Getting a phone call from your teen’s school just to know that they’ve been suspended, or even worse, about to be expelled can leave you panicking and confused. However, giving in to your emotions and punishing your kid can only make the situation worse. Yes, suspension or expulsion from school can be a major setback for your teen and mess up whatever you had planned for them. However, it’s not the end of the road. Rather than viewing it as a hopeless situation ask yourself what you need to do next and how to discipline your child.
A call to action
While it’s natural to get all panicky and angry upon finding your kid suspended from school, or even expelled, you need to remain calm. Rather than seeing it as an end-game, look at it as a call to action. You should ask yourself where you want your teen to go from here and then focus on getting them there. Do let them know of your anger and disappointment, but also tell them that they can earn your forgiveness by promising to never land themselves in such a situation again.
Teach them a lesson, literally
It’s highly likely that your teen would see the time away from school as a vacation and attempt to enjoy it. Taking away their cell phone, computer, Internet privileges may remind them about their offence and that they’re being punished. However, that’s not what you’d want to do. You’d want to take this time as an opportunity to discipline them and in order to do that, their beloved digital devices can come in real handy. Tell them that if they want access to technology, they need to earn it. And how do they earn it? By waking up early, helping in household chores, studying and completing any pending school work. School may be a place of learning, but there’s no rule against continuing the learning at home.
Go back to the drawing board
It’s really important that you don’t let the suspension or expulsion from school take a toll on your teen’s development. What’s done is done and you, along with your child, need to move on. You should be willing be accept that you may have erred somewhere while raising your teen and need to do thing slightly differently. Re-think your parenting strategies and concentrate on helping your teen become a better person. Your original plan may not have gone as you expected it to, but you can’t just give up. Make a new plan to help your teen continue their journey to a healthy and successful adulthood.
You need to keep in mind that getting suspended and especially expelled from school may be just as distressful for your teen as it is for you. It’s important that you keep your emotions in check and pave a road to get them back on track to success and healthy development.