. Learning Responsibility | Manitoba Parent Zone | Healthy Child Manitoba

Learning Responsibility

Working together as a family means everyone helps out – young or old, big or small. Your teen should be given responsibility around the house. How you decide to divide or delegate chores doesn't really matter. What does matter is that your teen knows he is responsible for those chores and that they must be completed by a certain time. As well, you should let your teen know what the consequences are for not being responsible for his chores.

Teens are capable of doing most household chores and they should be given the opportunity to learn. Eventually they will live in their own homes and will need to know how to cook, clean and take care of a home without their parents around. These are all essential life skills.

You may want to give your teen a key to the house. But it's best not to put your address or other identifying information on a key because it could get lost.

If your teen has a part-time job or earns her own money, it is a great time to discuss financial responsibility. Talk to your teen about the basics of both saving and spending. Afterwards, make an appointment with your local bank or credit union to discuss further banking options and money management tips with your teen. She might drag her heels all the way to the bank but she'll be thrilled when she buys her first house and can actually understand her mortgage terms.

Some teens are given an allowance to help them learn financial responsibility. Other teens are given an allowance for doing chores around the house. If you chose to give your teen an allowance, it is a good idea to make sure he knows why he is getting an allowance and what he must do in order to receive it. If she does not do her chores or isn't financially responsible, she should be given a consequence for not meeting her side of the bargain.

Another responsibility that teens need to take on is their homework. Setting aside a specific time and place to do homework every day is a good idea, preferably a time when your teen isn't hungry, tired or distracted. The space she uses to do her homework should also be clear from distractions, especially television, so she can focus on her work. It's also a good idea to encourage your teen to use a day planner or calendar so he can keep track of assignments and upcoming tests. Show your teen how he can plan ahead and work on big assignments ahead of time, rather than waiting until the night before an assignment is due. You may also want to check your teen's homework when she's finished – not to make sure it is done correctly, but rather to make sure that it's finished.

Your teen is now old enough to stay at home by himself or care for younger children or siblings. Babysitting courses are available which teach teens how to deal with common issues. If your teen will be caring for younger siblings it is important to talk to all of your children and let them know that your teen is in charge when you are gone. Whether your teen is at home by herself or taking care of siblings, go over the rules and ensure everyone knows what to do in case there is an emergency. It's a good idea to leave a list of emergency numbers on the fridge.