How to handle and support independence in the teens?
The term “independence” is scary for parents because they have the tendency to protect their children from any harm. Many parents are reluctant to let go of some control over their teens because they worry about the well-being of their teenager.
Wanting to keep your teenager safe and protected is completely normal, however, it is important to teach your teen how to be independent and responsible. Try to balance between making rules for your teen and giving them some freedom. If you restrict your teen too much they might start rebelling or acting out.
What Does Independence Entail?
Independence does not mean letting your teen do whatever they want to do. It involves teaching your teen how to care for themselves, how to take the responsibility of their actions, how to solve their problems, create their own separate identity and most importantly how to depend on you less.
As a parent, you need to accept that your teen is not perfect. Giving your teen independence is all about letting them make their own mistakes and learning from them simultaneously.
Ways to Support Independence in Your Teen:
1. Give them freedom but with a few limits: Let your teen know what your expectations are when they demand freedom. For instance, if your teen wants to attend a friend’s birthday party on a school night, allow them to go but tell them clearly that you expect them to be back home by 9 pm.
Tell them if they fail to be back home on time you will not allow such outings in the future and they will lose their freedom in that area. Keeping a few rules is good because your teen will think twice before misusing their independence.
2. Encourage decision making: To, improve problem-solving skills and logical thinking, teens need to learn how to make effective decisions. If they seem confused or lost, about deciding something, ask them to calm down and take their time.
You can help them understand the consequences of their decisions by making them create a list of pros and cons before making a choice.
3. Teach time management: Your teen must learn how to manage their time responsibly. Time management skills will make your teen confident about handling all their daily activities efficiently.
While helping your teen create a schedule make sure they are not trying to do a lot in less time because it will stress them out. Teach your teen how to make practical schedules and the importance of taking breaks in-between
4. Have them manage their finances: It is a good idea to ask your teen to manage their expenses independently. Give them some pocket money, pay them for doing chores in the house or encourage them to take up a part-time job (depending on how old they are) to facilitate financial independence. You can also teach them how to save money for the future.
5. Help your Teen Improve from their Mistakes: When your teen makes mistakes, you must let them know making mistakes is just a part of the learning process and there is always room for improvement.
Teach them how to identify where they went wrong and how to better themselves instead of blaming them. Admit your own mistakes and be a role model to your teen.
Being independent is instrumental in teaching your teen responsibility and proper-decision making skills. During teenage your kids are more exposed to the outside world, they naturally seek to make their own choices and to interact with the world on their terms.
Giving your teen some amount of freedom will prevent them from acting-out or rebelling. Thereby, if you can teach them how to be independent under your supervision and protection, it will help your teen prepare for adulthood.
1. It is completely normal for parents to worry about the well-being of their teen, however, giving them independence will teach your teen some responsibility and they are less likely to act out or rebel.
2. Give your teen freedom while making them follow a few rules and restrictions. This will ensure that your teen does not misuse the freedom you are giving them.
3. Let your teen take their own decisions and teach your teen how to manage their time so that they learn problem-solving skills through independence.
4. Let your teen handle their own expenses without relying on you. Money management is a crucial aspect of being independent.
5. Remember that your teen is not perfect and they are bound to make mistakes. Help them correct their mistakes and to understand where they went wrong.