Teens by nature crave independence and privacy. As parents, how far should you go to respect their privacy while still ensuring that they’re making sound decisions? “The goal is for teens to gradually assume more responsibility for their own judgment about things,” says Dr. Rochelle Harris, a clinical psychologist. “This isn’t clear-cut, like when they turn 16, you get off of their Facebook or Instagram. It’s really more of making sure those foundations of communication are there.”
Many teenagers are highly motivated to begin working and earning their own money. According to experts, getting a summer job is a rite of passage and an important developmental milestone. “It allows teens to take instruction from someone other than a parent, and be responsible to people other than their immediate family,” says Michelle Cook, an advisor with Calgary Career Counseling, “real world experience is a huge thing to gain.” But it can be hard for your teen to land that first summer job when they have no experience or references and they don’t know where to start.
Do you want your teen to: Share their thoughts, feelings, problems, and worries with you in a real, meaningful conversation without attitude and sarcasm? So chores and pitch in on family projects without being asked? Enjoy family activities and want to spend time with you? Be responsible and accountable for their studies and their jobs? Solve their problems by discussion rather than avoiding them by, for example, drinking, gambling, having sex, or doing drugs? Care about your feelings, needs, and worries and modify their behavior in response?
So your teenager has the travel bug. Maybe they want to travel abroad to study, develop a second language, or volunteer with a service organization. These excursions are becoming incredibly popular with teens that want to spread their wings of independence and see the world on their own.
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