Home, school, work, play and relationships all require varying degrees of responsibility. It is a vital skill for your teen to learn now to work his way through high school effectively, pursue his goals and become a successful young adult. You can help foster this by arranging responsibility-building activities and encouraging him to pursue opportunities for skill development at school.
Help your teen learn to work out problems responsibly with peers, teachers and even her siblings at home with role playing activities. You can work with your teen one-on-one or have your teen get her friends involved in this skill-building activity. Work on helping your teen learn responsible decision-making at school by having your teen act out scenarios, such as catching a peer cheating on a test or finding a piece of jewelry in the hallway. Encourage her to act out both responsible and irresponsible ways to handle the situation. When she’s finished, discuss how she acted in each situation and how those decisions can be applied in other areas of her life, too.
Encourage your teen to enroll in a club, sign up for sports or run for student council to learn about responsibility. Whether he becomes the student council president or a member of the chess team, each role offers its own unique learning experiences. If there are no options available that suit his interests, help him create one of his own. Your environmentally friendly teen can propose a recycling program to the school’s administrative staff, while your compassionate young guy can help organize an outreach program to tutor younger children, clean up the community or perform a small talent show for the elderly at a local long-term care facility. Regardless of the role your teen assumes, he will learn to listen to his peers, teachers and administrative staff, work together as a team, take on leadership roles and make responsible choices and decisions.
Many teens take on their first job during the high school years and whether your teen is looking for a part-time job to earn money toward prom night or trying to save money for college, she’ll need to be responsible to keep up with all of her obligations. Your teen will have to learn how to budget her time efficiently to ensure she can balance school work, her job and a healthy social life. Help your teen figure out what she would like to gain from a part-time job and create a budget to help her be responsible with her finances. Create a schedule together so your teen can be responsible with her time; showing up for her scheduled shifts, keeping up with homework and still getting out to the mall with friends on the weekend to reward herself for a job well done.
Your teen can learn about responsible business practices, teamwork and organization, and build his self-esteem by organizing or working on a school fundraising project. Encourage him to get involved in a school food, clothing or toy drive for charities in the community or help him develop a fundraiser and assume a leadership role. He can put together a proposal to discuss with the school’s administrative staff and then work alongside fellow peers to organize and implement his plan. Ideas for his own fundraiser include a bake sale, car wash or school-wide yard sale. He can also encourage peers to bring in items to raffle off at the next school function or organize a physical activity, such as a marathon, skip-a-thon or baseball game for pledges or ticket sales.
- Everyday Leadership: Attitudes and Actions for Respect and Success; Mariam G. MacGregor
- Character-Building Activities: Teaching Responsibility, Interaction and Group Dynamics; Judy Demers
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