One of the perks of being a parent of a teenager is being able to leave them “home alone”. They know not to answer the door to strangers, not to invite their friends over for a wild party and not to burn the house down!
Seriously, after having raised your child for 13 years, you deserve a break . . . some time alone. Running an errand to the grocery store or the post office guarantees you the privacy you never were able to achieve while hiding in the bathroom when they were younger. But, always leaving your teenager at home is a lost opportunity for teaching them something new.
Teaching life skills to your child is an everyday experience. You taught them how to wash dishes, cook a meal, do their laundry and mow the lawn. The next time you leave the house, take them with you and teach them skills that they cannot learn in the home.
If you have an item you need to return to a business, you can teach your teen what to do when they have a receipt or when you cannot find one. Through your interaction with the sales associate, your teen will be able to see your patience at work and learn how to handle a simple return. An even better lesson is how you handle a return when you do not have a receipt and things do not go as easily as planned.
When you do not feel like cooking and food-to-go is the family decision for the evening, take your teen with you on the food run. Teach them how to read the menu, while paying attention to regular deals and daily specials. Sometimes, the daily special is not always the best deal, especially if it is not what you originally planned to order. Based on how much your family eats and all of the idiosyncrasies of family members, you can help them decide which food and how much should be ordered for the meal.
Although online banking (online everything) has added a whole new level of convenience to our lives, there is something to be learned from walking into your local bank branch office. Becoming familiar with the personnel at your local branch gives you faces and names of the people who “manage your money”. It will also let them know who to contact when they need services beyond withdrawals and deposits, and could enhance the customer service they receive.
Children grow up to become their parent’s best imitators, so be cautious behind the wheel. Your teen is watching you! Be courteous to other drivers, maintain your temper and adhere to the speed limit. It will not be long before they have a license of their own and legally be a driver on the road with you.
Having a teenager who you can confidently trust and leave home alone is a huge accomplishment for you and a wonderful opportunity for that child to grow in independence. Just remember, before you leave them home alone, decide if there is a learning experience to be had wherever you are going.
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©2019 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher /.