Are you looking for creative ways to help prepare your teenager for adulthood? While this can be a difficult task, it is not impossible. Just make sure to stay positive, and don’t be afraid to get creative!
If you are a single mom looking for ways to teach your teenager responsibility, we have an idea for you—add a pet to the family. That might sound like the last thing that you want to do; however, giving your teen the responsibility of caring for an animal helps teaches how to be dependable, mature, and trustworthy. Start today with these pet-friendly ways to teach your teenager some responsibility.
Always make sure to set your expectations so you and your teenager are on the same page. If you do not set clear expectations, it may lead to a misunderstanding, and you leave room for your teenager to fall short of your goals. You should also make sure that your expectations are reasonable.
For example, if you have a cat, have your teenager clean the litter box once a week. However, when setting that expectation, be specific. Make sure you state when the litter box needs to be empty. Leaving it as a general “once a week” will allow them to complete the task whenever they feel like getting to it. Specifically say, “clean it on Monday by 5 p.m.” to make it clear when they should complete the goal.
This is more important than you could possibly imagine. Trusting your teenager to make the right choices shows that you support and believe in them. While this might not be easy, revoking your trust when they haven’t given you a reason to do so can be detrimental to your relationship and their desire to be responsible. As such, show them that you trust them by not reminding them to let the dog out while they are home alone. Trust that they are going to be responsible and let the dog out until they show you otherwise.
Make sure that you provide your teen with different activities so they can practice responsibility, such as giving them chores to complete around the house. While chores allow them to contribute to the household, they also provide an opportunity to be responsible. Perhaps you have decided that the fish is the way to go regarding a pet—make them responsible for regularly cleaning and maintaining the tank.
It is important to always follow through when teaching your teen about responsibility. If your teenager isn’t reliable, this is a good opportunity to teach them about real-life consequences. For example, if you give them a fish to care for and they ignore it, the fish might become sick or even die. Or on a less extreme note, let’s say you have a dog and your teen doesn’t let them out to use the bathroom; they will have to clean up the mess. Scenarios like this directly teach our teenagers that actions have consequences.
If you are looking for ways to teach your teenager responsibility, try introducing a new companion to the family. Remember to follow through with your expectations and model responsibility in your own behaviors as well. Be a good influence and better your parenting skills today!