My 12 year old forged my name - FamilyEducation
My 12 year old forged my name
02/06/2008 at 11:02 AM

Help! My 12 yr old (13 in a couple of weeks) came to me last night with a confession that she had forged my name on a discliplinary document from school. She added that it happened several weeks ago and had been bothered about it ever since. I thanked her for finally telling me the truth and questioned her motives. I also reassured her that she shouldn't ever be afraid to tell the truth. Now, I'm stuck with deciding on a punishment (if any). She seemed to think that the guilt she had been dealing with for weeks was agonizing punishment enough. What do you think? Critique / Comments / Advice? MOST WELCOME!

My boy did this a couple of years ago--but I found out because he got caught, not because he confessed.  We had a discussiona about forgery and fraud and integrity and what signing your own name can really mean as far as it being a promise or witness of truthfulness.  And about this is a chance to learn, and about you already knew this was wrong and you did it anyway, and about if you are lucky enough to have that inner voice, you should take advantage of it.  He actually did most of the talking, I just suggested topics. 

   If you haven't already I would go with her to tell the teacher about the forgery.  That and the discussion would be enough.  It isn't enough just to feel tortured by your conscience, but not because this is about punishment.  Parents discipline, that is teach.  There are four steps to this kind of learning.  1, notice you did something wrong.  2.  Feel bad.   3.  Fix it--that would be telling the teacher.  4.  Commit to doing it right from now on.   

  It's kind of a yin-yan balance thing.  The dishonesty and cowardice of the action has to be balanced by the honesty and courage to face both of  the people who were decieved.