Do you worry about the people that your teen spends time with? Do you think they may pressure your child to make poor choices that they would not make otherwise?

It does happen. Peer pressure is a serious concern for teenagers and has even been linked to criminal activities. While there are other issues that come into play as well, such as a lack of impulse control or a general sense of immaturity, these things often only serve to make peer pressure more effective. The same is true for teens who often participate in aggressive behavior.

For instance, maybe your teen is not a criminal, but they do struggle with immaturity issues that make it hard for them to realize how their actions may impact their future. They live as if nothing they do now will have a lasting effect. You try to tell them to plan for the future — going to college, starting a career — but they never do it.

Now imagine that their friends pressure them to drive after they have been drinking. They don’t consider the ramifications of a DUI, the real risk they’re in of getting involved in an accident, the fact that they could hurt themselves or someone else or anything along those lines. They just know that they want to impress their friends, so they give in to the peer pressure and do it.

When they grow up, they may regret those decisions, but it’s hard to get through to them at a young age. If they wind up facing serious legal charges, you need to know what defense options you have to protect their future.