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Things That Make Teens Feel Responsible

by Maggie McCormick

The teen years are a transitional period from childhood into adulthood. Teens need to exercise their responsibility in safe environments and parents need to give teens room to exercise those freedoms. Reward responsible behavior with more freedoms and remove those privileges when your child acts irresponsibly.

Jobs

Your teen's first job will give her a variety of responsibilities. Not only does she have a non-family person to answer to, specific duties she has to perform and a schedule she has to keep, but she also gets her own paycheck and can learn to manage her money. Typical teen jobs include working in grocery stores, restaurants and farms. Thoroughly check out any job that your teen starts to ensure it's safe.

Freedom to Go Out

Allowing your child to go out with his friends shows you trust him, and maintaining that trust is an important responsibility. He has to take responsibility for himself, being smart about peer pressure to avoid drinking alcohol and engaging in other dangerous activities. He also needs to respect your rules outside of the home, such as not driving with someone under the influence and getting back home by his curfew.

Privacy

As your teen grows, you need to give her more privacy, which makes her feel more responsibility for herself. Allow her room to be her private space and don't invade that space unless absolutely necessary. You should also allow her some private time with her doctor because she might have concerns that she's not comfortable discussing in front of you.

Goal Setting

Part of growing up is taking responsibility for your own life's path. As teens near the end of their high school career, they'll start planning for their future. This might include going to college, including responsible decisions such as starting their education at a cheaper college or planning to get applications in on time. It also can include planning for a career or attending a vocational school to learn a skill. While you can help your teen make these decisions, the ultimate choice should be up to him and you should support the decision he makes.

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