Some of the hardest lessons are learned the hard way. By experiencing the resulting consequences of our actions.
While I whole-heartedly believe that some of the best lessons are learned this way, is it always appropriate to allow the natural consequences of our children’s actions to play out? When do we intervene on their behalf?
When is it Appropriate to Protect our Kids from the Consequences?
We hear a lot about not being over-protective parents, and that natural consequences are the best teachers. Generally, I have to say that I agree. Still, there are times when we can’t be protective enough. For instance, would we hesitate to take keys from a drunk person? Not all lessons have to be learned the hard way.
You may think this is a bad example, because the drunk is impaired, and the lesson too costly. Of course, we would intervene! And that’s my point. Like the drunk, a teenager’s executive brain function isn’t optimal—it’s still years away from being fully developed. I’m all about natural consequences, and there are myriad lessons to be learned that way, but funerals, wheelchairs, and unwanted pregnancies are too great a risk.
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