We have all been there. We have either dealt with, seen, or have been a troubled teen and let’s face it, it can be a real nightmare. So what do you do when you are at the end of your endurance and the child in question is acting in ways that could be considered criminal? First of all, let me state unequivocally, that despite all the best parenting and educational skills you utilize, some teens are just incapable of managing all the hormonal and emotional changes they are experiencing and their only outlet is to act out. This does not make you a bad parent or educator. Never think that. The only bad parent or responsible adult is the one who remains unconcerned.
While it may seem harsh, it is sometimes necessary to let a teen’s actions result in natural consequences. I am talking jail time, a juvenile record, expulsion from school, etc. Sometimes, what the teenager needs is a wake up call to show them that ALL their actions, good and bad, have a consequence. What the teen doesn’t need is an adult authority figure turning a blind eye and assuming that it is more loving to ignore abominable behavior. If you want your child to grow up to be a respectable, responsible adult, then you MUST let them experience the consequences of any actions that are over the top. The teen steals; turn them in. The teen pulls a weapon; call the police and report them. The teen does drugs or harms another person in any way; have them arrested. Sometimes, tough love is the only thing a teen can hear and it is up to those who care about them to see that they get it. Doing so, makes you an awesome parent. It shows you care.