches 18 years of age.

Help with Child Support Arrangements

Private Arrangements

Estranged parents can work out their own future arrangements for the children. You can come to your own agreements about financial support for your children. You can agree between yourselves how much child maintenance should be paid, how and when it should be made.

If you are finding it difficult to come to an agreement or the private arrangement breaks down, you can resort to the family court to enforce the right of the child for an order of maintenance or go to mediation. You can seek the help of a neutral third party mediator. You both have to be willing to go to mediation.

Getting help to create agreement for child support

Mediation is a confidential process, quicker and less stressful than going to court. The process promotes parental responsibility so that children receive maintenance from parents even if they live in separate households. A professional mediator who acts as a neutral third party helps parents make decisions about financial support for the children.

The mediator facilitates discussions between both parents, helps them work out their parenting arrangements and reach an agreement. Free family mediation services.

Social Welfare Payments

Getting Payments without sharing your Location

Survivors of family violence can access child support services safely. If you feel at risk talking to the other parent because a private agreement would involve being in contact or if you do not want to be in contact because you do not feel it is safe you need not talk to the other parent or tell the other parent your location.

You do not need to make contact with the other parent if you have experienced violence. You can seek help to collect payments through the social welfare office which can help in the calculation of the amount and enforcement. It will take action if a parent fails to make financial provision for their children.

 

 

 

Marital Conflict Management Skills for Men and Women

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REVISED: Marriage is sweet but has its ups and downs. This is inevitable. You can minimize the lows. You can make your marriage a happy one if you learn to effectively deal with your partner’s flaws, annoying habits, understand your partner’s emotions and resolve disagreements in a healthy way. The following tools will help you handle differences in a positive way, keep your marriage strong and healthy.

 

Open communication – when both partners can openly express their thoughts, the other listens attentively and tries to understand what their partner says with empathy. Being open to honest communication. Effective communication is key in marriage. Taking a non judgmental view of your partner’s emotions and communicate. Avoiding assumptions. Using gentle tone of voice and body language.

Actively listen – being attentive. listening attentively to what the other person has to say. Giving full attention to the other person. Listening and responding in a way that improves mutual understanding. Shun negative non verbal cues or gestures. Calming yourselves.

 

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Patience – face challenges with patience and understanding.  Listen to understand the needs of your spouse in a supportive and empathetic way. Listen to identify emotions and place value on what they are saying. Understand their perspectives, feelings and needs maintaining eye contact.

Emotion regulation. Exert control over your emotional state. Exercise greater self-control. Manage your emotions. Control your thoughts and actions. Express your feelings calmly. Say exactly how you feel. Identify your emotions, the trigger, and communicate these clearly and calmly to your wife.

Practice Empathy – be more empathetic. Step into your partner’s shoes. Share their feelings and emotions. Feel what they are going through without blaming, judgmental, critical or being harsh. Get to understand their needs from their perspective. Respect differences.

Positivity  – resolve issues in a kind, respectful and healthy way. Respect your partner’s needs. Understand their needs or ask to know their needs and search for a solution together. Agree to disagree. Disagree in a kind way. Provide love, reassurance, acceptance and encouragement. Touch each other. Compliment your spouse.

 

Conflict Management and Resolution Tips:

Respect and love your spouse. Stop what you are doing and look at them when they talk. Submit to your husband. Love your wife unconditionally.

Appreciate your spouse for the hard work they do. Does not matter if you are the at-home parent or the parent who leaves the house to work. Express your appreciation for everything including the little things they do. For being a wonderful father or mother. Appreciate their contributions to the family. Tell them thank you.

Don’t take your spouse for granted. Do a little nice thing for your spouse every single day. Say nice things to him or her when it comes to mind. Admire your spouse. Appreciate your spouse. Ask about their day.

Be a good listener. Listen lovingly. Ask the right questions, use loving gestures and body language. Put the phones down, hug, touch, hold hands. Appreciate her. Compliment her looks. Use compliments to make her feel loved.

Love your mother in-law. Love your in-laws. If you are experiencing overbearing In-law behaviour, communicate with your spouse. They will know how to handle it.

If you are unhappy, have unmet expectations or dissatisfied, have a discussion. Talk about your strengths and weaknesses. Ask how you can improve as a spouse. What you can do to improve your marriage.

Be each other’s best friend and a good team. Cooperate with your spouse. Look out for each other’s well-being. Look out for their best interest. Help each other fulfil your dreams and purpose. Help your spouse be the best version of themselves.

