Saturday, December 5, 2015

Parent Tips: Ideas on the family decision-making process

Helping your family grow in healthy ways is the goal of these blogs. Part of that process involves letting your children provide ideas and make decisions about the family. You will find at some point that your teens are able to manage on their own with less oversight from you. This often occurs after you get a few positive patterns going and your children are more in sync with the family's needs. 
Handing over responsibility for certain tasks conveys two important messages to your teen. 
    • First, you are competent.  
    • And secondly, I trust you to manage this on your own. 
Both are important insights for maturing kids. And candidly, most teens are able to do many tasks on their own. As most parents know, the culprit is typically their motivation to do so, along with conflicting interests.

When turning activities over to your teens, offer to provide help when needed: "I'm here if you need me." Secondly, provide learning tips that may help. For example, having a note on your door or a prompt on your phone to remind yourself about a task, or to alert you about times and dates.  You can be sure that this will not proceed with perfection at all times, but consider that normal.

Plan for imperfection and miscues. And decide ahead of time how you are going to react to such. Do not overreact.  After all, you have said to them: You're in charge." Consider being a resource rather than an angry boss: "I see you're having a bit of trouble getting that done before study time. Let's think of a quicker way to do this." Or, simply consider offering help: "Remember, I'm here to help out when you need me."

Here are a few other ideas. Remember to rotate responsibilities to keep tasks fairly distributed among the kids when feasible.  You may also apply this to other options: "Whose turn is it to choose where to eat?"

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