If you’re currently raising a teenager, you know how much effort it takes to teach the right values to those who aren’t always so receptive of what you have to say. Of course, teaching by example is often the most effective way to transmit our beliefs and habits to youngsters. That means parents have to practice what they preach, understand that teens sometimes don’t take lessons to heart until they’re young adults, and just do our best from day to day. Here is a brief cheat sheet for anyone raising a teenager or who will soon be doing so.
Patience Pays Off
Showing young people the importance of patience is tough, but it’s one of the most important life lessons we can convey to them. In this age of instant gratification, it’s especially difficult to demonstrate how essential patience is. One way that seems to work for many moms and dads is to regularly speak with teens and tell them about examples from your own life where patience was rewarded.
Saving Money Is Essential
What parent doesn’t try to teach children about the importance of saving money? Teens often learn best from real world examples. One thing you can do is explain to them how you boosted the family budget by refinancing your student loans. Explain how you got a lower interest rate from Earnest on the outstanding debt, cut monthly payments and ended up with a longer time to repay the loan. Teaching teenagers about the mechanics of refinancing can be a bit of a challenge, but they’ll appreciate your effort and will learn about the ins and outs of the family budget in the process.
Safety Is a Way of Life
There is more to life than money. Keeping their families healthy and safe is one of the primary goals of every parent. That means having frank chats with your children about all safety related topics, especially responsible driving. Make clear rules about what’s expected from your young drivers, including when to be home in the evening and how impaired driving is not tolerated in any way, ever.
By nature, teenaged kids are risk-takers. There’s really no getting around this fact, but you can dampen down the urge to take unnecessary risks by speaking honestly with your offspring about what you were like at the same age, how you made your share of mistakes and how your overcame some of the unwise urges you had from time to time.
Being Fair Is the Right Thing to Do
When parents show children how to earn money, drive safely and take on other adult attitudes and behaviors, the concept of fairness is often lost in the mix. One way to convey this important message is by volunteering for community service with your kids, explaining your charitable contributions to them, and suggesting ways that they can assist those who are less fortunate. If you treat others fairly and justly, youngsters will take notice. Even if they don’t put all your examples into practice right away, they’ll have the behavior pattern in their heads and will likely reference it later in life.