Like any other 15 year old teenager, my one has had her fair share of good and bad decision-making. Whether these were influenced by peer pressure or a lack of balanced judgment is irrelevant as we all have choices and the choices we make shape our destiny. We can teach our children right from wrong but ultimately wrapping them up in cotton wool isn’t going to teach them the survival skills required to take on the world. Whilst we are there to guide them, they need to learn how to make their own decisions whether good or bad and understand the consequences in order to grow into responsible adults.
What is important however is the need to be continuously present in our children’s lives in order to share the lessons regardless of a good or bad experience encountered. This requires regular conversations with our children to check-in and understand their current challenges/pressures on both a personal and professional level. It’s not about never-ending lectures on how they could have done things better but more about letting our children open up and share their reasoning for doing so in a trusting and non-judgmental environment.
In order to improve relationships with our children, I believe parents and teachers must take accountability for regularly checking in with teachers to see how our children are progressing and offering support where needed. Parents cannot rely on teachers alone to ensure their children are on the right track nor can teachers expect the parents to know whether their child is struggling or not until they read the school report. By taking ownership and accountability together parents and teachers are more likely to develop well-mannered and considerate role models in our society as we demonstrate kindness, consideration and willingness to support each other regardless of the circumstances.