“Vandal” is often synonymous with “juvenile delinquent.”
But your son or daughter doesn’t have to be a victim of that stigma.
What Is Vandalism?
To vandalize something means to deface public or private property without permission from the owner. This can range from egging a car to setting a building on fire.
Some things that may not seem like vandalism actually are, like tampering with a vending machine.
Why Teens Get Involved in Vandalism
Your teen may be drawn into vandal activities for a variety of reasons:
● Peer pressure
● Influence of alcohol or drugs
● Harboring resentment against society, an establishment, or individual
● Seeking a creative outlet of self-expression
Teens who don’t see any immediate consequences to vandalistic actions are likely to strike again, bigger and badder.
What You Can Do to Prevent Vandalism
Rather than quickly assume your teenager is taking a turn for the worse, aim to get to know them better. Gently try to find out what problems are on his or her mind. Most of the time, kids who believe their parents understand them and listen to them are likely to stay away from vandal activities.
Make sure your kids understand what vandalism is and how it can hurt others more than they realize.
In Georgia, vandalism can level a felony charge if damages add up to more than $500. Ask your son or daughter to think about how a felony charge could affect their college and career prospects.
When Your Teen Is Charged With Vandalism