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"Aren't you "letting him off the hook" if you don't punish? No. That would be using force to "hold him accountable." But that makes him LESS likely to take responsibility if you aren't there as the enforcer.
Instead, you're guiding him to step into responsibility. He learns to reflect on his choices, and to repair the damage he causes. He realizes that his choices either make him--and others-- happy or unhappy, and that he has the power to choose. With your loving guidance, he's beginning to hold himself accountable. Which is what you wanted all along."