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<p>I just had to pick up my dd from school because she wrote all over the bathroom walls (2inch letters, every single stall). They did make her clean it up and she will have OSS today and 2 days of ISS. But I feel like this deserves some sort of consequence on our end as well, especially because this is not the first time she has defaced property, but it has always been stuff belonging to the family before this. I would like to try to find something that will make her understand why it is not okay to do this, and will make her stop and think before doing it again. Maybe like some type of community service thing. What would you suggest? (She is 12)</p>
 

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<p>She's 12? Yikes. My first response would be to clean out her room of EVERYTHING that is not necessary (clothing and bed stay- that's it). Same with anything she has around the house. I would be so PISSED she would be lucky to get those things back with time. Is that gentle? No, but I'll be honest and that would be my first response.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I do agree with the community service though. Cleaning a park (trash removal, cleaning picnic tables, etc)? Talk with the school and see if they would allow her to "help" the janitor clean for a few weeks (the evil part of me would say for the rest of the school year....)?</p>
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<p>Get her some paint and a paintbrush, and work on some grafitti removal around town.  Maybe contact your local government to see if there are any upcoming cleanups she can participate in.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>When I was your DD's age I was caught writing on desks and carving into them.  Ma and the principal thought of a good one for me.  I stayed after school for a week, and cleaned desks.  Room after room.  Never ever did it again.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Ma was creative like that. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Also got caught smoking, good old ma suggested I be assigned to picking up all the cigarette butts and trash in the parking lots.  Dr Moore thought it was great and had me do it. It was evermore the smoking punishment, rather than sitting in ISS all day, you got to roam around with your stick and gloves and bag and get laughed at. He was a wise man.</p>
 

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<p>I would ask the school to have the resource officer give her a serious talking to about this.  I remember our resource officer doing this and it had a big effect on my behavior.  I wasn't taking my mom all that seriously at that point but I took him very seriously.  I think a community service requirement is also a good idea and that you should really impress on her the seriousness of what she did and the fact that it is illegal and can have bigger more serious consequences.</p>
 

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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);"> I would not impose a consequence. It's just not how I roll...</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);"> I think the school taking their response is appropriate; she defaced <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><em>their</em></span> property.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);"> I would discuss your feelings on what she did (embarrassed maybe, disappointed, shocked) and get some insight from her as to the why of it all. See if she'll share what's going on in her head a bit. 11-12 yrs old can be such a whackadoo age, right? <span><img alt="dizzy.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/dizzy.gif"></span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">I would also share that defacing the property of others is technically illegal, and in the right (err wrong?) situation can get her and you into legal trouble. I am no "always follow the laws always and forever" cheerleader, but I do advocate knowing all the risks involved, and respecting others.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">Is she interested in art? Graffiti is, IMO, a very important and valuable artistic expression. She may want to learn about it more.</span> <span><img alt="modifiedartist.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/modifiedartist.gif"></span></p>
 

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<p>No consequence?  Really?  Honestly, I think contacting the local parks and rec would be a great idea - she can do graffiti clean up in and around some local parks.  You could also contact the DOT and see if they need someone to do some bus stop graffiti clean up - although I don't know who would be in charge of that, or who to talk to, I bet someone could direct you.  Maybe talking to the police department about some good volunteer opportunities. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>12 is really the age to catch it.  They won't call the police on her for doing it now, but if she gets caught defacing anything else there can be some serious consequences, including probation and community service that is court ordered - not just mom-ordered.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good for you for taking this seriously OP.</p>
 

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<p>What have you done in the past when she defaced the property of family members? What has she said about why she does this?</p>
<p> </p>
<p> I think some sort of community service where she is responsible for cleaning other people's mess (litter removal of some sort, cleaning up graffiti) would be appropriate...Especially since she is now defacing public property. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I agree that you should have some discussion about her motives for defacing property. Why does she feel the need to destroy things that do not belong to her? Is she angry? Bored? Is she just wanting to have fun or is she being malicious?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'd really worry more about her intentions behind it than the actual "teach her a lesson to make her stop."</p>
<p> </p>
<p>At the age of 12, she should be able to understand the difference between right and wrong. She should also be able to respect the property of others. If she is just a creative soul who is wanting to beautify the world around her, then she should choose an outlet that A: doesn't break the law (which could get YOU in trouble as her parent) and B: doesn't disrespect others in the process.  </p>
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<p>I believe she does need consequences at home as well. The ideas to have her do community service of some type are good. And yes, figure out why she's doing it. That's very important to know.</p>
 

