Growing Teen: 5 Ways to Encourage Independence

Parents who have teenagers often realize that the teen years are ideal for teaching their children important lessons in responsibility and forethought. With their teens being on the cusp of adulthood, these lessons must be taught early and reinforced frequently. When parents wonder what lessons teens need to learn, they may focus on those that are most critical to their children’s safety and survival first. By introducing these lessons first and reinforcing their importance, parents can lay the groundwork for their children’s successful adulthood.

1. Honesty and Learning from Mistakes

The first lesson parents may want to introduce is being honest and learning from one’s mistakes. Most parents teach their kids to be honest from the time their children can walk and talk. However, honesty takes on new meaning when teenagers are approaching adulthood. Parents who teach their teens to be honest help these young people realize that there are consequences for their actions and that they cannot get away with the childhood antics they may have enjoyed previously.

Moreover, teens that are taught to view mistakes as learning opportunities can go on to be more confident and unafraid to try new experiences in life.

2. Responsible and Safe Driving Behavior

Learning to drive is a rite of passage many teens enjoy during these formative years. However, before parents turn over the keys to the family car, they may impress first the importance of safe driving and using the car in a responsible manner. Aside from avoiding accidents and incurring traffic fines, teens need to be reminded that silly and dangerous antics, such as car surfing, can not only cause significant damage to the car; it can also endanger their lives and that of their friends.

Recently in the news, a 16 year old teen in the Atlanta area decided to skip school with his buddies and go car surfing instead. This poor choice has now left this boy in a medically induced coma after the SUV rolled over and crushed him. The 18 year old driver now faces multiple charges, including speeding, reckless endangerment and driving without a license. It will be imperative for the parents of the 16 year old to retain an Atlanta car accident lawyer in order to sort out the legal details of this case, and to help ensure medical bills will be properly covered.

With more than 2700 teen driving accidents each year occurring in this country, many parents try to impress upon their teens the importance of valuing themselves, their cars, and their futures enough to drive safely. Even so, parents of teens who do get into accidents or cause bodily injuries through bad antics can retain legal help by hiring an attorney who specializes in this area of law. However, teens may be reminded that ideally they should take every precaution to drive like a responsible young adult.

3. Staying Away from Illegal Substances

Many teens today struggle with alcohol and drug abuse. Parents can help their teens avoid the temptation to use these substances by reminding teens frequently about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and how these substances could negatively impact their future lives and health. Hearing parents warn them about these substances could influence teens to avoid using them.

4. Using Money and Credit Wisely

Teens are just the right age to begin learning about good credit and money handling tips. Some teens may not understand that impulse buying and failing to save money could cause them to experience difficulties later in life. Parents should drive home the lesson that money and credit should be used wisely and with the greatest of forethought.

5. Avoiding Bad Influences

Teens sometimes cannot recognize the danger some of their friends pose to their futures. As much as they like their friends, teens should be taught by parents to use objectivity and question whether or not their friends’ suggestions are well advised. Learning how to recognize bad influences and staying away from people who mean them harm can help teens stay safe and protect their futures.

Teens only have a few years to learn invaluable life lessons. Parents can teach their children to become responsible adults by imparting these lessons to their teens and reminding them frequently about the ways to become successful individuals in adulthood.

As a mother of 3 teens, Lisa Coleman shares and relates to the importance of giving our youth a sense of independence but also shares the difference teaching them about responsibility can make. She researched and shares some of the information she obtained online from an Atlanta car accident lawyer in order to complete this piece.

Photo Credit: teen help