Time is limited when it comes to making sure your teen doesn’t turn into a douchebag.
We must act now to stop more entitled teenage brats or even worse, grown up douchebags, from being unleashed upon the world! The quota has been fulfilled. There are a multitude of ways to accomplish this, but the following is a list of experiences that I feel every teenager should experience, for his or her own benefit.
We need to make them understand, aka show them repeatedly and mention it non-stop, that there are people in the world that don’t have it as good as they do. We need to teach them how to give instead of take all the time. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of your labor, but you should also continually strive to help others.
Whether they are helping at the animal shelter or handing out food to the homeless, they need to understand the act of giving is so much more rewarding than just receiving all the time. This understanding can be life changing as a person. Live your life with a servant’s heart and you will never be poor.
Teenagers and young adults should be taught early to save 25% of their income. I know that seems like a lot, but when they don’t have any outside, or aka real, expenses that is a doable figure. Then, when they do eventually move out and pay their own way, they will have to go down from 25% and, hopefully, they will stay around the 10 to 15% range. If they move out. Wink wink.
Having volunteered at a hospital, rehab center, or retirement home. How many teenagers will lose at least one friend in high school due to an accident or car wreck. But they need to understand the fragility of life. They need to treat life with appreciation and understand just one stupid decision can make it end very quickly. The life changing consequences of one bad decision can haunt them forever.
I am a firm believer that teenagers should have to pay their own phone bill at a minimum, if not all of their bills. They use their phone for everything, including getting in trouble. It’s also good experience to know what paying a bill feels like and to know the feeling of that reoccurring pressure that they will soon be getting all too familiar with. Then you can just tell them to multiply that by 50. Don’t worry, you cannot make your child too responsible.
When I was in high school, I took a home economics class. I learned how to sew, cook a casserole, and balance a checkbook. Of course, if I was allowed to give a review, I would take off some points for not learning about credit scores and debt. But, that’s neither here nor there. By the way, if you put a review on the high school website they will take it off.
Again, I digress. The absolute most impressive thing that they did during this class was to make us care for a 5 pound bag of sugar as if it were a baby. You had to take constant care of it, or get a babysitter and log that, and wake up every two hours to “feed” and change it. And, yes, we had to keep a genuine cloth diaper that was laundered on it. I assume that a disposable diaper was also an option, but not for me. This was extremely aggravating and an accurate display of parenting. It was a genius move that got thrown away sometimes after my experience, but before my own children could benefit.There is no telling how many grandchildren are not being raised by grandparents due to this. I describe that as life changing.
Those items above are what I consider a few good ideas to instill some rapidly dying values into our youth. What are your best parenting tips?