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<p> </p>
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<div>No consequence?  Really?</div>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">Yep, really. Well, no imposed at home. Clearly the school admin has their structure etc.</span></p>
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<div>Good for you for taking this seriously OP.</div>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">Agreed! <span><img alt="nod.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/nod.gif"></span></span></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>UnschoolnMa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1294156/logical-consequence-for-defacing-property#post_16216232"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
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<div>No consequence?  Really?</div>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">Yep, really. Well, no imposed at home. Clearly the school admin has their structure etc.</span></p>
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<div>Good for you for taking this seriously OP.</div>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">Agreed! <span><img alt="nod.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/nod.gif"></span></span></p>
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<p>I'm really curious what "Taking it seriously" looks like if there are no at home consequences?????  I'm really honestly very confused b/c your post seems to be very contradictory.</p>
 

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<p>You said it was 2 inch letters covering every single stall? May I ask what it said?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Until I had all the facts and clearly understood her motivation, I could not possibly guess at a constructive response.</p>
 

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<p>Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Why has she defaced property belonging to family members in the past? To me it really sounds like something is going on, and if you don't know what it is (and IMO this goes beyond adolescent silliness or immaturity) I'd seek counseling.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Have you read <em>Hold On to Your Kids</em>? Especially at this age, I think building relationships of mutual trust is the most important thing we can do with our kids, before they hit the teen years and problems become so much more serious. IME, if your relationship with her is good everything else tends to fall into place...</p>
 

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<p>I don't know that I would necessarily impose logical consequences beyond what the school is doing (it would depend a lot on the context this happened in and what issues are at the core of this kind of behaviour).  My sense is that the consequences from the school can only address one aspect of this problem. At home there would definitely be natural consequences that would include an awful lot of talking, a tighter reign in terms of freedom and priviledges based on the eroding of trust, a reevaluation of the peer group and a lot more family connecting around activities that promote gaining perspective, developing gratitude and responsibility.  There would probably be some counselling as well - as a family and possibly on her own. My instinct is that this kid needs more connection, and so the consquences would need to both support that and open up a new way of seeing and coping with whatever the root cause is.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good luck OP. I hope you and your daughter can find a peaceful way through this.</p>
<p>Karen</p>
 

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<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<div>Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?</div>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">This, basically. Serious can look like a lot of things it turns out. It's more important to me to have an insight into what is happening and how we might address/solve it than to hand out consequences.</span></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>UnschoolnMa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1294156/logical-consequence-for-defacing-property#post_16217766"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<div>Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?</div>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">This, basically. Serious can look like a lot of things it turns out. It's more important to me to have an insight into what is happening and how we might address/solve it than to hand out consequences.</span></p>
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<p><br>
I agree that figuring out what is going on is important - but then when you figure out how to address it there are consequences.  Solving the problem doesn't always happen through talking and connecting.  Especially since the OP's child has done this before.  One person above stated natural consequences of losing freedom and privileges, and I think that's more of a logical consequence than a "natural" one simply b/c naturally nothing would happen at home? </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Karenwith4 - What types of activities would you do as a family to gain perspective, develop gratitude and responsibility?  I'm not trying to be snarky I promise, I'm looking for tools to put in my toolbox for later!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Super~Single~Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1294156/logical-consequence-for-defacing-property#post_16218064"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>UnschoolnMa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1294156/logical-consequence-for-defacing-property#post_16217766"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div>Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?</div>
</div>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">This, basically. Serious can look like a lot of things it turns out. It's more important to me to have an insight into what is happening and how we might address/solve it than to hand out consequences.</span></p>
</div>
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<p><br>
I agree that figuring out what is going on is important - but then when you figure out how to address it there are consequences.  Solving the problem doesn't always happen through talking and connecting.  Especially since the OP's child has done this before.  One person above stated natural consequences of losing freedom and privileges, and I think that's more of a logical consequence than a "natural" one simply b/c naturally nothing would happen at home? </p>
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<p>Solutions do absolutely come out of talking and connecting. If your child is TRULY talking to you. it has worked a million times with dd. my dd's only punishment has ever been 'yelling' because i myself have lost it. i set limits with her...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>... especially at 12 for us it would be time for a talk and time for me to look at myself critically to see what could be going on. and yes i can see a school officer talking to her to tell her how serious it can be is a great idea since at 12 i remember taking others more seriously than my mom. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>the fact that she has done it before is even MORE reason to find out what's going on instead of straight consequence. Whatever was done first did not work. </p>
 

