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I Broke a Family Rule​—What Now?

I Broke a Family Rule​—What Now?

Nearly all families have rules, perhaps regarding such things as curfews, use of technology, and manners—to name just a few.

What if you break a family rule? You can’t change what happened, but you can keep things from getting worse. This article will show you how.

 What not to do

  • If your parents don’t know that you broke a rule, you might be tempted to bury the evidence.

  • If they do know that you broke a rule, you might be tempted to make excuses or to blame someone else.

None of those are good options. Why? Because covering up what happened or offering lame excuses is immature. It only shows your parents that you still have some growing up to do.

“Lying is never the solution. In time, the truth will come out, and the discipline will be more extensive than if you had just been forthcoming to begin with.”—Diana.

 A better approach

  • Admit what you did. The Bible says: “The one covering over his transgressions will not succeed.” (Proverbs 28:13) Your parents know that you can’t be perfect. The question is, Can you be honest?

    “Your parents will have more mercy on you if you tell the truth. When you come clean, their faith in your honesty and integrity will be strengthened.”—Olivia.

  • Apologize. The Bible says: “Clothe yourselves with humility.” (1 Peter 5:5) It takes humility to say “I’m sorry” and to resist the urge to tack on a list of excuses.

    “People who continually make excuses can wear down their conscience. Eventually, doing the wrong thing won’t even disturb them anymore.”—Heather.

  •  Accept the consequences. The Bible says: “Listen to discipline.” (Proverbs 8:33) Avoid grumbling, and cooperate with any restrictions that your parents impose.

    “The more you complain about the punishment, the worse your situation is going to become. Find a way to accept the restrictions, and don’t focus on what you’ve lost.”—Jason.

  • Work to rebuild trust. The Bible says: “Put away the old personality that conforms to your former course of conduct.” (Ephesians 4:22) Start building a pattern of responsible behavior.

    “If you consistently make wise decisions and show your parents that you won’t make the same mistake again, their trust will eventually be restored.”—Karen.

TIP: Go the extra mile in proving yourself trustworthy. For example, next time you are out, let your parents know when you are on your way home—even if you’re not going to be late. This will give them the unspoken message, ‘I want to be trusted again.’