We've all been there. Made a stupid mistake and been petrified of the consequences. Who did you turn to? Who does your child turn to?
As children grow and develop they need to develop their own moral code for right and wrong behaviour. This is mainly governed by the culture and customs of your own family and the ethics and morals you live by. But as they get older, they will be influenced by external factors. Friends, school and the constant onslaught from media and social networks.
Throughout your child's journey, from toddler years to young adult, you have a role to play. Especially in the pre-teen and teen years! This is the time when your 'lighthouse' structure (blog of December 4, 2017) is so important.
When your child has made a bad choice, your role is to support them to overcome the negative experience they've had. Be a lighthouse for them and help them recognise:-
1. It was not an OK thing to do. They need to own their poor choice.
2. They are sorry it happened and be able to apologise to all who have been hurt.
3. Repair the wrong and make it right. This is known as 'restitution and restoration'.
4. Forgiveness. Help them forgive themselves and others.
5. Acknowledge the valuable learning experience. They need to be aware of what they've learnt so they can grow from the experience.
If you can guide and support them with these pointers at every turn, they'll learn how to do this for themselves and develop integrity - grow into thoughtful and mature young adults.
Remember the best example you can give them is YOU. Model this behaviour when you do something wrong!