I love to hear older adults talk about how to raise kids that mind and not get into trouble. I don’t mean it sarcastic because I really do. That is actually how my parents raised me. There were no choices but to do what my mom told me to do. Her grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee Indian, and she did not play. I still mind my mom for the most part to this day. I respect her without a doubt. She has done so much for me. I mean no disrespect to her at all with what I am about to say. Raising kids to be productive adults today is different than it used to be. You can not use your authority on kids today to get them to do what you want them to do. They have options they learn this very early on in their lives. It is actually what causes them to be so independent and inventive. All kids have basic needs that need to be met. If their parents or guardians are not meeting their basic needs, then they will look somewhere else to makes sure they are met. Their first need is for food and shelter. The second need is for love and belonging. Once kids have the food and shelter need met they start to focus on love and affection. If this need is not being met by their parents they will look at friends, relatives, teachers, coaches, gang members to met the their need. I am not saying that if your child joins a gang that it is your fault, but lack of love and affection is one of the reasons kids join gangs. That is the basic need that a gang provides. The stealing, drugs, guns, etc. are just added extras. Make sure you are meeting your child’s basic needs before someone you don’t approve of steps in and does it for you. Kids today need options. They need to feel like they are in control of what they do. You don’t actully have to give up the control of them, but you do have to at least comprise. I you child has done something they shouldn’t have done and their is an event coming up that they want to go to. Don’t jump in and say they can’t go. Let them hav an imput in it. Ask them what they think is a reasonable punishment for what they did. One month of being grounded or not going to a homecoming dance. Then when they make the decision and it is let’s just say the chose to be grouned for one month, then they have no right to complain because they made the choice. It was their decision. This is the best way for kids to grow up to be responsible adults. You have to teach them that their are consequences for their actions and decisions. You also have to teach them that most if not all of the time what they do or do not do is their choice it is their decsion. If they decide to try drugs then it is their choice and the result of that choice is the consequence of that decision. If they choose to drink and drive, hitting and innocent person and hurting or killing them is a possible consequence of that decision. You are not always going to be their when your child has to make a decision. You have to help teach them to make the right decisions even when you aren’t there.