When I was 16-yeard old, I had brought a gun home that I was holding for a friend. I didn’t want the gun to find itself in my mother’s hands, so I hid it underneath one of the living room’s sofas. Trying to be cool, I told my uncle about the gun. I showed it to him and I told him where I was hiding it.
The next day after school I walked into a surprise. “What are you doing with this?” my mother asked sternly. It was more of a you know you’re going to be punished rather than an ask. Feeling betrayed by my uncle I felt hurt without a voice. My mother enforced guilt and punishment. Somehow I retrieved my friend’s gun an the real issue was never resolved.
I missed the serious nature of the matter. The reason why was simple: lack of communication. Instead of telling me what I did, then punishing me for it, I could’ve learned how to make better decisions if my mom and uncle would’ve set me down and talked to me. Either authority figure could’ve said, “Let’s talk!”
I am not telling you how to raise your child, nor am I pointing blame for my teenage actions. As a former at-risk child, what I’m saying is that some children feel detached, or maybe have fragile wounds. Punishing a child for doing something wrong isn’t always the right answer. Try having a “let’s talk!” moment. Good communication strengthens relationships.
Maybe you’ll experience that your child is more likely to be open and receptive. In this case, your child’s understanding of how his or her actions affect you, and most of all themselves. It all stars with, “Let’s talk!”