It’s the phone call that every parent dreads.
“Hi mom, I’m currently at the police station. Please help!”
On hearing the news, two questions will inevitably come to mind.
- What have they done?
- What have I done to allow this to happen?
Of course, you probably aren’t to blame at all. Thanks to that blessed thing known as free will, our children have the freedom to behave in ways according to their choosing. Still, that can be of little solace when our children get into trouble, be they of junior or adult age.
All hope isn’t lost, of course. Your children can still be put on the right path, despite the actions they have already taken. There are some excellent law firms out there too, so the legal consequences could be mitigated. Check out the services of Takajian & Sitkoff as just one notable example. So, despite the stress that follows after that one phone call, life can return to normal.
Still, the best course of action is to prevent that phone call from ever happening in the first place. While your children do have free will, as we said, there is still much you can do when they are very young to keep them on the path that is straight and narrow.
Here are some suggestions.
#1: Spend time with them
The more time you spend with your kids, the less opportunity they will have to put a foot wrong. So, rather than let them loose on the streets on the weekend to do their own thing, do something with them on the weekend instead. Go camping with them, take them to a sports game, or do anything else that will bring about family bonding. Of course, time together isn’t only about distracting them from boredom and the risk of wrongdoing. You will also have more time to teach them lessons about morality, be that with the words you speak or the actions that you role model to your children. And on that point…
#2: Be a good role model
Your children are never going to learn positive life lessons if you are less than ethical yourself. If you pay little credence to traffic laws, fiddle with your taxes, verbally attack your neighbors or do something else that can put you on the wrong side of the law, no matter how small, then your children are going to pay attention. You’re not perfect, of course, but you still have the free will to be that better person, so keep yourself in check for the long-term benefits of your children.
#3: Address any issues quickly
If you can spot any issues within your family, deal with them promptly. So, if you get the sense that your children are hanging out with the wrong people, for example, or if they start to behave in ways that are less than moral, make sure you intervene. Hold family meetings, speak to your children’s teachers, and have those all-important sit-down chats with your child to remind them of the consequences of their actions. Your children will still have free will to do what they want, of course, but at least you will have done something rather than nothing to put them back on the right path.
Parenting isn’t easy, and there is no guarantee that your children will be the little angels that you want them to be. However, by paying attention to the rules we have listed, you might be able to circumnavigate the risk of future trouble.
Let us know what you think, and please share your advice with us.