Teenagers have gotten a bad rap for being rebellious. But the fact is, they are just trying to find their way in this world. Teens aren’t quite an adult yet, but they also aren’t a child. However, one valuable piece of advice is to help your teen learn responsibility. Responsibility goes hand in hand with freedom. And, it will help your teen learn how to handle themselves once they leave the nest.
Four Steps to Help Your Teen Learn Responsibility
While the responsibility and freedom you give your teenager will depend on their unique maturity level and abilities, here are four ways to encourage them:
- Give your teenager a list of chores to do each day. It doesn’t have to be a lot, so go for two or three small ones each day. By having them assist in the home, you can help your teen feel needed and useful, too.
- Assist them in getting their first job. Remember to check state age limitations first. In some states, your teen can work one or two days after work starting at 15, while the age is higher in others. Try to help them find a job they can get to by themselves via public transportation, biking or even by foot.
- Have your teen help with younger siblings. Ask them to babysit once or twice a month, so you and your spouse can have a date night. Or, they can help their younger siblings with their homework, do an activity or take them outside to play.
- Ask your teen to assist financially in some way after they have a job. It could be something as large as paying their cell phone, or as simple as purchasing dessert for the family once a week. Whatever it is, make sure they are consistent.
Whether you use one of the ideas above or choose something else, when you help your teen learn responsibility, they will better manage life after they leave home. It is a frightening thought to send your child out into the world. However, knowing you did the best you could at preparing them for it will make the transition easier for both of you.