We all know raising responsible teenagers can be a difficult task. They’re surly, grumpy, insecure, impatient, and they roll their eyes at everything you say. Not to mention, their attention spans are much shorter than ever before. Phones, computers, and video games are some of the many distractions of an already hyperactive young mind. Through no fault of their own, they may be lazy, forgetful, and spend money unwisely. Not only that, their curious minds can lure them to the wrong crowd, leading a life filled with drug and alcohol addiction. Here are six secrets to raising responsible teenagers to keep them on the right track to being a well-mannered, sophisticated, and disciplined teenager.
1. Hang out
Simply hang out with your teenager. It doesn’t matter whether it’s watching a sitcom, going shopping, or having lunch together. The importance is to engage and show interest. Being actively involved in their lives gives them a sense of belonging. It’s confirmation that you care and love them. Being a parent is busy work. Before you know it, time will go by quickly. A little goes a long way. Take the time and effort to be an active part of their lives. You will find that your teenager will listen more. This is a sign of maturity and being responsible.
2. Be a role model
Teenagers need role models to look up to. Teenagers normally want to emulate their cool peers, athletes, models, and celebrities. Parents are the unlikely candidate, but the most important one. What you do and say has an impact on your child. Be a responsible role model and your teenager will likely follow.
3. Teach the importance of time management
It’s never too soon to learn time management, especially when it comes to raising responsible teenagers. It’s a skill that develops responsibility and independence in your teenager. When your teenager is organized, they’ll set their priorities and allocate their time wisely with schoolwork, after-school activities, and a part-time job. It’ll also help them to know when to use their free time on fun things like video games and hobbies. There are many apps and features that are available on their phone (if they have one) that they can use to plan their schedule and set reminders.
4. Enforce consequences
Your teenager will slip up. It’s a certainty. You may smell alcohol on their breath or marijuana on their clothes. When that happens, you must enforce consequences. Otherwise, they won’t learn from their mistakes. Being responsible takes dedication and perseverance. If allowing them to have too many mistakes, they’ll think it’s okay to slack off. Nobody likes being the mean parent, but it comes with the territory. Try not to lose your temper, but make sure to convey you are not pleased with the circumstances.
5. Be supportive
Raising a responsible teenager free from drug and alcohol addiction takes a supportive parent. They may choose classes or have an interest that’s not to your liking. That’s okay. Let them be themselves. Allow them to explore different interests whether in school, sports, music, or whatever your teenager has a passion for. The importance is your teenager is involved with their interests. This keeps them from having too much time on their hands and they’ll be distracted from unnecessary evils.
6. Encourage honesty
When your teenager makes a mistake, have them own up to it. This will teach your teenager to be responsible for their actions. Be calm, patient, and give unconditional love even though you know your teenager has done wrong. Otherwise, they will lie and avoid taking the responsibility for their actions.
Raising responsible teenagers will take time. That’s no secret! The best way is to lead by example. If your teenager recognizes how organized, supportive, and honest you are, they’ll want to do the same. Make sure you project the right attitude as often as you can and have a little faith in your tutelage.