Here are a few handy tips to guide your pre-teen or teen toward becoming more responsible.
1. Set expectations. There is no time to waste with this one! Make sure expectations are reasonable, and not impossible; setting expectations too high will end up exasperating both you and your teen.
2. Make a chore list. It’s never too late to start up a chore list! Discuss it as a family, and place the list somewhere conspicuous. However, be warned; no teen likes chores and following through won’t be easy. When your teen fails to complete assigned chores, establish consequences—like taking away their cell phone for a day. Your commitment to this will reap a harvest of good.
3. Bring your teen into adult household decisions. After eating out at a restaurant, have your teen work out the tip (discussing it with you, of course). When your family is going to purchase something big—like a car or an appliance—bring them into the process and ask for his or her opinion. Planning a vacation? Let your teen do some research!
4. Reward your teen for responsible behavior. This isn’t bribery but letting your teen know when they live up to their end of the deal you are aware and proud. Appreciative words, a pat on the back, or even a couple of movie tickets for your teen and a friend will speak volumes and reinforce future responsible behavior.
Above all, let your teen know you trust them. When they try hard to make responsible decisions, respond by trusting those decisions. This one is hard—but it’s where your teen will grow the most. When your teen knows you trust them, they will be more apt to be responsible in the future.
I hope this Online Parenting Class has been helpful—albeit challenging! I’m honored to walk this journey with you, and I am praying for you as you work toward teaching your teen responsibility. Stand firm and trust God! He will never leave you nor forsake you . . . or your teen.
Please check out this month's online parenting class:
With your family in mind,