Drug testing

Raising a Self-Sufficient Teen

Teens don't learn responsibility overnight. If you haven't been working with your teen on gradually giving them a sense of independence and ownership of their lives, then you're going to have your work cut out for you. Don't wait until it's too late.

By the time your children are in high school, they should be doing for themselves a lot of the things you've been doing for them all of their lives. What does your teen do when they have a problem? Run to you? Or try to solve his/her own problem, maybe coming to you for advice when they've exhausted their own resources?

I don't know about you, but I want my daughter to be self-sufficient when she heads off to college. I want her to be able to choose her own friends, manage her own expenses, be up to the challenge of solving everyday problems in an effective and positive manner, and generally get her adult life off to a good start.

Sound difficult? Not if you start out with the small things. My teen told me most of her friends don't even know where their moms do their grocery shopping. I couldn't believe it. My daughter is involved with planning our meals (it's in her interest if she wants a say in what we're having to eat), and she goes to the grocery store with me every single week and helps me mark each item off the list. She reads labels, compares prices, and tells me when she thinks I'm spending too much money on something. And why does she care how much money I spend you might ask? Because our family's finances are tight, and she knows that any money we save at the grocery store our family will be able to spend somewhere else. What a great life lesson.

Because our family's finances are tight, my daughter has also learned how to budget. She is not directly involved in our financial planning, but she sees me making our budget and deciding the way we spend our family's money. She knows that when more money than expected has to be spent in a certain area, that something else has to give. She knows that money doesn't grow on trees. She's started to budget her own money--tithing, spending some, and saving some.

A lot of my daughter's friends wear expensive designer clothes. She knows we can't afford to buy clothes like that for her, so we frequent local thrift and clothing consignment stores, shop bargain sales, and do a lot of yard saling. Sure, I wish I could spend more money on her clothes, but she still finds much of the same designer clothing her friends wear. Other friends are jealous of the good buys she finds. When my daughter grows up part of me hopes she can afford nicer things for herself. But deep down, I'm grateful for the life lessons she's learning. Whether she has money or not, she will never want for anything because she knows how to get by no matter what her circumstances.

You might think your teen would think it a chore to go grocery shopping and shopping for second-hand clothing. My daughter doesn't look at it that way. Partly she's bored and wants to get out of the house, but going through these daily routines together is much of the time we spend together, hanging out and talking about other things on her mind. More than half of the time we spend in deep discussion takes place in the car driving from one place to another. I wouldn't trade that time for anything.

I'm not worried about whether or not my daughter is going to be able to take care of herself when she goes off to college. I'm certain she'll be up to the challenge.

A freshman in high school this year, she has four more years to practice before she's on her own. She cooks dinner once a week or so, does some of the laundry, and helps clean up after our pets keep the house clean. At her age, homework is most important to us and that takes priority over other things, so we don't overload her with chores, but my main concern is that she knows HOW to do these things. Especially with something like cooking it takes time to learn some of these skills. And if you don't have enough patience to help them learn something like how to cook, then let them learn through trial and error. Let them cook what they want to cook and let them even go buy the groceries to make it.

Let your teens schedule their own appointments and make other phone calls you normally make for them. I think everyone has a little fear of the phone at first, but after the first few times they'll enjoy the responsibility they've earned.

And did you notice what effect these changes will have on your life? Less responsibility and demands on you! It's a little hard to let go at first and you might have to take baby steps in handing over the reigns a little, but you'll be so proud of your teen the first time they take initiative on their own. When they leave home you'll worry less and know it was a job well done.

About The Author

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For more inspirational articles and tips for everyday living, visit her web sites at http://www.creativehomemaking.com and http://www.christian-parent.com

In The News:

The USS San Diego was the only major warship the U.S. lost during World War I. Now, nearly 100 years after it sank, and countless theories as to what caused the wreck, researchers believe they have determined the cause of it — a German submarine in conjunction with a mine.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists are seeing surprising melting in Earth's polar regions at times they don't expect, like winter, and in places they don't expect, like eastern Antarctica.
When Judie Johnson of Hahei, New Zealand, recently took a dip in the waters off the coast of Coromandel, she never expected to be surrounded by a pod of playful orca whales.
There’s a new fastest animal on Earth and it’s … an ant.
The man who was behind the mission that discovered the Titanic on the North Atlantic Ocean floor in 1985 has revealed what led to the stunning find.
Research has shown that time in space can increase the risk of cancer and trigger gene mutations. But a new study has found that one crucial part of the human body remains unaffected by zero-gravity.
Say "cheese!" NASA’s InSight Mars Lander has snapped its first selfie from the surface of the Red Planet.
Life on Earth takes billions of shapes , but to see most of them you'll have to dig deep below the planet's surface.
Robert Ballard, the man who found the remains of the Titanic, said in a recent report that his discovery was part of a "top secret" deal made with the U.S. Navy in order to help elude Russia in the 1980s.
Scientists have made a fascinating discovery on asteroid Bennu thanks to NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

Is Your Child Becoming A Praise Junkie?

Do you praise your child when he fulfils a basic... Read More

Our Recommended Eating Program for ADHD

Below is a copy of our eating program for Attention... Read More

Whats Mine Is Mine

You are at the grocery store with your daughter and... Read More

What To Do With A 6 Year Old Smart Mouth Know It All

Just the other day, I was talking to some other... Read More

Homes for Troubled Teens: Therapeutic and Residential

For troubled teens who are struggling with drug abuse, depression... Read More

25 Things That Matter When Relating To Our Children (Leaving A Legacy Of Love To Those We Love)

In my opinion, these things matter...1. Enjoying childlike delights before... Read More

Children and Mom and Paper

Memorabilia ? Children can create enough artwork for an entire... Read More

Ten Helpful Little Tips For New Parents

The Greatest Gifts in Life, which are always created for... Read More

Teaching Your Child Safety

Q. What is the best way to teach safety awareness... Read More

Top 25 Children Quotations

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience... Read More

Parenting Skills - Five Ways To Turbo-Boost Your Confidence

The 'phone conversation had nothing at all to do with... Read More

Teaching Kids to Read

We are all so very happy to see that the... Read More

Son, Can I Use The Car Tonight?

I recall somewhere in the recesses of my aging brain... Read More

Theres Never a Bad Time To Start Helping To Spread The Word of God

Q. What's the right age to start giving a Bible... Read More

How to Prepare for Labor

Although nothing anybody says can ever completely prepare a woman... Read More

End Babysitter Abuse

Not many things are more upsetting than discovering that your... Read More

Hair Care for Children

Salon visits can be scary experiences for small children: They... Read More

The Secret of Understanding Children

It was a day that I will forever be etched... Read More

Challenges for Our Children

Researchers have estimated that 25-35% of children in the United... Read More

Mom, Dad and the Big Brother

Software for parental control is a useful tool, if applied... Read More

3 Rules to Making TeensTechnology Work For You

Isn't the technology of today is amazing?! Between the speed... Read More

Child Abuse - Survey & Comments

Beyond cases reported to authorities, little knowledge exists on the... Read More

What Might Surprise You About Childhood Obesity

The formula is pretty straightforward: energy in/energy out. This is... Read More

Home And School Education - Your Kids Can Benefit From Both!

Once, as a Learning Support Teacher, I made my way... Read More

Teenagers and What Parents Should Do About Them

Chiladult? Whatever you call them, teenagers are a changin' and... Read More

street lighting uk street lighting led Pete's produce ..