Kids make bad decisions, especially teenagers.
We’ve all made mistakes and, lets be honest, we all still do. I don’t mind the kids making poor decisions, so long as they learn from it. Every bad decision is an opportunity to communicate with them and further cement your values. I’ve had numerous ‘discussions’ with my kids over the years. We’ve had lies and half truths; we’ve even had one of our kids taking something that wasn’t theirs. And these are good kids.
Don’t take it personal and don’t expect perfection. They WILL stuff up. They WILL make mistakes. Keep it in perspective even as you tear shreds off them – in the back of your mind understand that part of your bluster is for show. If you’re so angry you can’t think reasonably, leave – no matter how self-righteous you feel. These are the times you most emphatically need to keep a cool, calm head. Punishment, if it’s warranted, must be fair, understood and accepted.
A mistake is also a time to teach them to take responsibility for their actions. We feel strongly that apologizing to whomever they’ve wronged is a big part of this.
And we don’t believe in a hundred chances in the Devereaux household. Instead, we (try to remember to) come down hard the first time -for teenagers: groundings, loss of electronics, chores – and find that repeat offending is kept to a minimum.
However you decide to deal with discipline issues, make sure both you and your partner are on the same page and back each other up.
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