This post is contributed.
As parents part of our job, as we see it, is to protect our children from the world. But, at the same time ensure that they are flourishing and growing and ready to make their own impact. But sometimes, no matter how much love, time and energy you pour into your baby – it all goes wrong. The older they get, the more closed off they become. They no longer sit with you in the evenings. Their friends have more sway than you do and they’ve been late home more than once.
Eventually, you get a couple of calls from other parents. You kid has turned into ‘that kid.’
All of the time that you spent educating them, preparing them, supporting them has gone swoosh – right out the window. And you find yourself finding a lawyer that specializes in defending a juvenile in court.
How do you go back from this? How do you rebuild the most broken of relationships?
Firstly, before you try to relate to them on any level remember you are the parent here. And while you should try and get on their level a bit, to try and understand what they have been going through or who they have become. You are not their friend. Communication is key here. The chances are there might be police involved, and you will need to cooperate with them at the same time as supporting your child. Not an easy task.
The police have a job here. They need to make sure that all of their evidence is in order and they are only just doing their job. Consider them the impartial party in all of this.
Encourage total cooperation from your child. Be respectful and polite, don’t lash out and call names or point fingers. Both you and your kiddo should keep as calm as possible, there is no point getting het up right now. If you happen to know something that could help clear your child like – they were with you, or you had the car… anything useful then let them know.
It might be easy to get into arguments about the situation, but you should keep that as limited as possible. No matter how angry you are, there are bigger things going on. When relationships are already tense, it can be the smallest thing that breaks them completely. Try to sit down and eat meals together, warm drinks, and talk. It might be tense at first, but the longer you just ‘be’ with them, the more comfortable it will be for you both.
If the crime was serious, and you are both aware that the repercussions are going to be far-reaching, don’t be tempted to encourage irrational behavior like running away. It is also worth remembering that you probably aren’t a lawyer and anything you might think you know is likely off a TV program, so it’s better not to throw in your 2 cents of not accurate information (even if you are just trying to help).
When it really hits the fan, all you can do is be supportive, make sure the right help is in place for you and your child and be there with a warm drink and a safe space when they finally decide they needed you all along.