I caught my son (12) lighting paper on fire in his room. What should I do?

Answer: Lighting a fire can be a very serious problem.  I deal with kids every day and barring any serious psychological issues, a good idea would be to take your son to the local fire house and have the Fire Chief speak with him. Explain to the Fire Chief exactly what happened. The Fire Chief will show your son what fire can do, explain the dangers and educate your son on the serious consequences of fires. 

You also need to give your son an appropriate punishment. Every family has different problems and rules, and therefore, different punishments are needed. Make sure you and your husband are on the same page with a realistic punishment. We preach at the Reality Check Program to stick with whatever punishment you decide and don’t be wishy-washy. Always remember that time is different for someone 12 years old, then it is for someone 40 years old. For instance, being grounded and on room restriction for one week doesn’t sound like a long time to you, but to a 12-year-old, it might feel like an eternity. 

We also recommend the Reality Check Program. Your son made a bad choice and he needs to see what will happen if he keeps making bad choices. The Reality Check Program is geared for people 11 and up. Click Here to purchase the Reality Check Program video.  A good resource is “Identifying At-Risk Teens”, see how many warning signs your son has. Stay ahead of the problem and never give up. 

Click picture to see Larry on the Huckabee Show

Good Luck

Larry Lawton