It’s incredibly difficult to parent children from birth until the age when they move out on their own. When your child is a toddler, you try to keep them away from danger in order to keep them safe. Once your child is older, you have to utilize some discipline and education to help keep them from dangerous behaviors such as abusing drugs and driving drunk.
If you’re struggling with how you can keep your child safe and help them understand the consequences of their behavior, take a look at these four different parenting hacks that might help you.
Discuss Consequences (With Evidence)
It’s important that your child understands that there are consequences associated with dangerous behavior. These consequences can reflect punishments that will occur in your own home, but it’s ideal to use real-life examples as well.
For example, if your child drives after they have been drinking, this could lead to an arrest. Even worse, they could be at fault for a deadly accident. Current research show that of the 37,133 people who died in traffic crashes, 10,874 of them were killed in drunk driving-related crashes. These numbers show that the consequences of drunk driving are real and not to be taken for granted.
Note that underage drivers are usually considered drunk with a BAC of just 0.02. Ensure your child understands the consequences of having just one or two beers at a party.
Help Them Understand the Permanence of Dangerous Behavior
Many children grow up thinking that nothing bad will ever happen to them. They think their risky behavior will not come with any consequences. In fact, there are many behaviors that can be deadly or that can ruin a child’s life.
It is important that you use real life experiences to drive your point home. For example, you could point out instances where theft has led to jail time or talk about a local example of a child driving drunk and killing another family.
Let Your Child Have Experiences
It might seem like you can keep your children safe by keeping a close eye on them. It’s actually a better idea to let them go off and have experiences of their own. We need to let them have the opportunity to fail and learn from their mistakes. They will inevitably make mistakes many times throughout their lives, but your children will make the right decisions if you have taught them well.
A child tends to behave in a risky manner if they have never been on their own. If they know that they can count on mom or dad to pick up the pieces for them when they mess up, this will encourage risky behavior to continue. If they are independent, they understand that their actions will have consequences on things like their grades, sports, job, friendships, etc.
Independent learning typically starts when children begin elementary school. The classroom provides students with a safe learning environment to experiment, try new things, and take ownership over their education. Whether it’s at school or at home, it’s important to teach children to be independent.
As a parent, we always want to keep our children happy and safe. Part of being a parent is accepting that we can’t control everything that our child is doing. Luckily, there are some ways that we can teach our children and hope they do the right thing.