Responsibility is an important trait for us to teach our teens. We also know they are more interested in texting on their phone, watching you-tube videos, seeing their friends, planning their social life and trying to manage school. Instead of getting frustrated, try to teach these skills gradually so you will not have them feel overwhelmed.
Keep your expectations clear and don’t expect everything to be done perfectly. Instead of assuming they will know how to do something you think is simple like load the dishwasher, take a few minutes and show them how. Let them watch you do it so they understand what is expected. Try to make the chores age appropriate – if it is a younger teen then start small like setting the table or feeding the dog. If it is an older teen, you can teach them to do their laundry or cook their own breakfast.
It is amazing how much pickier the kids will be when they are spending their own money instead of yours. Give them a chance to learn the value of a dollar. Whether they get an allowance or earn some money helping around the house or babysitting, teach them how to save up for something they want. It is also good to get them in the habit of saving 10%, tithing 10% and using the rest how they want. They will learn some independence and also how to make smart decisions.
Find out who your kids are hanging around. Encourage their friends to come over so you can get to know who they are spending their time with. Teach them about having healthy relationships and pay attention to what is going on in their lives. Be available to them as much as you can when they are ready to talk (which is usually when you are busy or very tired) or just want to spend time with you.
Encourage your teen to look for ways to help people. This will help them have some compassion and understand the world does not revolve around them. Help them be part of a youth group or club that does community service regularly. Try to do some service projects together. It is a great way to spend time together and get them in the habit of serving. Kids watch what you are doing so make sure you are setting a good example volunteering.
Teens need to learn that their choices will have consequences. For example, if they spend all their money going to the movies, they may not be able to afford to go to a concert next month. If they don’t do their homework and study, they will not do well in school. If you find them regretting a decision they made, you can use it as a teachable moment and ask them what they can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
By teaching our kids responsibility, we will be helping them prepare for the future. Do you have any other tips you would like to share? Try to incorporate these slowly if you haven’t already started. Watch your kids blossom and get more confidence.