Things you should stop doing for your teenager

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Parenting teenagers can be a tough job. It’s important to remember that your teenager is becoming an adult and they need to learn how to take responsibility for their own actions.

As parents, it’s so easy to get caught up in trying to fix our teenage child’s mistakes or issues. However, I do believe that empowering our teens is the best way to help them reach their full potential and experience future success. Instead of constantly doing tasks for your teen, take the time to show them how to do something for themselves.

Teenager with happy family on the beach

Communication is a great starting point – have a discussion with your teenager about what you would like them to start taking responsibility for, then work together on developing a plan that includes steps and tasks tailored specifically for your teen. Parenting a teen isn’t easy but investing time into providing guidance and teaching them transferable skills can truly make a difference in their future independence.

Letting go can be one of the hardest things for a parent to do, but it is also necessary if we want our adolescents to grow into independent and responsible adults. Although it can be difficult to watch our teenagers make mistakes, there are several key aspects of personal development that require them to take the lead. They need to learn how to regulate their own education and manage relationships, while understanding values and forming ideas about their future direction.

Here are 15 things you should stop doing for your teenager, so they can start taking control of their life and learn essential skills for when they become an adult.

1. Don’t buy them everything they want

Teens can be very materialistic, and they may want the latest clothes, shoes, and electronics. However, it is important to teach them the value of money and that they cannot have everything they want. Instead, you should give them an allowance that they can use to purchase the items they want.

2. Don’t make decisions for them

As any parent of a teenager will tell you, making decisions for them can be tempting because your first priority is likely their best interest. However, providing opportunities for your child to make their own decisions is a pivotal part of preparing them for life as an independent adult. Empowering your teen to make choices gives them the chance to hone and practice problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision making skills that are essential in adulthood.

3. Don’t pay for everything

Teaching your teen about budgeting and money management can help them gain necessary skills for financial freedom in the future. It’s important to show them how to save, budget and prioritize their spending so that they can make sound decisions with their own money. A great place to start is by encouraging them to start to budget.

This could involve setting a goal of saving up for something every month, or giving them an allowance with stipulations on what it can be spent on. Involvement in these activities can help give your teen proper context on the value of money, showing them how important it is to think before spending.

Teen Budgeting

4. Stop Cleaning Up After Them

Teaching your teenage child to clean up after themselves is an invaluable lesson because it will train them to be independent. It’s important to instill this habit now, as no one else will be around to pick up after them when they move away for college or on their own.

Encourage them to clear away dishes after meals and straighten up each night so that tidying becomes a regular ritual. By instilling these habits from a young age, your teen will have the necessary skills and confidence to take care of themselves once they leave your home.

5. Don’t do their homework for them

It may be tempting to help your teenager with their homework, especially if they are struggling. However, it is important to let them do their own work. This will help them to learn and to develop critical thinking skills. Additionally, it is important to allow them to make mistakes. This will help them to learn from their mistakes and to become a better student.

6. Don’t do their chores for them

Chores are a part of life, and it is important for teenagers to learn how to do them. If you do their chores for them, they will never learn how to do them themselves. Additionally, it is important for teens to learn how to take care of their belongings and to keep their living space clean.

Teen doing her chores

7. Stop Looking after their Pets 

It can also be incredibly disheartening when kids enthusiastically welcome home a pet, only to soon forget their promise to feed and clean up after it. The responsibility of taking care of a pet should not be placed solely on the parents. Parental guidance is a great way to ensure teens develop the necessary skills to look after their pets, but ultimately the motivation and responsibility lies with them.

With the right encouragement from mom and dad, teenagers will quickly remember why they wanted a furry companion in the first place: hours of entertaining fun!

Teen with her pets

8. Stop Doing All The Cooking 

Getting teens to spend time in the kitchen can seem intimidating, especially if they have no previous cooking experience. However, spending time with them teaching them the basics of cooking, from measuring ingredients and following a recipe to proper safety practices can be a great bonding experience. For each meal you make together, your teen will gain more confidence in their abilities and after enough practice learn to make dishes from scratch on their own.

They will also learn skills necessary for when they go off to college or move out of the house that are valuable for keeping themselves fed and healthy. Teaching teens to cook can be a pleasant way to spend quality time while imparting essential life lessons that will come in handy down the line.

