Your child is struggling and making poor choices. They hesitantly tell you about these poor choices. You can tell that they’re hurt and suffering and feel like it’s the end of the world.
You listen to their confession and you are angry! And hurt and sad and you can’t believe that they did such a stupid thing!!
There is one thing that you could do in this scenario to make the problem so much worse. And that is to shame them.
When you shame a person especially a child you cause them to hide and endure their trial alone. They feel ashamed and unworthy of anyone’s help. They are already beating themselves up they don’t need you to tag in and help.
Shaming is when the person and the act are not separated. They are not treated as a person anymore. They are now treated like an object. Like the sin.
I have witnessed shame in my community amongst the youth. If they don’t act or do something that is expected of them they are treated like a lost cause. They’re pitied, or judged. Looked down on and treated as less. Now who in the world would want to be around that?!
I would avoid being in an environment that I felt judged in. I would not go to the person shaming me for help. Would you? Sadly these kids go and look for people that will accept them and normally these people are not the best influences.
Shaming is a destructive tool and does the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do. While simultaneously destroying the trust between you and your child.
In all my studies at school. All the articles that I have read about parenting all the books and lessons that I listened to teach that what the kids need the most while enduring a trial is the sure knowledge that they are unconditionally loved.
Showing a wayward child unconditional love makes it easier for them to come back when they’re ready. You aren’t the road block. You have made it clear that you love them. Just like the prodigal son, you will be there with open arms when they return.
Don’t confuse unconditional love for enabling. We have free agency and they can choose their actions but they cannot choose the consequence.
I have learned that the best teaching lesson you can give your child is to let them suffer the natural consequence of their actions. If you’re always bailing them out they will never learn. They will also think you have no faith in them to learn.
Listen, love, pray, have faith and guide the best you can. No parent is perfect and no child is perfect and that’s ok.