We all try to be great parents and sometimes it is hard to cut the chord. I know for myself, I hope for some sort of manual, sometimes... LOL.



People like to poke their nose and suggest all these ways to handle kids and teenagers. As parents we can only do so much. I recently found an article that suggests 7 things kids need to do for themselves before they are 13 and to me, they make sense.

1. Money! By the time they are 13, they should have a good sense of how to earn money, save money, and manage their money. This is done by example and practice. It is good to talk to your kids about certain decisions that you make, personally. Simple things like, "We aren't eating out this week because we need to save for our vacation in August." It is also a good idea to have them set money aside for charitable contribution.

2. Scheduling. This is a tough one. Usually, I am the one to get my daughter up and out the door on time. I am the one to get her to her dance activities on time and tell her when it is time to change. My daughter is only 7. What I do is set a timer for Alexa and at that time, she needs to get dressed, or empty her plate from breakfast, etc... It works for now and obviously when she gets older, she will have to take this over. According to the article, the best way to have your child experience a scheduling conflict is allow them to see the consequences of being late. This can be tough as a parent. Talk about this with them when they are young. Discuss what happens when they are late for school, or dance, or whatever and what they could do to make sure they are on time.

3. Courteous Communication. Most teens want to be treated as adults. If they want to be treated like adults they need to be able to communicate effectively.

"Teenagers are wired to demand independence, which means they are less likely to comply with command-based parenting practices, according Carl E. Pickhardt, PhD, writing for Psychology Today. Parents must respect this desire for autonomy if they want their children to move toward independence and learn to communicate like adults."

Again, if you want your teenager to have courteous communication, you need to model this to them. Not all teens suffer from disrespecting others. According to Pickhardt...

"For some it is a lack of confidence that keeps them from engaging well with adults. In this case, parents should be careful to intervene if they notice their child is using technology as a tactic for isolating from social situations."

As a parent it is important to tell your child that you are on there side and you want to find an activity that will compliment their personality whether sports, dance, theater, or a club.

4. Body Basics. This is something that every parent dreads talking to their teen about. You should have a basic conversation about it with them. They say car rides are the best because it is non confrontational. You should discuss basic hygiene and puberty as well as the "sex" talk. Teens should know the consequences of risky behaviors and what a healthy relationship would "look" like.

5. Housekeeping habits. This is extremely important as your child should contribute to the household chores. I have my daughter match the socks, and taught her how to fold them. I even have her put away her own clothes. When they aren't put away properly (as sometimes they are) I have her fix them so she knows. By the time your child is 13, they should be able to do laundry, pick up after themselves and clean the kitchen.

6.  Academic achievements. It is never a good idea to micromanage your child. You shouldn't be saving them by doing their homework or completing a project. They should be able to set up a schedule to get what they need done. Obviously, if they are struggling it is encouraged to talk with their teacher's and counselor's to get them the extra help that they need.

7. Navigation. NOT GPS. Obviously, at 13, teenagers aren't driving yet, but they should know how to get to the places that they frequent often like from school to home, etc...

Again, I feel this is a great base for our kids. It is important to have kids do things for themselves as we can't be there for them every step of the way in life. We can try, but we are only micromanaging them and in the long run, we are setting them up to fail that way. With giving them these basics, we are preparing kids to be independent, to make conscious decisions and knowing how to take care of themselves and be decent human beings.



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