Keeping You Children Out of Trouble This Summer (and Out of My Juvenile Delinquency Courtroom)

Ah, the lazy days of summer…a fermenting hotbed of trouble for our children, if we are not careful.

Why? Because school is out. The day-to-day structure is gone. And kids are easily bored. They are curious and crave excitement and new experiences.

And children love attention. They will try to get it doing good things and if that doesn’t work, doing the wrong things, sometimes. Children just hate being ignored. To many, negative attention is better than no attention at all.

Kids explore the internet for hours upon end, every day. Although it is a remarkable invention, a vast library, worldwide communications tool and more, unbeknownst to our children, “others” communicating on the internet constantly, as well, may not be who they seem to be. They may be anonymous, sophisticated child predators or otherwise, stalking our children, easily pretending to be something that they are not. Don’t cut off your child’s usage. He/she will need the experience and expertise for school, employment and life BUT monitor your child’s usage, closely.

You may be a single parent. You may have to work one or more full-time jobs. You may have several children at home to monitor. Your finances may barely pay the basic monthly bills………What can you do?? All is not lost!!

Spend quality time with your children. For example, during meals, eat together, at the table; turn off the television and talk.

Play games, go for walks, have a family picnic, play sports, together.

Next time, I’ll share more ideas to help our kids have a positive and enjoyable summer.
Broward County Circuit Court Judge Merrilee Ehrlich sits on the Juvenile Delinquency bench. She has been a lawyer for 30 years, first in the Broward County State Attorney’s Office and then, in private practice, for over 25 years. Judge Ehrlich was the first woman in Broward County to open a private criminal law practice. She has been admitted to practice all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. She is a Florida Supreme Court certified Family Mediator, County Court Mediator and Arbitrator.