If you want your teenager to be more independent, stop doing these things for them.
- Waking them up – While it may be cute to go into your kids’ room and get them out of bed, it’s time to let them take responsibility for getting up on their own. Make them set an alarm, and if they’re late they’ll miss breakfast, which may just get them to be more responsible each morning.
- Making their breakfast and packing their lunch – While you may want to control everything they eat, at some point in your life you’re no longer going to be doing that, so start early. You are the one stocking the pantry and fridge so at least you can control the food that way, but make them pack their own meals and make their own breakfast.
- Filling out their paperwork – When your kids are old enough, make them fill out their own paperwork for school, and then simply give it to you to look over and sign. It will hold them accountable and get them ready for the day when they need to fill out college and job applications.
- Delivering their forgotten items – Teens need to know the consequences of their actions, so if they’re not being responsible and forget things like their phone or uniform, don’t be there to solve all their problems, so next time they’ll maybe more careful.
- Making their failure to plan your emergency – If your kid is one of those who wait until the last minute to do their projects, don’t be an enabler and run out to get supplies at the last minute. This will make them realize they need to plan ahead if they need to get things done.
- Doing all of their laundry – Every once in awhile remind kids that you’re not the only one who can do the laundry, which will teach them responsibility, and remind them that you don’t work for them.
- Emailing and calling teachers and coaches – While it’s normal to want to intervene if your child is having an issue with a teacher or coach, the better move is to let them be the one to address it. Try to not get involved so your kid can learn how to handle conflict themselves.
- Meddling in their academics – Try to be less involved in your child’s actual school work and trust that they are getting things done that needs to get done. Show that you care by asking them to show you their grades every now and then but don’t constantly hound them about how they are doing.