Assisting Your Child On The Day Of Court

  • The courtroom is a formal environment where dress is a sign of respect to the judge and the process. Children are encouraged to be dressed as though they were going out to a nice restaurant. Teens should be discouraged from wearing jeans, shirts or halter tops that show skin or cleavage. There should be no inappropriate “comments” on clothing either.
  • Keep your own anxiety under control – try to be calm and confident.
  • Arrive in court at least 30 minutes before it is scheduled. This will avoid any panic or distress as a result of being late.
  • Check in with the court clerk so that she/he knows you have arrived.
  • Try and locate a place to wait where your child will not have to encounter the accused. You might want to ask your Crown prosecutor about the most suitable location – in some cases a witness room is available.
  • Bring some simple activities that the child can do such as coloring, handheld video game (with sound off), music/videos with headphone, books etc.
  • Be sure to bring something to drink, such as bottled water or juice boxes, and a non-messy snack or two.
  • Prepare the child for the possibility that he/she might testify at the very end of the day. Be sure to give your child regular bathroom breaks – you never know when your child will be called to the stand and you don’t want them to “have to go” during this stressful time.