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They say let your children learn from their mistakes...how far are you willing to go to let them do that?

Where do you draw the line, step in and try to protect them from their own poor judgement? In what situations do you step back, watch and wait?
Schoolwork, grades, dating/boys, girls, etc.

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dflygirl7

Asked by dflygirl7 at 11:57 AM on Sep. 29, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Level 12 (751 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • good question. I don't have teens yet, but i guess i feel the same way i was raised. As long as you're under 18/19, and live at home, then parents get to draw that line and step in as they see fit. Which is anywhere and everywhere i guess. At the same time, letting them make mistakes is good learning. I just would not let them make a mistake that would ruin their life if i could help it. I hope that i equipt my kids with morals, values, and such to prevnet really poor choices.
    citymama707

    Answer by citymama707 at 12:02 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I think sometimes we need to let them experience the natural consequences from their behavior otherwise they will keep making the same mistakes and think that mom and dad will always be there to rescue them.
    abellvalerie

    Answer by abellvalerie at 12:18 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • You draw the line when their poor judgement is dangerous enough to cause them physical harm, the emotional harm will make them wiser and stronger.
    older

    Answer by older at 12:28 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I agree with older, I let my son make his own mistakes unless it is dangerous to himself or others.
    dillonsma

    Answer by dillonsma at 1:25 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I agree with older if the are going to cause physical harm to them self or others that is where you draw the line and step in.

    My BIL is 26 -27 and is constantly breaking the law driving on a suspend license he will go to jail and receive a fine. His parents are always bailing him out paying his fine and not holding him responsible I am sure this is happened most of his life and he has yet to suffer from his bad behavior so he keeps repeating it. He has children that he does not take care of and the only reason he see them is because his parents take him every week for a few day. Still not making him responsible.

    This is the kind of behavior that happens when we don't let our kids suffer the natural consequences for their behavior
    abellvalerie

    Answer by abellvalerie at 1:29 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I will let mine learn from their mistakes so long as the mistake will not physically hurt them or someone else, or do damage to someone's property. Like, yes, I could let them learn that if you egg someone's house, that someone will call the cops on you, but I'd rather just say no and punish them for the intent. But if they don't want to do a homework assignment, then they will learn how stupid that was when they get a zero and it brings down their average.
    tropicalmama

    Answer by tropicalmama at 3:43 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • If my sons made a mistake, and then made that same mistake or same type again, and it is a costly mistake, then we stepped in. This was in all areas. What is the cost of no studying - and now twice. What is the cost of a "bad" girlfriend? What is the cost of speeding? Well, with that we just took the license the first time until the ticket was paid for. You have to establish what the acceptable cost is and let the child pay the consequence. If (s)he does whatever it is a second time, then step back in for a while. You will find you move in and out of "control" many, many times. It is all called learning.
    jesse123456

    Answer by jesse123456 at 5:51 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I will step in when my son is in physical danger., otherwise, he is on his own. He does something illegal, he suffers the consequences. I cannot protect my son from everything and I cannot make all the decisions for him. He has to learn to think on his own. I raised him to know right from wrong, with morals, ethics and manners, it is now his turn to decide how to use them.
    tyfry7496

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:41 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • Here is how I handle and deal with this matter. My teenagers have to earn their privelages for example... When you study on your own and keep up good grades on your own, you get more privelages, say more computer time during homework less supervisions yadda yadda. Trust also must be earned, when they show me they are ready to make better and wiser decisions I give them a little more privelages. As for dating, NO, that is not allowed until she is sixteen, however I do not fuss against boyfriends at school although I am not fond of it, but she does have to some tools to work with to prove to me she can use her common sense when around a boy so that I trust her more in the long run. Our goal is to TRAIN THEM to become adults and teach them tools to handle things on their own. Throwing them out to a pack of wolves is not really training them if you think about it.
    TheFriskyKitty

    Answer by TheFriskyKitty at 11:24 AM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • I like the answer above (thefriskeykitty) one. I am training future adults, that's how I look at it. There is NO bad time to talk about anything. My kids will ask me stuff and I give the best AGE APPROPRIATE answer I can. We call these "life lessons" and my kids friends know that's what I will say ...."life lesson" and give my take on the question.

    Examples: teach by example.

    When my daughter was 5 and asked me what sex was, I said it was something married people do.
    When she was 10 and asked about intercourse, I explained that it was something two people did when they were naked.
    She's now 15 and our conversations are more detailed, but the thing is NEVER lie to your kids and they will feel comfortable enough to come to you with questions.

    BTW we are working on doing laundry this summer and she remarked how tiring it was to have to do laundry EVERYDAY with the sorting and the folding ...."life lesson" ;-)
    Lmseward

    Answer by Lmseward at 3:38 PM on Sep. 30, 2009

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