10 Things You Should Stop Doing for Your Teenager
Your child is a teenager or slowly becoming one—and you don’t know what is happening!
Having a teenager is in most cases like having a new child. Some say it’s more challenging to raise a teenager than a baby. And there might be a grain of truth to it.
Anyway, there are some things that you should do to make the whole process less painful and some things you should stop doing for our teenager for the same reason.
As it’s easier to stop doing things than to pick up new habits, let’s start with the things to leave behind.
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10 Things You Should Stop Doing For Your Teenager
Each child is different, each teenager is different too, and there’s no ready-set of instructions.
Remember that you’re the best person to make the final decision on how to bring up your child, so keep an open mind about the list below.
Still, there are 10 things that you should stop doing for your teenage child:
1. Choosing Their Clothes
Believe me, it’s a waste of time and money.
At this age, your kid will only wear what they find fashionable and what’s probably on the opposite spectrum of your own fashion tastes.
You might get crazy about your teenage daughter wearing only black, or your teenage son choosing pants that definitely don’t favor him. There’s nothing to do.
Teenagers need a space to rebel and expressing it through their clothes is frankly speaking the safest rebellion of all.
2. Choosing Their Extracurriculars
Do you really want your kid to choose French? Or an extra science lab?
If they’re not interested in the topic, once again, it’s a waste of time and money. As a teacher, I can tell you that’s the biggest difference between little kids and teenagers. Kids will study whatever you tell them to study, teenagers will only truly learn things that move them. “Why do I need it?” It’s the question I hear most often.
At this age, their interest is usually well defined. Let them choose the extracurricular they get excited about, even if you don’t understand their passions.
You might like: 14 Homeschool Apps Your High Schooler Will Enjoy
3. Doing Homework With Them
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t help them when they need you.
However, you’re working on their independence. It must be your teenage child that decides it’s time to do their homework. They should know what to study and how to do research if they get stuck. Self-management skills are sometimes more useful than coursebook content.
Instead of doing homework with them, teach them Study Methods for Middle and High School Students.
4. Cleaning Their Room
I know it hurts your eyes when you enter their realm but please restrain yourself. In the end, it’s their specs and it doesn’t need to be impeccable. They need to learn how to take care of it. One day they will be in a students’ dorm without you or sharing a flat and you won’t be there for them.
You can have an agreement with them on the days they should clean their room, do a checklist with them, but don’t do it for them.
5. Making Their Bed
Moms are soft when they see how sleepy and unresponsive their child is in the morning, and they stop insisting that they make their bed. The result? Mom ends up doing it!
Don’t be one of them.
If your child is totally useless in the morning, agree that they will do it right after coming back from school on weekdays, and after breakfast during the weekend. It should slowly turn into a habit and you won’t need to nag about it.
If you want to read why your teenage child is so drowsy in the morning, check out: Sleep and Teenagers: 12-18 years.
6. Doing All The House Chores
The same applies to other house chores. Yes, teenagers, especially high schoolers, have a lot to do. But so do you. You probably have a whole house on your head, maybe you also homeschool and work full-time at the same time.
They don’t need to do all their laundry, get all their meals ready, clean the bathroom and vacuum the carpet by themselves. I mean not yet.
Now, divide the chores between family members and make sure your teenage child does their part. They’re already physically and mentally capable of doing everything.
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7. Doing All The Paperwork
Doing paperwork is an essential life skill, and many adults feel lost about it as they were never taught how to do it.
At this age, they can fill in the forms. Getting a passport? They can fill everything in. Signing up for driving lessons? Same. They can even figure out their college application and help you with the high school transcript if you homeschool.
You can always check with them if everything is in order.
8. Preparing All Their Meals
I know it’s faster if you do it, and you also make sure that they have all the necessary nutrients but they need to learn it one day. I know adults that burn water and have no idea how to do scrambled eggs or cook pasta.
Do you remember how you taught them how to tie shoelaces? Or how to use a toilet? Well, meal prep is also a basic life skill.
They won’t starve to death, nor even suffer from malnutrition, if they have to prepare their snacks or weekend breakfasts.
9. Buying Everything They Want
You love them, that’s clear. But you don’t have to express it by buying whatever they want.
Teenagers should learn how to save money for things they would like to have. You can have an agreement with them that you buy what they need and they buy what they want.
They can earn money by doing some extra things that you would normally outsource to someone else like mowing the lawn or washing the car. Avoid paying them for regular chores they should be doing anyway.
If you need some inspiration, read 55 Ways for Teens to Make Money.
10. Treating Them Like A Little Kid
And last but not least, stop treating them like a child. What kids that age most want is to be treated seriously. They need to feel that you respect their opinion and trust their choices.
You can discuss with them changes in house policies, borders, time limits, and bedtime. It doesn’t mean you are forced to say “yes” to everything but show them you’re eager to listen and consider their needs and opinions.
Congratulations! It’s a Teenager!
Having a teenager at home is not as black as it’s painted. You might learn to appreciate having a talk partner, and someone that doesn’t require attention and supervision 24/7.
You’ll all adapt and learn to treat each other. Just remember, stop making all the decisions for them, you’re cultivating a future adult, Promote independence and self-confidence. Slowly you’ll discover there are more and more things to stop doing for your teenager.
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