Parenting Dilemma

I am facing a bit of a parenting dilemma tonight.  Kid is sixteen, and has made some bad choices in regards to his school work and grades.  Now I have to decide how much do I intervene on his behalf, how much do I let the fall-out and natural consequences of his choices land on him, and do I add at home punishment into the mix.

It is way more complicated than that, of course … but that is the crux of my dilemma.  

It all starts now, with a face to face conversation.


One thought on “Parenting Dilemma

  1. A little update on this situation. This situation could have easily escalated into a volatile one with screaming and tears and a pissed off teenager stomping off. (I’m pretty sure that is what testosterone does best at 16 – turn volatile.) I can easily imagine we, as parents, trying to establish boundaries and instead driving a wedge between us and the kid, all with the best of intentions and the worst of results.

    Fortunately, that is not what happened. Instead we waited a day, then did have that conversation. The kid thanked us for not pulling the trigger when he was primed and ready to explode. We told him that he is going to have to face the consequences of his choices within the school system. At this point the “punishment” at home is really just that he had to talk to us, and that he knows how disappointed and frustrated we are to have come to this place in spite of our past efforts to get him back on track. I don’t think punishment from us at this point would modify his behavior or more effectively deliver the message – this is not okay, you can’t go on like this.

    This course of action is different from what my parents would have done, or my husbands. I don’t know if it is better or worse … but I will say again, if getting my very intelligent but slightly unmotivated kids to do their homework is the worst of our parenting struggles, I feel like we are doing pretty well. No alcohol or drug issue’s, no pregnancies, no fighting or bullying or undue drama, no major health problems *knocking on wood, praising God and any other superstitious thing I can come up with to not jinx myself* .., the grade thing we can deal with.

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