One of the hardest parts of parenting is administering discipline. We all want kids that are good examples, honest and law abiding, but we soon find out that such kids are not made in heaven. Using ourselves as examples, we know there have been times we acted in ways that are far from ideal. We have done stuff that we later found shameful or outrightly embarrassing, things we cannot proudly talk about.
Yet, we grow and with the benefit of hindsight, we can tell when younger ones begin to go the wrong way. And it can be heartbreaking when despite our best efforts they make mistakes that could have been avoided. Happily, we can make ourselves constantly available so that even when they go wrong, we are still the ones they will turn to.
Well enough of the preambles but let me drop a caveat: due to the nature of this post, it shall be told anonymously. I will also ask that you share your thoughts at the end of this post, perhaps you can help Mama Awon Boys reach a decision.😐
The time was 3.35pm. I had been on my system all day and occasionally popping into Twitter to see what’s going on…I hadn’t even had my bath. I remember thinking the kids will soon be home. I had to make lunch. So I got into the kitchen and quickly fixed something. I was cleaning out when they came in.
“Mum welcome,” greeted one then he realized, the welcome was mine to give. “Oh sorry, mum good afternoon”.
The others similarly chorused their greetings. We had the usual small talk and then one of them went down on his knees.
“Mum, I need to tell you something. I know you have every right to punish me and I will take anything you give me. But I also know I can’t go anywhere else.”
I tried to keep my breathing steady. I did not like the direction this was going at all.
“What have you done?”
Turns out he had bought something on credit. When, to quote him, “he was not thinking” and now the creditor has come for him.
I won’t lie that I was not relieved. When you are parenting teenagers you just keep doing your best and hoping they don’t end up doing some of the stupid things you probably did as a teenager yourself.
“So, why didn’t you ask me to help you pay for this thing,”I asked, already knowing what the answer will be.
“Because I knew you would say no.”
“So how did you hope to pay.”
He offered some explanation which I cant share because that will burst his anonymity 😑
Thankfully, it is something I can pay for. So I have paid for it. But I do not think he should go scot free. So, I am going to ask you, dear reader, to prescribe appropriate punishment for a teenager, between age 13 and 15, who has gone ahead to buy something on credit which I have had to pay for. Please use the comment section.