“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” – Denis Waitley
Teens are approaching adulthood whether they are well-prepared for it or not. Are you raising a teen who will grow up to be a responsible, functioning member of society? Or is your parenting causing them to be pampered, over-protected, and sheltered from the realities of life?
Read on to find 5 handy tips to prime your teens for the responsibilities of adulthood.
Start Them Early
Responsibility is not inborn. It needs to be taught and learnt. It takes a lot of discipline, and most importantly, practice to coach a child to be responsible and accountable for their responsibilities.
“Since I turn 8, my mother taught me to use an alarm clock. I set it nightly for 6 am the next morning. It helped me learn that I am an autonomous human-being with my own individual responsibilities,” shared 16-year-old Brynn. Start getting your tween and teen take responsibility in their daily lives as early as you can.
Be Wary of Coddling Them
Teenagers can spend up to 60 hours every week learning and doing extra-curriculum activities. Some may not bother to lift a finger to help around the house. Food will always be available and house chores will be done by the mother, father, or the domestic helper.
Get your teen to help around the house with easy tasks such as washing their own plates. Instead of lavish rewards, how about gifting your child your time for an exciting family-day?
Create a Schedule Together
Good time management is necessary to thrive in the adult world. Studies show that teens are at risk of becoming lifelong procrastinators when they don’t learn good time management.
Instead of offering repeated reminders through nagging, sit your teen down and encourage them to create a schedule . With so much going on in their lives, creating a schedule can help them better manage their chores, school life and social activities.
Consider digital options such as online applications and calendars that set reminders to prompt your teen to manage their time well.
Don’t Shield Them from Natural Consequences
Let your teen understand the meaning of “you reap what you sow”. Don’t over-protect them from disappointment and failure. If your teen is lagging behind in their assignments, let him or her face the music. Don’t be too quick to bail out your child.
When parents shield their children from natural consequences, it makes it harder for them to see the relationship between their choices and those consequences.
As actions speak louder than words, parents should always practice what they preach and refrain from making irresponsible choices in front of their teen. A “do as I say, not as I do” parenting approach is ineffective as it does not help your child internalise the value of taking responsibility.
Demonstrate that we are all responsible for what we say and do by using kind words and actions to show respect to others. Model the action of doing what is right, even when no one is watching.