Parenting Teens: Are You Helping Or Hurting Your Teen?
Parenting teens can be stressful. Every parent wants the best for their teen. Sometimes we think we are doing what is best, when in reality, we could be stunting their growth. It is not uncommon for a distraught parent to call me requesting counseling to help mend their parent/teen relationship.
Throughout the counseling process, I have noticed a rise in the number of parents who don’t require their teen to do household chores or complete other tasks that foster life skills and independence. More times than not, parents don’t want their teen to be overwhelmed with school, sports, and household or personal responsibilities. While the parents have the best of intentions, this can actually be stunting your teen’s development.
Importance of Chores
Household chores are more valuable than simply helping mom or dad out. Chores teach teens about responsibility, discipline and time management. Most importantly, how is your teen going to know how to support them-selves when they reach adulthood if they were never taught in adolescence? If you provide an allowance, chores teach teens about earning and managing their own money.
If you want to help your teen reach independence, consider placing more responsibility on your teen in some of the following areas:
Your teen should be completing household chores on a daily or weekly basis.
- Is your teen earning an allowance? They should be contributing to some of their expenses (cell phone overages, gas, dress clothes).
- Your teen should be capable of doing their own laundry and preparing their own meals.
- Your teen should be able to balance a checking account. (Do you buy gifts for your teen to give to other people for special occasions? Stop. This is your teen’s responsibility.)
Parents don’t want to see their teen struggle, and as a result, are quick to do too much for them. However, it is important to let your teen fall, dust them-selves off and get back up. Remember, less is more. As your teen gets older, you should be doing less for them and they should be doing more for themselves. If not, what motivation do they have to be an independent adult when everything is done for them?
Are you a parent struggling with teen responsibility? Call me to schedule an appointment!