Encouraging your teen’s independence and sense of responsibility

Teen boy cleaning salad at the kitchen sink
High school 11-15 years

You can help to build your teen’s self-esteem by giving them more personal responsibility and independence. It can also help with their problem-solving, emotional and social skills, and academic performance. Here are some ways you can help your teen embrace independence and personal responsibility.

Decision making

When your child is in high school, it’s a good idea to encourage them to start making some of their own decisions and choices. For instance, they could decide what they would like for breakfast, or plan a fun activity for the family on the weekend. Giving your teen the chance to make these sorts of decisions will encourage problem-solving and help them grow in confidence.

Chores and responsibility

You might like to discuss some tasks that can be the responsibility of your teen. For example, they could be in charge of packing their lunchbox, unpacking the dishwasher or walking the dog. Taking ownership of these tasks will give your teen a sense of accomplishment and teach them responsibility.

Setting boundaries

It’s great to give your teen some freedom and responsibility as they get older, but it is still important to have clear  rules and boundaries to help them understand their limits and your expectations of their behaviour. For example, you might allow your teen go and visit a friend on the understanding they come home at an agreed time. This will help your teen learn about self-discipline, which will also be helpful for study.

Praising their accomplishments

When your teen demonstrates responsibility, try to praise them for it! Giving them recognition for their accomplishments, such as by saying “Wow, you have been really organised with your assignments this term, well done!” can help boost their self-esteem and confidence, and encourage them to continue to demonstrate their responsibility and independence in the future.

Your support and guidance in their early teen years can help your child learn to be more independent and responsible, and set them up for success in the later years of high school.

Last modified on Monday 20 February 2017 [49|735]

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