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<p>I resolved a while ago not to share my sage advice around kids out of my kids' age ranges since when your kid is 6, 12 feels like almost a grown up and when your 10 year old's best friend is 12, suddenly 12 doesn't look so fully formed. :)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I loved reading unschoolingma and dar's advice....11-12 is a serious time of coming apart. Do you know what's up with defacing stuff at home? How have you dealt with it? What was up with her painting the bathroom? Was she wanting to get caught?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If my daughter seemed to be running after punishment, I'd be very concerned. What does she excel at? Where's her sense of self and accomplishment coming from? It seems like an act of sadness and anger. Is it? Or was it a lark?</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Super~Single~Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1294156/logical-consequence-for-defacing-property#post_16218064"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>UnschoolnMa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1294156/logical-consequence-for-defacing-property#post_16217766"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div>Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?</div>
</div>
</div>
<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">This, basically. Serious can look like a lot of things it turns out. It's more important to me to have an insight into what is happening and how we might address/solve it than to hand out consequences.</span></p>
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<p><br>
I agree that figuring out what is going on is important - but then when you figure out how to address it there are consequences.  Solving the problem doesn't always happen through talking and connecting.  Especially since the OP's child has done this before.  One person above stated natural consequences of losing freedom and privileges, and I think that's more of a logical consequence than a "natural" one simply b/c naturally nothing would happen at home? </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Karenwith4 - What types of activities would you do as a family to gain perspective, develop gratitude and responsibility?  I'm not trying to be snarky I promise, I'm looking for tools to put in my toolbox for later!</p>
</div>
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<p><br><br>
Well for our family that would be volunteering, service work etc as a family. I don't think that imposing that work as a punishment  has the same positive effect as integrating it into our family values.  It would also get integrated into things like the books we would read, the tv we would watch, the news stories that would get discussed around the table and the relationships we would foster (positive role models/mentors etc). </p>
<p> </p>
<p>But I think that this sort of thing is best used as a proactive rather than reactive tool. Empowering kids to be responsible for their actions, connecting them to their community in multiple ways,   creating a sense of gratitude, instilling the attitude that they can use their power and energy to make a positive difference is something that IMO has the most value and benefits if its integrated into family life from an early age.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I have a friend who works at a homeless shelter and he takes his son there whenever he feels like his son's perspective is getting out of whack with their family values. In the particular case of the OP I would probably read and discuss Greg Mortensons's books, watch and discuss the <a href="http://raisingglobalcitizens.blogspot.com/search?q=girl" target="_blank">Girl Effect video</a>, volunteer as a family locally at a struggling school or fundraise to build schools in developing nations, invite someone to dinner who has a perspective on this to share.</p>
<p>hth</p>
<p>Karen</p>
 

