As parents, it’s easy to want to control our teens. Often we think we are doing if for their own good. The problem is then when we try to control our teens, we actually dis-empower them.
Why is it so important to empower our teens?
The reality is our teens are at an awkward transition in life. They are becoming adults, but often times they’re still treated like children.
It’s important to empower our teens now, so they can learn how to think and act for themselves when the stakes are still low.
It’s important to empower them because they need to start learning the patterns of life regarding decisions, actions, consequences (both positive & negative), and how they truly do control the results they get in life.
It’s important to empower teens so they have the experience to become empowered adults.
Here’s some simple keys to help you empower your teen.
#1 Create a plan to empower them.
If you don’t know this yet, I LOVE plans and planning. One of my favorite aspects of coaching football is game planning. It’s a powerful practice to develop and plan and then execute it.
Creating a plan makes expectations more clear and concrete. It solidifies details that would otherwise go unnoticed.
This is also a great opportunity to get everyone on the same page. This helps you and your teen to both understand what is expected. What consequences might be, both positive and negative.
Having a plan gives you a reference point for future adjustments and changes. You get to see what’s working and what’s not, which is more methodical than simply trying new things over and over.
#2 Let your teen be a part of the planning process.
Too many times as parents, we think that we know all the answers, and we never even consider that our teen might have some good ideas too.
It’s vital that we let them chime in. This will help them be more invested and involved.
The more they involved they are, the more ownership they will have.
Actually listen to your teen and implement their ideas. Sometimes plans are too perfect, and no one can carry them out. By letting your teen be part of this creative process, it will insure that it is something on their level and doable.
#3 Give them responsibilities and autonomy.
When we’re being controlled, we don’t grow. The same is true for our teens.
If your teen is ever going to learn and grow, they’re going to have to do it their own way, in their own time, and by trial and error.
So, give them some responsibilities, expectations, and the power to do them. This will help them figure things out and sometimes get things wrong.
They’ll grow from being responsible for their own choices and the consequences that follow.
#4 Support them by focusing on the good,
You find what you look for. It’s human nature to find the bad, so start intentionally looking for the good.
Our teens are going to struggle, and that’s okay, but if that’s all we focus on, they will feel like they’re failing and unsupported.
Make the effort to praise every little thing that they are doing right. This will help them appreciate their growth, even when it’s slow.
#5 Take it one day at a time.
Life is all about practicing and learning new skills. This isn’t something that’s done over night.
Help your teen understand that consistent effort is the key to growth, and as a parent, keep in mind that it’s not going to be perfect.
Help your teen practice when things are easy; then when things are hard, remind them that this is what they’ve been practicing for.
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