Communication between teens and their parents can make or break their relationship. In last week’s post, an incident occurred that had the potential for erupting into an argument. Dylan’s parents used good communication skills to prevent temper flares and to help Dylan learn from his mistakes.
Dylan Dreads Facing His Parents
When Dylan woke before daylight, the memory of last night flooded his mind. He looked at his clock. Five-fifteen.
He tossed and turned for nearly two hours before he heard noises downstairs. Exhausted, he came downstairs and walked into the kitchen. “Hey, Mom.”
Jennie turned toward her son. “Morning, Dylan. You’re up early for a Saturday. Dad went for donuts and should be back in a sec.”
How Dylan’s Parents Handled His Disobedience
They heard the door open from the garage. Dad appeared with a bag of donuts and sat down at the table. “Hey, Son.”
“Dad, I messed up. I’m sorry.”
“Tell us what happened.”
“I heard about the party Thursday at school. Some girls I know were supposedly going. It turns out they didn’t. I knew a few of the guys who would be there. As lame as this sounds, I thought those girls didn’t need to be out in the country with a bunch of partiers. I planned to check in, see how things were going, and persuade the girls to come back to town.”
“So then, what happened?”
“Somehow the sheriff found out, showed up, and took everybody to the jail. You know the rest.”
Mom and Dad Make Discipline Dylan’s Responsibility
Dad leaned back in his chair. “If you could have a re-do, what would be different?”
“I should have talked to the girls before I did anything. Then, if I felt I needed to go, I would have checked with you. But, now that I look back, I think talking to the girls was all I needed to do.
Mom laid her hand on Dylan’s shoulder as she poured his juice. “You know I always ask—what did you learn?”
“Aw, Mom. You’re making my brain hurt. Okay. I learned that truth is best with you two—always. And, that Sheriff Townsend has a bloodhound’s nose. I can just expect him to know what the teens in his county are doing on the weekends. I also learned that my two friends—the girls—had more sense last night than I did.”
Dylan Chose His Own Consequences
Dad got plates out of the cabinet and opened the bag of donuts. “So, what should your punishment be for going to a party when you knew we wouldn’t approve?”
“How about if I stay home today and do some work you need done around here. I’ll be your slave for the whole day.”
“I like that. I have a bunch of stuff to take to recycle. Then when it’s a little warmer, we’ll wash the car and do some yard work. Now, how about some donuts?”
Dylan put four donuts on his plate and then looked at his parents and shrugged. “I’m growing.”
Next week, we’ll look at this exchange between Dylan and his parents to see what we can learn about communicating with teens.