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<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div> 
<p>Solutions do absolutely come out of talking and connecting. If your child is TRULY talking to you. it has worked a million times with dd. my dd's only punishment has ever been 'yelling' because i myself have lost it. i set limits with her...</p>
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<p>I have a teen and I am wondering, what do you do when your kid WON'T truely talk to you?  My teen is generally a good kid, though we have had some teenage bumps along the way.  I don't know that there's a parent of a teen who hasn't had teenage bumps.  She's not a sneaky kid, she's only broken our trust one time, and while it was a big deal, it wasn't a BIG deal, iykwim.  I had her when I was just a teen myself, and between my experiences in that arena and DH's experiences in some of the other "juvenile deliquent" arenas (I would rather not get into the specifics here) I feel like he and I have a somewhat good handle on what to look for. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyway, despite the fact that she's generally a good kid-no drugs, alcohol, sneaking out, sex etc etc, there are just times where she WON'T talk to me.  She's a somewhat private person.  It's just how she is.  It's not that we don't have a good relationship or that I have been an overly strict parent or anything.  It's just that when something involves those deeper or more private feelings and issues, she doesn't like to talk about it, she never has.  Even as a kid, if she got hurt and was throwing a fit about it, I knew she was fine.  If she got hurt and wouldn't say anything, that was when it was time to get worried.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I know she's not the only kid like this, so I wonder...how would you get to those solutions, if you can't get your kid to TRUELY talk to you?  At what point do you give up asking the same questions a million different ways trying to get to the root of the problem?  At what point is the trying to get to the real issues and feelings, getting the teen to truely talk to you, actually crossing into the arena of violating privacy, for a private person?</p>
 

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<p><br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Karenwith4</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1294156/logical-consequence-for-defacing-property#post_16218261"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Super~Single~Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1294156/logical-consequence-for-defacing-property#post_16218064"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>UnschoolnMa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1294156/logical-consequence-for-defacing-property#post_16217766"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div>Taking things seriously doesn't necessarily mean punishment/"consequences". I'd be really concerned if my 12 year old were doing something like this in school, and I'd work really hard to understand why she did it and what was going on. That's how I would take it seriously. It sounds like a really, really angry thing to do, and I'd wonder why she was so angry. Does she like school? How does she feel there? Is she struggling academically? Socially?</div>
</div>
</div>
<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">This, basically. Serious can look like a lot of things it turns out. It's more important to me to have an insight into what is happening and how we might address/solve it than to hand out consequences.</span></p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
I agree that figuring out what is going on is important - but then when you figure out how to address it there are consequences.  Solving the problem doesn't always happen through talking and connecting.  Especially since the OP's child has done this before.  One person above stated natural consequences of losing freedom and privileges, and I think that's more of a logical consequence than a "natural" one simply b/c naturally nothing would happen at home? </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Karenwith4 - What types of activities would you do as a family to gain perspective, develop gratitude and responsibility?  I'm not trying to be snarky I promise, I'm looking for tools to put in my toolbox for later!</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br><br>
Well for our family that would be volunteering, service work etc as a family. I don't think that imposing that work as a punishment  has the same positive effect as integrating it into our family values.  It would also get integrated into things like the books we would read, the tv we would watch, the news stories that would get discussed around the table and the relationships we would foster (positive role models/mentors etc). </p>
<p> </p>
<p>But I think that this sort of thing is best used as a proactive rather than reactive tool. Empowering kids to be responsible for their actions, connecting them to their community in multiple ways,   creating a sense of gratitude, instilling the attitude that they can use their power and energy to make a positive difference is something that IMO has the most value and benefits if its integrated into family life from an early age.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I have a friend who works at a homeless shelter and he takes his son there whenever he feels like his son's perspective is getting out of whack with their family values. In the particular case of the OP I would probably read and discuss Greg Mortensons's books, watch and discuss the <a href="http://raisingglobalcitizens.blogspot.com/search?q=girl" target="_blank">Girl Effect video</a>, volunteer as a family locally at a struggling school or fundraise to build schools in developing nations, invite someone to dinner who has a perspective on this to share.</p>
<p>hth</p>
<p>Karen</p>
</div>
</div>
<p>Punishments and consequences aren't necessarily the same thing.  And, they don't necessarily have to be bad.  When used effectively, it's a lesson.  I agree that a proactive approach is usually best, but no one is perfect and we can't all be proactive about everything.  In addition, not all reactive approaches are necessarily bad. </p>
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<p>IMHO, cleaning up graffiti around town would be a punishment and not really effective if that's ALL it is.  However, it becomes a natural consequence and a lesson if discussions of why she's cleaning it up, why it's wrong to deface property etc occur at the same time.  Discussions about how it would feel if it was her property, how it makes the owners feel etc etc.  The idea is to get her thinking about the real consequences of her actions.  Just talking about how someone else has to clean it all up doesn't always work.  Having the child experience the real clean up, sometimes many times over, can be very effective for some kids.<br>
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