Be a good person. Understand your spouse. Ask to know your partner’s needs. Ask what they  need from you. Cooperate to find solutions to issues in your marriage. Work together to resolve it.

Communicate freely with each other. Be open with each other. You can discuss everything with your spouse without blaming, judgmental or critical. You will listen and help out. Love and encourage your spouse. Knowing your love, compassion, care, respect and support is their strength. True love is unconditional. True love is sacrifice.

Express your love to him. Teach him how to love you showing character traits of a good woman. Dress up especially for him. Appreciate him for what he does for you. Happy ways to welcome him home after work. Make him want to come home.

Learn to pray together as a couple. Keep it short. Take turns. Make a list of things you both agree to pray for each other and each of your children.

Stop fighting about household chores. Don’t go with the crowd or public opinion. Your family is different and unique. Have a discussion. Discuss the issues calmly and respectfully. You will arrive at what works for your own family and unique situation.

If this is becoming a problem and you both can’t handle issues on your own, seek help before it escalates and leads to a crisis. See a counsellor, mediator. Seek help.

Don’t bully your spouse. Don’t provoke your spouse. Avoid speaking in anger. Control your emotions. Watch your words. Domestic violence is a build up of bad behaviour and unresolved issues leading to resentment which eventually gets out of control. Work on your issues early.

Don’t overlook or continue to endure bad behaviour that portends potential danger or fatality such as if egocentric, narcissistic or abusive emotionally, psychologically, physical or verbally. Speak up. Cry out. Speak with a counsellor, mediator or psychologist.

Seek refuge to protect yourself and children. Don’t endure abuse. Leave. Keep yourself safe while intervention is ongoing. Seek help.

 

 

 

Let’s talk Teenagers about Things that Matter

Choose the right friends

Choose your friends wisely. It is said that you go as the friends you keep. Avoid those who give you bad advice make you do what you do not want to do or what is not right. This is peer pressure. Avoid negative influences. Learn to say ‘No’ and mean it.

Make friends with those who share your values. Associate with good and responsible people. Associate with those who make positive influence on you. A person who stops being your friend was never a friend.

Resist peer pressure

Some teenagers give in to peer pressure because they want to be liked, they don’t want to be made fun of or due to curiosity. Walk away from situations and people that will make you compromise your standards and convictions. Be a disciplined person. Shun negative impact.

Teenagers who know what they want and are not afraid to say ‘no’ to peer pressure attract the respect and admiration of others. Be the person who influences others in positive and healthy ways.

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Love your body

Change the message you are giving yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. Remind yourself your body is unique and beautiful in it’s own way. Get regular exercise. Partake in physical activities that are good for you and help you feel good.

Take responsibility for your health and well-being. Stay away from drugs, alcohol and cigarette. Avoid people who use them and pressure others to do the same. Protect your health and mind. Participate in those things that promote your health, safety and well-being. Stay positive and be happy.

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Say ‘No’ to sex

Avoid premarital sex. Set appropriate boundaries. There are some things that should wait. Sex is one of them. Some teens have sex because their friends pressure them into it. A friend who coerces you to have sex is not a good friend. Do not allow anyone lure, blackmail or intimidate you into having sex or doing what you do not want to do. No sex before marriage is a wise decision.

Premarital Sex has negative effects such as sexually transmitted diseases (STD), unwanted pregnancy, teenage parenthood and dropping out of school. Abstinence is the right choice. It prevents getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant. This way you don’t miss out on your youthful years.

Don’t get involved in romantic relationship. Avoid kissing and do not allow wrong touching.  Develop good friendships based on respect and consideration for the other person. Be focused. Avoid study distractions. Set good and achievable goals for yourself.

Do what is right

Know who you are. Be yourself. Be a good example. Know what you want despite what others may say or do. Take responsibility for your actions. Make responsible choices. Formulate your own opinion on things. If it is wrong, if it doesn’t feel right because others are doing it does not make it right.

Image result for youth mentoring images and picturesBe yourself. Stand up for what you believe in. Avoid bad songs, songs with bad lyrics and inappropriate use of the social media. Avoid inappropriate content on the internet. Develop personal integrity. Lead a life of discipline, honesty and integrity. Surround yourself with good people. Don’t be afraid to be different.

Confide in your parents. When going through anxiety, worried, confused or afraid, talk to your parents or other trusted and responsible adult, your school counsellor or you may need to report someone to your teacher.

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Get to know God

Know God personally. Develop an intimate relationship with Him. Tell your hurts to God. Take everything to God in prayer.