Inside: 8 Things You Should Stop Doing For Your Teenager.
So, your child is becoming a teenager! This time can be both terrifying and exciting. You no longer have to watch like a hawk to make sure they don’t throw themselves down a flight of stairs or choke on a lego, but you do have to worry about them learning to drive.
Seems like a semi-even trade, right?
The fight or flight of early parenthood diminishes into a slow ruminating burn, this is a part of life!
Learning to loosen the reigns can be extremely hard, and sometimes downright confusing. But when they are at this age things do need some adjustments in order to help them flourish into the capable adults that you’ve always hoped they’d be.
To help you gain an idea of what these shifts might look like, I’ve created a list of 8 Things You Should Stop Doing For Your Teenager. These should give you a great jumping off point to creating your own changes. Now I will admit, some of these will absolutely go against every parental instinct that you’ve been working with so far. I only ask that you keep an open mind, and think about what you would have liked your parent to do when you were a teenager. With the hindsight of an adult, I’m sure you can think of many areas that you can adjust. Things that you maybe would have like some more space to learn about on your own, or things that you necessarily didn’t WANT to figure out, but would have been helpful to learn at a younger age.
How to Start Making Changes
These changes mainly consist of adding some more responsibility to their life, as well as the room to figure out things on their own. I would recommend slowly introducing these, so as to not make them feel daunting or like a punishment. When you think about it, these are just challenges that are getting them ready for adulthood. In the same way that you wouldn’t ask a newly crawling baby to get up and sprint across the room, you’re not going to want to ask your teenager to suddenly pick up all of the cooking, cleaning, and bill paying all at once. With this in mind, I’ve made sure to put the smaller changes at the top of the list and the more challenging ones towards the bottom.
Start simple, and once they’ve got that covered then perhaps start adding some more complex tasks. Perhaps consider a reward system for the harder things as well. Now, I’m not talking candy or a trip to the treasure box. They may be YOUR kid, but they’re not kids anymore(small ones anyways). I’m more referring to more freedom in what they’re allowed to watch, their curfew, and other kinds of regulations that were needed when they were younger.
1. Cleaning Their Room
If you’re a parent who regularly had your child’s room on your list of to-dos, then todays the day you scratch it off your list for good! The room might be messy for a few weeks during the adjustment period but hold out. Your teen will want their space tidy, and doing it on their own teaches them how to organize and keep their space clear. This way as they get older, these tasks will be ingrained in them like second nature. Which means no fears of being featured of the TLC show Horders. And you have less tasks to complete during your day, it’s a win win!
This one may need a little guidance in the beginning, to avoid pink whites and shrunken pants. After teaching them the basic rules of laundering; separate colors, load size, and what to do with delecates, then you get to step back and watch as they inevitably make a few mistakes. As adults, they won’t have to panic about coming home to have you do their laundry. They’ll be self sufficient!
3. All of the Cooking
As you may be aware…we kind of need food to survive. Though they could always just order in, indefinitely, having good cooking skills will benefit not only their bodies, but their wallets too. So it’s about time they started learning. With this, you can start with making them pack their own lunch. After you can incorporate their breakfasts, and perhaps the occasional dinner when you plan a night on the town because hey…you get to do that now. No sitter needed.
4. Making Appointments for them
This one can seem perhaps a little daunting for your teen, but it’s important. Being able to set up your own appointments whether it be for a doctor’s visit or to get something fixed with your car, is an unavoidable thing in life. I once new someone who still had to call and make her 30 year old’s appointments and let me tell you, she grew to regret not making him get comfortable with the task sooner. So next time that you get the check reminder card in the mail, hand your teen the phone and have them get their practice in.
5. Filling out Paperwork
Paperwork can be confusing, even for well seasoned adults. So creating a good understanding of how to properly fill it out while still young can prove to be extremely helpful. It can save them from a lot of unnecessary stress and confusion when they inevitably come across it. So when you go to the dentist(after they made the aforementioned appointment), hand them the clip board!
6. Forced Family Time
Your teenager loves you. This is something you have to keep reminding yourself as their schedules get filled with sports, after school clubs, and friends. It can be hard to see them less, but I can promise you that forcing family time never has the results that you’re looking for. If you just give them the space to do as they choose, you’ll find that they will make time for you. That time won’t be filled with any animosity over being forced to be there.
7. No More Free Money
No more free stuff! This obviously doesn’t include food and living expenses. But if they want a new pair of airpod pros then they should have to work for them. This teaches them the value of hard work and money while making them appreciate and care for the things they earn in a way they wouldn’t if it was just handed to them.
8. Stop Fixing All of Their Problems
Ah, number 8…the most complex change of all. This one will go against every parental instinct but it is very needed. They are teens now, and they have the ability to work through things. Obviously you have to use your gut when determining which problems they can handle on their own, because not everything can be hands off(like car troubles for example). But for the smaller things like fixing the TV when their show won’t come on, or what to do when they procrastinate and have a paper due tomorrow. This list could go on for ever and ever, but the point is that they are able to learn how to fix these problems on their own when you don’t step in every single time like a Mom in Shining Armor. Let them figure it out, and they will be well on their way to be the competent adults that you are raising them to be.
More Ideas That You & Your Teenager Will Love
- 23 GOOD PETS FOR TEENAGER TO CONSIDER– Furry friends can be beautiful additions to your teen’s lives. They make for perfect companions, and they can help instill a sense of responsibility that will be very helpful while they go through life. If you’re deciding on whether or not to get a pet for your teen, then there are several things you should take into consideration before making that decision. What kind of pet, what breed best fits your lifestyle, what is your price range(some pets are certainly more spendy than others)? If you feel a little overwhelmed, don’t worry…this is fun! To help alleviate some of the questions, read this article. We discuss 23 Good Pets for Teenagers as well as some of the pros and cons that come along with them.
- 43 FASCINATING JOURNAL PROMPTS FOR TEENS– Journaling is an awesome habit to create, the younger the better! It’s an outlet for strong emotions, a memory holder to keep as you get older, and a great way to work through confusing thoughts. Overall, only positive things come from adding some journaling to your daily routine. Most of the time you can write about your day, but if you’re interested in diving a little deeper then take a look at this article. We compiled a list of 43 Fascinating Journal Prompts for Teens that will leave your kid with their noses in their journals and a better understanding of themselves. Check it out!
- 50+ POSITIVE SELF CARE IDEAS FOR TEENS – Self-care should be an important part of every teen’s routine. It’s important to have them start this while they’re younger, so they have these tools as they go through life. Though self-care is pushed on us as face masks and bubble baths(which can be A part of it), it’s actually much more than that. It’s getting enough sleep, keeping your area tidy, and knowing how to care for yourself on more stressful days. These are things that can often be accidentally overlooked as you go through life. So take a look at this article that discusses over 50 self-care ideas. Your teen can start incorporating into their routine to help them live a more balanced and stress-free life!