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7 July 2014


 July 7, 2014

In honor of Independence day, I decided to bring up the ongoing teen-parent argument topic – Teen Independence.  Allowing a teen to become independent for many parents seems much like teaching them how to drive: letting them speed up first and then yelling at them to slam the breaks. However, much like driving growing independent is an inevitable and much needed process for a teen. The steps below will help to mitigate the process:

  1. Allow a Teen to Make Mistakes.

No one is perfect. Mistakes help him/her to learn life lessons and gain new experiences. Help them to work through the issue, but allow your teen to take the lead.

  1. Respect Your Teen’s Opinion.

This is a hard truth for some parents. You do not need to agree with all their statements, but you must start treating your teen like an adult and have a valid argument to convince them otherwise. (No, “Because I said so,” is no longer an option). 

  1. Encourage Decision-Making Skills.

Talk about making decisions with your teen. Discuss pros and cons of a situation, present various options, and figure out steps of a plan together.

  1. Teach Your Teen to Manage Conflict.

At this point, many teens are still trying to figure out their identity. Hence, there might be conflicts with peers, adults, and authority. Teach them how to communicate their issues clearly. Safe discussions always start at home!

  1. Teach Money-Management Skills.

Teens must learn how to handle money. No, that does not mean just giving your teen an allowance. They must learn the value of money. Speak to them about paying bills, cost of groceries, credit cards, and the banking system.


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