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My Turn, Antwaun Thompson: The power of teenage personal responsibility – taking charge of your life – Salisbury Post

My Turn, Antwaun Thompson: The Power of Teenage Personal Responsibility: Taking Charge of Your Life

Posted at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 11, 2022

By Antwaun Thompson

Teaching teens personal responsibility is a key part of life that they will build on into adulthood. Through the method of creating and gaining confidence, teenagers design a level of confidence with it that will allow them to take on personalized responsibility. They are wrongly taught that there are no consequences when they make mistakes, commit crimes, abuse alcohol or drugs. They do not discern that their actions have real implications such as detention or suspension from school. There are three essential elements that will improve teen self-responsibility: simplicity, effort, and attitude.

Teenagers are often faced with decisions that they are not always ready to make. A key skill to develop in children early on is personal responsibility. This means teaching them to take control of their own choices and decisions. Personal responsibility can help you in many areas of your life, including finances, relationships, health, and schoolwork.

I’ve seen it before, as long as the kids are in their parents’ house and they’re minding their own business, they don’t pay much attention to things like food, laundry, or finances. When they head off to college, where they are entirely responsible for themselves, the first few months are a huge adjustment. Healthy eating carefully nurtured by parents turns into late-night pizzas and energy drinks. Because children have never learned the value of money, they become exhausted more quickly paying for outings and shopping online. A sense of personal responsibility was never fostered in them, so you can’t blame the kids entirely. So… how can we, as adults, help children take on their personal responsibilities?

You have to start with simplicity: give them the responsibility of throwing out the trash every night, for example. It’s a small task, and it doesn’t take more than 20 seconds. Make it a permanent part of their to-do list and let them commit to the task for a few months. Once they have that, you can give them another responsibility.

It’s important to make sure that the chores you assign are age-appropriate and that your children can handle them. Taking out the trash and walking the dog works for young children, but managing finances for a month may be more appropriate for a high school student. If you give them too much responsibility too soon, they may become overwhelmed and lose interest. The goal is to help them understand the importance of small things like keeping their space clean and taking care of themselves.

And, of course, you will need to provide guidance and support throughout the process. But if you take it slow and steady, you’ll be surprised at how capable and responsible your children can become. Building these new habits takes consistency, and consistency comes with effort.

Personal responsibility can be daunting for someone just starting out. After all, they went a long time without having to worry about things like food or money. Nevertheless, a little constant effort on the task will make things easier in the future.

Effort can feel like your child is making a schedule that accommodates all of their chores and commitments. It can also look like respect for other people’s time and space. When you’re late for work and can’t get home on time, if they volunteer to cook dinner, it’s a personal responsibility, and you should commend the effort to encourage this behavior. Effort can also present itself as self-control. If your child is taking personal responsibility for their health by cutting out fast food, acknowledge it and let them know they are fine. This will encourage them to continue their good work.

Personal responsibility also includes taking care of your personal belongings. If your child keeps their room clean and tidy without being asked, it shows that they are taking some personal responsibility. Acknowledging this will show them that you notice and appreciate their efforts. By encouraging effort, self-control and respect for others, you can help your child become a responsible adult, ready to face the world.

There’s no point in being good at managing money or keeping your space clean if you’re complaining about it all the time. Yes, taking responsibility and showing up day in and day out is hard work, but the wrong attitude will discourage good behavior and quickly steer you down the wrong path.

Let’s take an example. You absolutely hate making coffee at home and prefer to grab a Starbucks, but you’re trying to cut your expenses. While you’re doing a good thing being responsible with your money, you start your mornings hating yourself for making the decision to make coffee at home. If you keep complaining about it, how long do you think your habit will last? You’ll probably start spending your money at Starbucks again within a week.

Instead, if you focus on how saving your money will get you that trip you’ve been dreaming of or that watch you’ve wanted to treat yourself to, you’re much more likely to stick to making coffee at home. without fussing.

This is why attitude is the most important thing when it comes to personal responsibility. If your child doesn’t like to cook, there’s no way they’ll cook for themselves in college. If they don’t understand how to budget and don’t care to learn, they will run into problems in real life. Instead, if you teach them to focus on the positives and work towards an end goal, they’ll want to put in the effort and work!

Antwaun Thompson is owner of Coach T’s Corner and executive director of JLT Fieldhouse. This is a sound sample book, “The Ultimate Guide to Success: For Tweens and Teens”