How Can You Help Your Teen Find Their Feet?

teenage girl reaching an arm up to the sky

When your kids are little, you’re too busy enjoying the moment and relishing their cuteness instead of stressing too much over what they'll become in the future. They don’t have a competent bone in their body and it’s great fun seeing them stumble through every task they take on. But one day, your once harmless little baby will have responsibilities of their own. They’ll have things to go through and decisions they'll need to make for themselves. It can be quite a daunting thought, the idea of your child going out into the big wide world, but there are things you can do to help the process run smoothly. Here are some ideas for helping them find their feet and gain independence. 

Guide Their Educational Choices
Your child will have to choose a subject or job to commit to one day, such as at college, university or the first step of the career ladder. It’s important to help them find something they’ll be interested in during their school days as often students makes the wrong decision and end up bored with the subject after a couple of months. In terms of university, they’ll be potentially going into something that they’ll be a part of for the rest of their lives, so you’ll have to let them know just how much is involved. 

Teach Them How
The last thing you want is for your child to be hitting their late teens and heading into adulthood, without being able to care for themselves! Teach them how, show them how to do chores around the house such as using the washing machine, iron and creating a cleaning schedule. Show them how to cook, how to manage money such as budgeting and paying bills. We're lucky to live in a part of the world that has an excellent schooling system, but it teaches them surprisingly little about skills needed to thrive in the adult world. So it's down to us as parents to lead the way here. 

Encourage Their Interests 
Whatever it is that your teen enjoys, try and get them to put their efforts into it – they’ll flourish more often than not if they’re excited by their hobby or passion. It could be writing, art, a craft or a sport. If they go off to university, encourage them to check out clubs and groups which can build skills while enabling them to meet likeminded people. They could even create a club of their own, for example if they're all about rugby they could look into a custom designed rugby kit for universities and start recruiting people online or at open days. Try not to dictate to your child what they should and shouldnt enjoy, their hobby might not be something that interests you or that you even understand. But it's their life so they need to pursue what they're passionate about. 

Let Them Make Mistakes
Every single human being makes mistakes – some little and some remarkably poor. If you let them go around thinking that they’re stupid for making errors all the time, they’ll probably have low self-esteem. Conversely, if you don’t let them know about them and teach them, they make never learn. Nobody ever got anywhere without a few challenges along the way!

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