When we as parents project our own fears from our choices we made in our youth onto our kids we are unfairly tagging them “guilty until proven innocent”, I have done this with my own kids. I assume and think I know what they’re doing because I did that too when I was young. I lock everything down and control their environment to “save” them from themselves. But what am I showing them?
I don’t trust you?
I don’t trust you are smart enough to make good decisions?
So, when they move out and are not being controlled what is going to happen?
News Flash! It’s the same thing you think you’re controlling now but are not. They are going to either continue doing what they’ve been doing behind your back OR, they are going to continue to choose to not do it even when they can. Teach them why they don’t want it.
Sadly there will be times when they do seek the bad. Here is my urgent plea to you. Be the safe place for them to turn to when they see that they need the help. Be the one to say, I love you and I am here for you. Don’t shame them that will only make them hide from you. Separate the action from the person and remove yourself as the authority. Don’t make them feel like they are doomed in life. That’s just not true. I did so many things that would have made me “doomed” but I decided for myself that this isn’t the life I want. It isn’t the end for them. We all make mistakes. You still make mistakes.
You are going to have to let go of their hand sometime. You don’t want to do that when they are moving out. Give them the opportunity to fail while in your home. So that you can help counsel them. They need to make choices to learn. The choices that lead to failure are great lessons. If you teach them to learn from the failure instead of pushing blame or giving up then you will supply them with grit. Teach them to fail with grace.
It’s all their choice isn’t it? If they wanted to find the “bad things” they’re going to find it. Whether you lock it down or not trust me kids are smart they will find it IF THEY WANT.
Teach them to govern themselves. Teach them the reasons why they don’t want the bad. In the end it’s their choice and their consequences. That is how life is, personal choices.