Preparing Teens For The Future
Parents often wait for their kids to grow up. Once a parent said, ‘ I wish I had a Doremon ( kids cartoon ) gadget, I could just fast forward time and my kids would just grow up’. Well this is not true, all ages have their own problems. As the kids become teens, the parents responsibility becomes vast. They have to monitor their friends circle, exposure on the internet, alcohol, drugs, physical intimacy, etc, etc. and the list goes on and on.
Most parents dream of a responsible, independent teenager—one that lends a hand with household chores without being asked, always calls to check in and hangs out with the a good crowd of friends. But, in reality, all teens are going to drop the ball on responsibility (occasionally, at least). We have to understand, they are still teens and not adults. So you don't need your teen to be a perfect kid, you do want him to be ready for the realities of adulthood.
To best way to prepare your teen for the future, it is important to offer a balance between giving enough guidance ( the list of do’s and don’ts ) and allowing enough freedom that they can handle. Their will always be a generation gap but we have to balance it.
· Discuss With Your Teen - How Much Freedom She Can Handle?
Make it clear that you’ll grant more freedom when your teen proves she's able to make good decisions.
1) When she comes on time
2) When she makes good choices with friends
3) When she takes care of her responsibilities
4) When she finishes her task on time
you’ll know he/she can handle a little more freedom.
Brainstorm solutions for potential situations with your teen might encounter ahead of time. Whether she’s going out with friends or you’re leaving her home alone for the night, ask her how she might handle certain issues.
"What would you do if your friend handed you a cigarette?"
"What would you do if someone knocked on the door and said he was a repairman who needs to come in?"
Talk about the fact that we all make mistakes sometimes. And owning up to those mistakes shows responsibility. Tell your teen if she tries to cover up her mistakes by lying or any other way then, you will know she's not ready to handle more responsibilities.
· Create a Schedule With Your Teen
Most teens have a lot going on and they need a little support with time management to behave responsibly.
Sit down together and look over your teen's schedule. Talk about how much time she should set aside for chores, homework, and extracurricular activities.
Talk about how she can create a schedule that works best for her. While one teen might want to do homework right after school, another one might want a break for an hour, watch television or play some outdoor sports before doing homework.
During this digital age, teens don’t need a paper calendar. She might find an app or online calendar. She should be responsible enough to remember her responsibilities.
When she forgets to do her chores or has to stay up late to get her homework done, look at her mistake as an opportunity to problem-solve how she can do better next time. Helping her create a schedule for herself will teach her the time management skills she needs to thrive in the adult world.
· Encourage Your Teen to Help Out With Any Work She Does
Doing Chores shows responsibility. But going above her responsibility and helping family, friends, neighbours shows added responsible.
Teach your teen to give it back to the community where we live in. Some act towards nature and its well being is very important. Volunteering at an old age home or an orphanage or an animal shelter, participating in community clean-up efforts, or fundraising for a good cause can help your teen feel more responsible—which will encourage him/her to behave more responsibly. They will start valuing everything even the water which they drink which is the need of the hour.
Giving to the community will help your teen see that he has the power to make a difference in someone's life. It's good for his self-esteem and it will help him become a proactive adult.
· Teach Life Skills
This is survival for all teens. Some teens learn it the harder way whereas some teens get the fundamentals spot on. As parents we can guide them but the actual learning depends on the teens. It can be easy to assume that your teen is on the path to becoming independent because he excels on the soccer field or because he gets his homework done on time. But just because your teen is doing well in some areas of his life doesn’t mean he’s ready to take on the responsibilities of the real world.
Make sure you’re investing time into teaching your teen life skills. Practical skills, like how to do the laundry and how to cook meals, are important. But it’s also essential to make sure your teen knows how to manage his money and understands how to communicate with other people effectively.
We need to teach him/her the value of money. What to spend / when to spend / how much to spend?
Practical approach is very important. While your teen may pick up on some of these skills simply by watching you, she won’t learn everything through observation. Proactively teach your teen how to manage a household and how to solve real-life problems.
· Be Clear About Consequences
There will be times when your teen makes mistakes (or even purposely breaks your rules). Make sure that her poor choices lead to negative consequences. Consequences, like the loss of privileges or loss of pocket money can be effective teachers.
Resist the urge to make excuses or rescue your teen from her mistakes. Sometimes, natural consequences can serve as the best reminders to make a better choice next time.
It’s hard to watch your child grow up and realize that she won’t be your little baby forever. However, being a teen is itself difficult for them too. In the long run, your teen will thank you for turning her into a responsible and independent adult.