I asked if she
would limit his cell phone use since he did not use his phone, which
she pays for, to call and tell her he’d be late. She explained
that he needed the phone in case his boss or coach called him. I
asked if there would be any consequence for him coming in at 3 a.m.
and disrespecting her and her rules. She then told me she just
didn’t know what to do as nothing worked, and she truly felt she
had no choices and no options.
I should state that I’m “just a mom”. I’m not a psychologist
or child expert. As a mom I know that if we as parents allow the
above scenario, then it continues. It does not magically get better
on its own.
Just using the above scenario, I do not believe having to call a
friend and ask for a ride to ball practice is “horrible”. I
don’t believe having to take a bus to work or catching a ride with
a friend is “horrible”. I don’t believe allowing work and ball
practice with no social activities for a week is “horrible”. And
I don’t believe saying “tell the boss and coach to call the home
phone” for a week is “horrible”. Any of these would make it
very clear to the teen that there are consequences for his actions.
It has always been very important to me to help my kids understand
with certainty that for every action there are consequences. This is
NOT a negative phrase. If we plant seeds, a tree will grow. If we
smile at a stranger, they just may smile back. If we choose to
ignore or disobey a rule, there are also consequences. I think most
reading this article have probably had a speeding ticket. We chose
to go faster than the limit and we dealt with the consequence.
I attended a class through my daughter’s high school. The man
running the class was an MFCC who specialized in teens. I remember
him addressing a woman who also felt there was nothing she could do.
He asked if the teen had a bed, a dresser, a phone, a car, and even
a door for privacy for his bedroom. He went on to tell this woman
that not one of those items was a necessity, and not one of those
items was required by the state to be provided.
As parents, we do have choices and options if our teen decides to
disobey our rules. Both of my kids know that the door on their
bedroom is a privilege. Neither one of them EVER slams their door.
It is their choice to not slam the door as they wish to keep the
door right there, on the hinges.
Once you decide to take control, you’ll discover that you really
do have many options.
by: Audrey Okaneko is mom to two girls. She can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org or visited at www.scrapping-made-simple.com