I have always been big on justice. I am a first-born and a rule follower. I want the bad guys to lose AND I want them to get what they deserve.
I know this is a poor attitude and one that doesn’t follow the model of Jesus Christ. It is my human nature and I’m working on it.
This feeling of wanting the punishment to fit the crime has crept into my parenting. My experience as a parent of at-risk teens, has taught me to let that desire go to a certain extent.
Some mistakes are so big that our consequences don’t seem just.
Hear this: YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET YOUR KIDS TO UNDERSTAND THE GRAVITY OF THEIR POOR CHOICES!
That is OK. Give them enough consequences to help them regret their choice and move on. As they mature, they will learn how big their mistakes were and be glad that you trained them to use self-control.
You don’t have to make sure they get it “this time.” If you are consistent, they will get it eventually.
It’s a good thing we have 20 years to train them.