In this last installment, I want to touch on two issues in regards to parenting older children that I would consider worst case scenarios.
1. When should a parent call the police on their children? While I discourage getting the police involved, I recognize that there are occasions when they are needed. I do feel that in 98 percent of the cases that I have been on involving a parent and their child, there was no need for the police. But what about the other 2 percent?
A. If your child is becoming violent and there is a chance that someone is going to get hurt, call the police. I spoke to a parent at church a while back that told me their 17 year old son has started physically shoving his mother around whenever she tries discipline him in some way. This is never acceptable! This falls under the Family Violence Statute and he can be arrested for this.
B. If your child is involved in illegal activities, call the police. I have seen situations where parents knew that their child was selling drugs, doing burglaries, and dealing in stolen property, yet they refused to turn them in. This is a very difficult situation for any parent to be in, but covering for the child will only make the situation more serious. At some point, they are going to get caught or worse. There was a tragic scenario in Gwinnett County a few years ago in which an 18 year old kid was shot to death at his parent’s house in an apparent drug ripoff. His father had known he was selling drugs but said he was, “scared to confront him.”
2. “What do I do with my 18 year old that refuses to obey any of our rules and will not listen to me?” Pack their stuff in a box and put the box on the front porch. Then change the locks. This is an actual question I received from a frustrated parent and that was my actual advice. When they turn 18, you have fulfilled your legal obligation to them. If they are so much smarter than you, and don’t feel that they need to conform to your standards, it is time for them to find another place to live.
I know that this is hard medicine. Dr. James Dobson refers to it as “Tough Love.” Why would any parent want to put up with the stress, frustration, aggravation, and drama that an adult child can provide? I have had more than one parent tell me that this was one of the best moves that they ever made. Their quality of life has increased dramatically by getting the problem causing adult child out of the house.
If this series was helpful to you, please pass it on. I appreciate all the great feedback!