"You Did What?"
Surprise! Your Child…
What you should do: Prepare your child for at least a slap on the wrist. The police take prank calls to 911 seriously. “We trace the calls, and an officer will show up and may give a stern lecture,” says Chris Schmidt, a police officer in New York City. Kids may also have to do community service, like picking up trash or cleaning graffiti.
Resist the urge to: Keep digging for an explanation when your 12-year-old says, “Eh, it seemed funny at the time.” Says Trosper, “The part of the brain that handles impulse control and, with it, the ability to weigh long-term consequences is not very developed in young adolescents.” There should be punishment at home, but excessive anger could make a preteen withdraw and be less open with you in the future.
Everyone agrees embarrassment can be excruciating. But is the emotion all bad? Discover its surprising upside—and learn how to get over it more easily—with this expert advice for kids and adults.