The journey to raising responsible teenagers starts the day you bring them home. In other words, a child with good character can be a very gratifying life’s work. Here are the best things to remember as you try to instill responsibility into your kids.
Love is Unconditional
Love has to be unconditional. A child must know that no matter what happens in their life, your love is steadfast. If they misbehave, don’t take away your love, like some parents do. Love starts at the first cry! Be there immediately, feeding, changing, and comforting. When they discover in their heart that your love is unconditional, they will return that love to you.
Trust is Essential!
Have you ever seen a mom talking to her friend, while her young child is trying to get her attention and that mom just does not respond? The child will scream and scream and finally mom will turn around and yell or even hit them. What happens? That child feels diminished inside, trust is broken. It would have been easier to respond instantly, showing them you care about their needs, no matter how foolish. Making children wait is simply often too much for kids at this age. Moreover, later when you call, and the child does not respond immediately, you get mad, trust is lost, they learned from you. Trust is the most important factor in a relationship. So, accomplish blind trust and you will never regret it.
Respect Goes Both Ways
How many times do we hear a parent yell “Respect Me!!” ? Well, I always want to ask them,
Did you show it to them?” As they do what you want, do you say thank you respectfully, or do you make them feel like they owe you something for being your child? Yes, they do owe you respect, but they can only learn it from you. The way you behave with other people and toward your children is vital! Raise them to know respect. It’s not a harsh yell, but rather, a soft-but-carry-a-big-stick kind of respect. It’s in your voice. Love them, teach them, and show them respect, enough to say sorry when you made a mistake, or listen to their opinion and take their advice too. In the long run, it will pay off. Your children WILL grow up respecting you!
Accountability- Life’s Responsibility
We are accountable for everything we do. Good or bad, it shows up it the end. A child must be accountable for their actions at an early age. If they did wrong, admitting and accounting for it is necessary, resolve that wrong! Not with a harsh punishment either, but one that softly will teach them they are accountable. Either take something away, or do not let them attend an event that important to them. You must stick to this. Be strong minded! Do not bend in your decisions, make amends together with them, and let them see the fairness of it. Teaching accountability is an important lesson.
Discipline = Loyalty
Having discipline implies some kind of strong punishment and yelling. Here is where most people get it a little wrong. Discipline is teaching your child to do things repeatedly, like brushing their teeth, fixing their bed. Consistency in discipline teaches endurance and perseverance. Simply demand, with love, on the homework to be completed, and insist on a commitment to piano lessons, a scout meeting, a sports team, etc. They must learn discipline in achieving their own goals. Don’t let them give up in the middle. Be sure to respond with love and rewards though. Let them know you appreciate their achievement. They will reach their dreams, and yours, because you taught them how to go about doing a great job.
In conclusion, never forget to listen, love, and look inside your child’s heart. Let them know you understand who they really are and that you respect them for it. Rich rewards await
About the Author: Kyle Bardenas enjoys sharing tips on raising teenagers in today’s society. Teenagers are also expensive so it is important to save money on everyday items. He recommneds using www.homeownersinsurance.org to get low rates to save money for the future.
- Is your Child Out of Control? (psychologytoday.com)
- Parenting Adolescents and the Problems of Letting Go (psychologytoday.com)