Your Teen and Responsibility

Your Teen and Responsibility

If your child is now a teen that means they are nearing the young adult years. Are they going to be responsible enough to thrive under the demands of adulthood? Here are some ideas to help encourage responsibility:

Do Less: Parents need to stop doing things for their teens, like making lunch or running an “emergency” load of wash, that teens can do for themselves.

Let Consequences Happen: There is no need to come up with special punishments to discourage irresponsibility. Forgotten homework assignments result in lower grades or having to do make-up work. Not putting clothes into the hamper means that there might be nothing but dirty clothes to wear.

Of course, it is hard to stand by and see your child suffer embarrassment or defeat. A parent naturally wants to jump in and help. Remind yourself that the most helpful thing you can do is allow your child to learn to take responsibility, the sooner the better.

Give A Regular Allowance, But No Extras: When you are seen as a source of ready cash, your child has no incentive to handle money responsibly. Decide on a fair amount, and discuss how to budget. If teens don’t have money for something they want, they soon will learn to budget.

Teach Ways To Be More organized: Teens who have trouble staying organized can appear irresponsible. By teaching specific skills, like always putting keys in a particular spot, you are helping your child become a responsible adult.

Everyone Needs To Help With The Work of The Family: Whether the chores are divided up using a formal schedule or everyone just pitches in when they can, everyone needs to help out at home. You might want to have a family meeting to decide who does what. It’s all about fairness.

A Space To Call Their Own: Even in small homes, providing teenagers with a space to call their own is important. This allows them the freedom to express themselves and to develop their own sense of self-discipline. For example, they can decorate their room as they wish and keep it as messy or neat as they choose, within reason.

For more information from the AAP, click here.


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