Two painful truths I’ve learned in parenting teens are:
- good kids “do” (where the “do” manifests itself in many ways, shapes, and forms), and
- your children will make choices that disappoint you.
This shouldn’t come as any big surprise, but when (not if) something happens, we’re still bewildered.
Maybe all the signs were there, but you missed them. Work or marital issues or financial stresses or any number of distractions are blinding. And sometimes we simply don’t see what we don’t want to see.
Hear me clearly: this is no message of condemnation or finger pointing; it’s one of understanding, and, if you’re willing to receive it as intended, cautionary counsel. It’s at minimum a foolish posture to presume “My child would never do that!” – and potentially dangerous.
Disappointing choices come in broad spectrum, from academic under-achieving to zany videos on youtube. The consequences are equally diverse.
One of the most important goals in parenting is training your children to consider the consequences of their choices before making decisions, followed by allowing them to bear the consequences of poor decisions without bailing them out.