Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Steps to Teaching Your Teen the Responsibility That Will Lead to Future Success

Teaching responsibility is just like teaching any other life skill. You wouldn’t just tell your kids about something once and expect them to understand. Here are some ways to teach your teen how to be more responsible:

Establish Chores

Consider chores a practice run for when your kids aren’t living with you. This allows them to learn these essential skills for later in life. Having set chores that your teen needs to complete each day teaches them how to prioritize their tasks. For example, have your teen be responsible for taking care of the lawn using a mower, like those from Cox Mowers. They are not only learning how to mow the lawn, but you’re setting expectations for them. By having expectations and guidelines, this is a trial run for the workplace. Their managers will also expect them to be responsible enough to complete their assigned tasks.

Have Them Help with Tasks

By having your teen help you around the house, you’re showing them that you value their input. Use this time as an opportunity to teach them new skills. Don’t complain about the task that you’re completing. You want to demonstrate that you enjoy spending time with them. Ask your teen about their life. Use open ended questions. Ask for their input on better ways to complete the task. You want to build up their confidence, and teach them to take pride in their work.

Be a Role Model

Nothing derails teaching your teen responsibility more than when you aren’t responsible yourself. Children learn by watching their parents. Teens are even more critical than younger kids. Don’t just tell your kids to complete their chores. You also need to complete any tasks that you have to do. You have to show that you’re a responsible adult. If you say that you’re going to do something, than you need to do it. Broken promises teach your kids that their word isn’t important.

Balance Praise with Consequences

Don’t give your kids an allowance just for the sake of an allowance. Teach them that they have to work to earn money. This will prepare them for the workplace. Have consequences for bad behavior. Make sure that you can follow through with any consequences that you set. Praise your teens when they do a good job. This may relate to their chores or when they perform well in school. People feel better about themselves when you notice the good things that they are doing.

Teaching kids responsibility is about setting a good example and following through. Becoming a responsible individual leads to greater success in life.

Tim Esterdahl

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