Do You Really Think They Did That On Purpose?

It happened again. Your kid screwed up. They did something stupid—from drawing on the walls to getting caught drinking. They hurt someone or they lied. They failed a test or broke something important. You’re pissed. You want to yell.

But before we do that, stop and think: Have you raised a good kid? Have you taught them right from wrong? Have you taught them to care about other people and the truth?

Yes, yes you have.

Now ask yourself: Does yelling teach them these things more? Does getting upset re-emphasize what is right and what is wrong, or does it just reinforce the power dynamic between you two? Does yelling make them hear you more…or tune you out completely?

More to the point, if you’ve raised a good kid, do you really think they did that on purpose? Don’t you think they already feel bad? In fact, wouldn’t a calm discussion about the difference between who you know they are and what the statement their behavior has made be a far louder and clearer discussion than yelling ever could be? Remember as you’re getting upset that you’re not just dealing with the situation at hand but you are also showing your kids how adults should act when things go wrong—you are teaching them lessons that will impact how they treat their employees and their own children in the future.

Keep that in mind… and calm down. Be understanding. Talk, don’t yell. Let their own conscience—the one you have worked so hard to help them develop—do most of the heavy lifting. Let them learn to see the error in their own ways, let them learn how to learn from their mistakes.

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