Part 1


Good choices and actions are the products of balanced

and reliable emotions and rational and reasonable thoughts.


What parents tell their children/teenagers or what they forget to explain to them will make a considerable difference in their ability to make good choices.

Here are some basic practical choices which you, as parents, may consider.

  • Know what is going on in the lives of your children/teenagers.
  • Get to know them as they become teenagers … they do change their perspectives about you and life.
  • Make it worthwhile for them to want to join you during a family-time, without giving them money.
  • Avoid making them angry.
  • Try and not spring surprises on them, they need to know what is happening.
  • Try and not back down with consequences if they whine or sulk.
  • Stay consistent so they know what is going to happen next.
  • Ignore them if they stop listening to you.
  • Explain the difference between acceptable and unacceptable choices and actions.


The children/teenagers should not be given a consequence for an unacceptable behaviour if they were not told it was unacceptable.

  • Children/teenagers cannot read anyone’s mind.
  • They have not had sufficient experience of life to “just know” the boundaries.
  • Unsound expectations and assumptions are enemies in relationships and create conflict.


The children/teenagers must appreciate they will be involving their parents with every unwanted choice and action they make or take.

One wrong choice and action can cause devastation to your family.

Life has no reverse gear! You cannot go back into the past and change a destructive action.

  • Explain to your family that the best way to learn and grow together is to have open discussions during a “family time”.
  • Ask each member of the family to come up with ideas to create a good atmosphere?
  • Why not have ice-cream for supper?


Do you know this?

  • Explain you are responsible for their impulsive choices and irrational and unacceptable actions, as long as they are dependent on you!
  • Inform them you are going to keep an eye on what they do.
  • Reassure them that your degree of observation will depend on their behaviour.


The parents cannot live in oblivion as to what is really happening in their lives. Don’t assume all is well. You don’t know what they are doing when they are away from home.

“But my child would never…” Remember, the parents are usually the last to hear any bad news about what actions their children/teenagers have taken.

  • Teenagers are extremely good actors when they want to get away with something.
  • They know exactly how to play their parents. Yes!
  • Who are their friends, who are they dating, who are they texting and where are they really going when away from home.


Parents, you:

  • Cannot stop them taking risky actions!
  • Can help them to learn how to make suitable and safe choices.
  • Need to equip them to know how to predict possible consequences.
  • Need to remind them successful people usually don’t have a string of nasty consequences.



You cannot tear off the sticky consequences, no matter how many excuses you make for your child/teenager’s wrong action.

  • How many people try blaming others to get rid of the consequences?
  • Nothing works, except accepting that a wrong action was taken and the consequences are real.
  • The only action which needs to be taken next is to deal with the consequences properly


Ask your family these questions and think of some answers

  • How many people wonder why bad consequences happen to them all the time?
  • Why would this be a fact and what could be causing this to become a pattern?
  • How would these people feel most of the time?
  • Are they likely to have reliable thoughts?


Here are some answers to discuss

  • First think carefully about every choice.
  • Encourage them to check and see if their emotions are stable and sensible before making choices.
  • This also goes for their thoughts; they need to be thinking rationally about the choice and the action.
  • Size up the advantages and disadvantages of every choice.
  • Before taking an action, think ahead of the results and consequences.


Impulsive choices and irresponsible actions are your family’s enemies.