Teenagers Behaving Badly. What Would You Do?

Came back from a conference with students this past weekend and it was fun to see them still talking about it on Facebook.  What’s been even better is how they’ve invited me to be a part of the commentary and now a part of their community.  I admit I’m more of a Twitter fan, my Facebook is really just an extension of my tweets, but once in a while I’ll go on there to catch up with friends, family and students.
Again, I don’t frequent Facebook and maybe one of the reasons I don’t is because I know sooner or later I’m going to run into something that hits me the wrong way.  Which brings me to my question:
What Would You Do If You See A Student Post Something Inappropriate?

It’s a question that many of us have debated and discussed before, but one many of us are unsure how to approach.  Especially if:

  • This is not a student leader, maybe a regular
  • You do not have a relationship with the parents
  • You’ve never had a full conversation with them

So again, How would you handle the situation?  How would you describe your method?

  1. You Pray It Goes Away – You just ignore it because it hasn’t infiltrated the ministry which means no scandal and no harm.  If no one talks about it, then there is nothing to deal with.
  2. Straight To The Point – You see a teenager behaving badly you confront the student next time you see them.  You tell them they are loved, but that you are also disappointed.  You call the parents, you get involved.
  3. Pass It On – If the teen is in a small group you have the leader address the issue with the parent and teen.  You tell the leader that because they are closer to the student it’s something they should address.
  4. Take Your Time – You want to address the teen, but before you do, you work quickly to build a relationship.  You talk to their friends, you start getting more involved in their life, and you begin working conversations hoping the opportunity presents itself to discuss the issue at hand.

Maybe you try a little of options 2, 3 and 4.  Maybe you never face these issues because all your teens are saints.  Maybe you are a pro and have handled this a number of times.  So if this situation is familiar, what is it you do?

What would you do if you caught a teen behaving badly online?