9. Stop Packing Their School Lunch

As teens make their journey on the road to adulthood, providing them with opportunities to hone essential skills and take ownership of daily tasks is paramount. Packing their own lunch is an excellent way for teenagers to develop responsibility and life skills such as healthy eating habits and budgeting. As parents, it can be challenging trying to keep up with the ever-changing needs of teenagers.

However, enlisting their help in packing their own school lunches is likely to pay dividends in the end as it will provide your teen an opportunity to learn independence while still allowing you to foster a close bond.

Teenagers packing their own lunch

10. Stop Doing Their Laundry

Teaching your teenager how to do laundry properly is a very important skill that they need to learn. It’s not something they will grasp immediately, so it requires patience and guidance on your part. Show them how to separate whites from colors, use the right detergent and fabric softener, and properly fold clothes.

Doing this now will pay off later in life as your child will be able to take care of their own laundering tasks with confidence. Help them take pride in the outcome by encouraging them to organize everything neatly in their closet or dresser drawers afterwards; having an orderly wardrobe is an extra bonus!

Teen doing his own laundry

11. Stop Driving Them Everywhere

If your teen has reached driving age then encourage them to practice driving with you or another trusted adult before venturing out alone on the road (but make sure they have car insurance!). This will build their confidence behind the wheel and help prevent any accidents from occurring due to inexperience or lack of awareness about other drivers on the road.

Teen driving

12. Stop Taking Care Of All Responsibilities

As children enter the teenage years, it’s important to empower them to tackle adult-level responsibilities on their own. By taking ownership of these life skills such as managing their own schedules, setting goals for themselves and paying bills on time, your teen will be better equipped for independent living when they reach adulthood.

Necessary tasks such as booking appointments, filling out paperwork, emailing contacts and making phone calls should also fall within their realm of responsibility. Providing guidance and teaching these valuable skills can make all the difference when transitioning into young adulthood.

13. Stop Being A Helicopter Parent

Raising a teenager can be a challenge. You want to ensure your teen has the space they need to practice independence, while still being there to offer guidance and support when requested. As a parent, practicing the skill of ‘being present but not too involved’ is important. It may sound counterintuitive, but giving teens more freedom may actually build trust between you two – as it sends the message that you believe they’re yes capable of making their own decisions with your help and coach rather than following orders at all times.

Setting boundaries and limits that are reasonable for your teen’s age will be beneficial in developing their independence and self-confidence rather than smothering them with helicopter parenting!

14. Don’t take their problems away

When teenagers experience difficulties, it can be tempting to try and fix the problem for them. However, this will not help them in the long run. Instead, you should provide guidance and support while they figure out how to solve the problem themselves. This will build their confidence and resilience as they work towards finding a solution

15. Don’t always be available for them 

Giving your teenager the space to grow and explore is an important part of their development. Although being available for them can be comforting, it is important to teach boundaries in order to create a healthy relationship.

Doing this will not only benefit their social life with peers, but also help them learn problem-solving skills that they can use when faced with different challenges throughout their life. Maintaining those boundaries of availability will help foster independence and aid your teenager as they become an adult.

Letting go doesn’t mean letting down; it means teaching our children how to take responsibility for themselves before eventually leaving home as young adults off into adulthood, so don’t be afraid to let go a little bit here and there if needed but always ensure safety first & foremost above all else!!

Overall, teaching a teen can be difficult but also incredibly rewarding. It is important to establish boundaries while allowing them the space they need to explore their independence and learn valuable life skills. By cutting down on your involvement in these 15 areas, your teenager will begin to understand responsibility and make decisions that will shape their future.

Teen with family on couch laughing

These are just a few examples of things that you should stop doing for your teenager. By taking the time to show them how to do things for themselves, they will learn essential skills that will help them when they become adults. Additionally, it is important to provide guidance and support in order to help them make responsible decisions and form positive habits. With proper guidance, patience, and love, you can empower your teen and assist them on their journey towards independence.

Parenting teenagers is not easy but it is important for parents to step back sometimes so teens can learn how to take responsibility for themselves before leaving home as young adults into adulthood someday soon! Start off small by making changes such as having teens do their own homework & laundry or learning decision-making skills through guided discussions; these seemingly simple steps could mean big differences down the line when our kids become independent adults in a few years time!

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