Assignment: Misconception teenagers.
The biggest misconception teenagers feel is that no one understands what they are experiencing as if adults have skipped this necessary stage in life. The family I am assigned to is the Reeves family, and John who is 13 years old is experiencing quite a few challenges that could impact the rest of his life. The friends he is choosing and the actions they are displaying have Lucas who is John’s father questioning where he has went wrong in raising his son.
The Reeves family has been under a lot of pressure because Lucas has been thrown into being a single dad of three children. Anne, who is Lucas’s wife and also the mother of their three children, has decided to abandon her family. Lucas is in charge of his sons John and Justin, and his baby daughter Emme. The main problem Lucas is having with his children is a lack of support due to the fact that he has no family or friends where they are living. The presenting problem in their house concerning John his 13 year old son includes a recent major brush with the law that resulted in serious criminal activity. John was arrested for robbing a local convenience store with two of his friends ages 14 and 16. During the course of the robbery the older boy physically assaulted the store owner which caused them to be thrown into juvenile detention center. Lucas was informed that although John has never been in trouble before, his actions are concerning because the robbery and assault were for a gang initiation. As his counselor I am concerned with the gang activity because it may be a result for replacing the family he feels he has lost. Research has proven that when we involve ourselves in behavior that is risky, there is an underlying problem that is the cause of such behavior (Sullivan, Childs & O’Connell). John is trying to replace the family he feels he has lost, from his mother’s abandonment which is causing him to gravitate to a gang and display behavior that is the complete opposite of who he is.
John needs to feel like he belongs to a family, and the disconnect he feels in his own family has caused him to attach his self to the wrong crowd of people. Studies show that when adolescents become involved with the wrong crowd it may be linked to risky behavior such as alcohol, drugs, sex, good or bad academics, achievement and some psychiatric symptoms (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Although he has been charged as a juvenile getting caught may be his saving grace in order to get the help he needs before he reaches adulthood or criminal activity that could result in imprisonment for a lifetime. John feels that he no family and that the friends he has attached himself to are his family. My concentration will be to assist him into figuring out who he is and his sense of where he belongs.
Evidence has proven that adolescents “risk behaviors are associated with the behaviors of their close friends” (Jaccard, Blanton & Dodge, 2005). The impact of John’s behavior will be life altering if he continues to surround himself with the gang he has chosen as his new family. Statistics report that four fifths of males in their adolescents do experience minor crimes which result in police contact while in their teenage years (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Although this appears to be for minor crimes, John being involved in a robbery and assault is much more than minor. The impact that this will take on his life if he continues will devastate him and his entire family. The problem will be in helping him understand the ramifications of his actions as a juvenile, could result in him receive charges added or even upgrade from a juvenile to an adult.