Facing or Avoiding Consequences

Mrs. Mason, Brady’s mom, was at it again. When Brady sat out most of the last basketball game Mom was upset with the coach.  There was no way he was going to single out her son, just because he had been late for practice on several occasions during the week.  Everybody is late sometimes, besides she knew that Coach Anders didn’t like her son and that was his way of showing it.  She declared to the coach, “Brady’s not starting will get in the way of his being recruited and cost Brady a scholarship.”  Mom often had explanations that excused Brady’s behavior.

Even in grade school Mrs. Mason stood in the way of Brady’s bad decisions.  She blamed teachers for Brady’s poor grades and when confronted by teachers about his attitude Mrs. Mason accused them of picking on her son.

For Brady the result of this disabling process made him increasingly dependent on parent intervention in order to cope.  He too was developing the belief he was entitled to special privileges, free to blame others for his problems and requiring others to bail him out.

When confronted with these concerns, Mom often stated, “I love my son. I only want what’s best for him and to protect his self-worth.”  As a result, Brady had all the latest electronic gadgets, the best clothes his parents could manage, all the trapping of success all unrelated to his own efforts.

Recently I read an article that stated college professors are now getting calls from parents, in increasing numbers, demanding their rights about their college students grades.  (NOTE: Parents have no legal right about college student grades, even if they are paying for the education.) 

My experience with children who grow up as Brady often become demoralized and discouraged once they reach the real world.  Or they may resort to deception rather than face the real outcome of their efforts.

Life isn’t about avoiding responsibility.  The key to success often involves children working through their own conflicts, consulting parents as needed and parents intervening only as needed.  Experiencing consequences may not make a child feel better but it can help them be motivated to work harder at excellence.  A friend once stated that failure was succeeding in all the wrong things.  Success for a child or adolescent involves overcoming difficulties and discovering by outcome that they can.  Help your child succeed by learning to overcome the important challenges of life.

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