Tween and Teenagers
Teen Faked Own Kidnapping Over Bad Grade: Here’s How to Avoid This
Do you remember being a teen? A lot of it was fun. I can also remember, though, a steady hum of anxiety that at any minute I might be humiliated or fail miserably at something and it would be a total disaster.
Teens lack perspective. This is why they think that faking their own kidnapping is a good way to deal with failing a class. This is exactly what a Georgia Gwinnett College student did after he found out he was flunking his English class again. He told authorities that he'd been drugged and abducted. Eventually he retracted the story and the truth came out.
A lot of the chatter online centers around the fact that 19 is not quite a kid (though still young enough to make stupid decisions) and that Aftab Aslam must have been terrified of his parents to take this drastic move to avoid telling them about his grades.
When I taught high school, three students ran away and hid in national parks for a week because one of the kids was being sent to a different school the next year. All three had involved, concerned, apparently loving parents. Sometimes parents put too much pressure on kids, but sometimes kids also just do dumb things because they are kids.
- Have an Open-Door Policy: Make sure they know they can always come to you. You can't promise you won't be disappointed, but you can promise you will always love them and help them to make better decisions.
- Call In Back-Up: With your child, identify trustworthy parents, teachers, coaches and counselors that he can turn to if he is uncomfortable speaking with you.
- Model Constructive Failure: No one likes to fail. It is important, though, for our children to see how we handle setbacks. Do we blame others and throw fits? Or do we make the best of it and learn from mistakes?
- Practice Makes Perfect: You can't expect teens to make good decisions if you've made every call for them their whole childhood. Allow children to make age-appropriate decisions, and then discuss the results. Include your children in family decisions when possible.
- Discuss Drugs: You probably feel like you've had this discussion a thousand times. Make it a thousand and one. People under the influence make poor decisions. Using drugs is a mistake, but making big decisions while on drugs can result in a much bigger mistake. Remind your teens that they can always put off a decision until the next day.