As a parent, you want your teen to learn all vital life skills, so you may keep thinking how to make your teenager responsible. You love your teen and want them to be happy and content all the time. However, while raising them, you may pamper and shelter them to the extent that you seem to have lost your hold on them. Therefore, it is essential to know that the right parenting influences your teen’s behavior. You should take utmost charge of shaping up your teen’s personality and helping them develop into a responsible individual. Read this post to learn about tips that could make them responsible and inculcate essential skills.
How To Make Your Teenager Responsible?
You might expect your teen to behave like an adult. But remember, they are still growing. The hormonal roller coaster going through their body is affecting not just growth, but their social behavior too (1). They are confused. They may not say it aloud, but they need your guidance more than anything else right now.
Now is a great time to shape their behavior and teach them discipline. But you have to be subtle. Lectures just don’t just work with teenagers. So, how can you make your teenager responsible? Here are a few handy tips on how to make your teenager responsible: (2)
1. Set expectations
Yes, you love your child without expectations. But now is a good time to set some. Once your teen knows what is expected of them, they will be forced to work towards it. This is the first step towards learning responsibility.
But make sure the expectations are reasonable. Impossible expectations will just end up frustrating both your teen and you (3).
2. Make a chores list
If there is one thing your teen hates more than lectures, it is chores. But chores are a great way to assign responsibility (4). So, make a list of chores together with your teen and let them know what needs to be done. Discuss the list as a family and place it somewhere prominent.
Be warned! This won’t be easy. Chores are not fun, at least not for teens. But as they grow up, chores will be a part of their lives. So, start training today.
And let there be consequences. If your teen fails to do the chores assigned to them, talk with them on what consequences are appropriate and follow through with it. Most importantly, teaching them mistakes are wonderful learning opportunities and talk to them about what they learn from their mistakes and how they can make it better going forward. That will teach them how to be responsible teenagers. Be a role model for them rather than forcing them to do things they do not like.
3. Allow choices
Life is about choices. The sooner your teen realizes that, the better. So, get them involved in household decisions. Planning to buy a new household appliance? Or planning a vacation? Ask your teenager for their views. This will give them a sense of responsibility (5). You can also plan weekly family meetings where you, as a family, can decide on menu plans, chores list, recreation ideas, etc and come together as a family to brainstorm solutions together to solve problems. This helps in developing your teenager’s decision-making skills.
4. Trust your teenager
This is a big one. It’s not easy, but learn to give your teen the independence to make the right choices. If they say they will babysit your five-year-old while you go out for a movie, trust them. Your instinct might scream otherwise, but for once, overlook it. Your trust is just the incentive they need to be more responsible.
5. Let there be consequences
Don’t overprotect them. If they have not finished their assignment, let them face the consequences naturally. Don’t write a note to help them out. This way they will learn the truth about natural consequences. You reap what you sow. So let your child take accountability for their actions and act with maturity.
6. Reward your teen
No, we are not talking about bribing your teen. But your teen needs to know that good begets good. So, if they live up to their part of the bargain, reward them. How you reward them depends completely on you. A few words of appreciation, a pat on the back, a book, a trip to watch their favorite movie – anything to show you’ve noticed their efforts. Alternatively, you can also try the reverse approach.
Hamza Ali, a father, shares how he uses negative reinforcement to reinforce desired behavior in his children. He says, “I give them (his children) an allowance every week, and I give it to them every week regardless. It means that every week, they start with $20 (for example). If they do anything wrong during that week that they know is wrong, I’ll take away some amount. For instance, I’ll take away $5 for not brushing their teeth $15 if they get into a fight. So, now they are disciplined. They say these are the things I’m not allowed to do because Dad will take away my money. It is because they love that allowance and want to spend it. They know what they should and shouldn’t do. So, instead of giving them money as a reward, I do the reverse. Give them the money and take it away as they do stuff that’s not acceptable (i).”
7. Get your teen to volunteer
This is a great way to help your teen understand that the world does not revolve around them. When they are involved in a cause, they will realize their privilege, responsibility and ability to contribute to the society.
8. Join a youth group
It may be part of your church or a neighborhood youth club, join them. When they work with others, sometimes in a leadership position, they will truly understand to take their responsibilities seriously.
9. Help your teen set goals
Talk to your teen about their dreams and long term plans. If they have a career in mind, sit down and chalk out a route map. Help them take small steps, keeping the big picture in mind. But tell them the journey is theirs. Let them know that their dream is their responsibility. Only they can make it come true. Having a goal plan will also teach them self-discipline as they work continuously to achieve their goals.
10. Respect your teen individuality
You can’t live your teen’s life. Your teen needs to learn that their life – all the good and bad included – is theirs to live. So one part of parenting is to accept and respect that their way of doing things is different. If they make a choice that is contrary to your wish, accept it. This can mean something small, like something they want to buy. Or it can be something life changing, like a career choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should teens be responsible?
Responsibility helps teens navigate through challenges and stay away from problems. With responsibility, they understand what is important, which makes them more focused on achieving their goals. It also helps them learn more about themselves and their capabilities and improve their communication and social skills.
2. How can a teenager show responsibility?
Teenagers can show responsibility by keeping their word, doing their chores, keeping their parents’ trust, contributing to group projects, taking care of their belongings, etc.
3. What is accountability vs. responsibility?
Accountability is acknowledging your actions and their consequences, whether good or bad. On the other hand, responsibility is taking charge of certain things you need to complete successfully.
Knowing how to make your teenager responsible can be helpful for parents to prepare their children for the future. It is important to balance limitations and freedom to give the right guidance to teens. Setting realistic expectations, making chores list, allowing choices, trusting, rewarding, and letting them face the consequences rather than overprotecting can help make your teenager more responsible. It is important to respect your teens’ individuality and help them achieve their goals. Also, forcing them to meet your expectations or punishing them may do more harm than good. Open communication between parents and teens can go a long way in setting expectations.
Infographic: How To Make Your Teenager Responsible?
To instill responsibility in your teenager, it is essential to establish clear expectations, offer support and guidance, and model responsible behavior. With time and consistent effort, you can help your teenager build the skills and habits necessary for success. Check out the infographic below for more strategies on helping your teenager become more responsible.
- Teaching essential life skills can help teens become responsible individuals.
- Involving teens in household chores and setting expectations fosters responsibility and accountability.
- Trusting teens and giving them independence to make choices is crucial.
- Praising teens when they meet expectations and holding them accountable for not following rules helps them learn responsibility.
Learn how to be responsible with this helpful video! Discover valuable insights, tips, and tricks to help you make responsible decisions and foster a richer and more rewarding life journey.
Personal Experience: Source
i. How I teach my kids to be responsible.
- Jiska S. Peper and Ronald E. Dahl; (2015); Surging Hormones: Brain-Behavior Interactions During Puberty.
- Teaching Responsibility To Your Children.
- Setting Expectations for Your Teen.
- Benefits Of Chores
- Be their best: Encourage responsibility in young children.