I know, teenagers can be loud and obnoxious. But when your kids get into high school and especially once they start driving, it’s easy to lose track of where they are and who they are hanging out with. It won’t seem like it initially, but if you’re lucky for kid’s teenage friends will want to come to your house to hang out. And you can possibly influence this if you try. You’ll know where they are, what they are doing and who they are hanging out with. Think about the alternative.
The concept of defining and refining a System is something I regularly stressed with my girls during their high school and college years. The truth is that each person has a different way of planning, organizing, studying and remembering. What works for you in these areas might not at all work for your son/daughter. One of the most important things to accomplish during the high school and college years is for your kid to develop and refine a system that works for them.
This is a fabulous concept to incorporate into your parenting practice. It’s used in conjunction with explaining decision-making to your kids. I started using this with my girls when they were about 13 years old and regularly reinforced it all the way through the day they left home for college.
I happen to think that one of parents’ most important responsibilities is preparing their children for the day when they leave home and live on their own. Will they be ready to make decisions for themselves? Will they know how to react in stressful or dangerous situations? Will they be able to manage their own money? The list goes on and on. But the way I mentally visualize this parenting challenge is using the “give more rope” analogy.
When your child is young, there is only a very short rope between you and them. What does this mean? As they drift from side to side (ie – doing things that are wrong or dangerous), the rope is so short that the parent can immediately correct (explain, scold, punish). The other benefit of the rope being so short is that the consequences of the child’s action are limited. Even something like touching a hot stove might seem catastrophic at the time but in a short few years you’ll realize that a blister on a finger is nothing compared to later potential consequences you’ll be worried about. Again, a short rope yields quick correction and limited consequences.