Managing Personal Expectations for Your Teen
Your teen is a contributing member of your household and is expected to participate in certain things, while communicating with you about their lives and their daily activities. Managing personal expectations for your teen can be difficult, especially as teens try to exert their independence and don’t feel as if they need to be so closely monitored. However, setting up expectations for your teen and managing their behavior is one of the best ways to teach them communication, responsibility and respect.
Teenagers are transitioning from children who needs lots of direction, to adults who are autonomous. In the teen years, your expectations of what, when and how they do things are important. They want to feel as if their parents care about them and while they may outwardly groan, parental expectations are a fine way for teens to measure their self-worth and their accomplishments.
Realistic Expectations Make All The Difference
Managing your expectations for your teen can be frustrating if you aren’t realistic and are expecting more out of teenagers than they are capable of doing. Remember that teenagers are still learning about responsibility and setting up reasonable expectations will help them learn to succeed, not give up because they fail.
Appropriate expectations for teenagers may include communicating with you about all plans with friends, participating in daily and weekly chores, managing an allowance each week or month, caring for a pet, and keeping up with homework. Other expectations include respecting family members, asking permission to use the family car, and keeping the curfew.
It’s a good idea to start with a few expectations with older kids and pre-teens, then adding responsibilities as they age. With more expectations comes more trust, and teens can continue to earn their parents’ trust by meeting and even exceeding those expectations. Putting too many expectations onto a preteen or teen will only set them up for failure. Likewise, parents have to understand that their teenagers will not always meet the expectations set forth. Teens will definitely fail to meet the expectations at least once. Good parents will make sure that clear consequences are a part of the process but not be so hung up on the fact that the teen failed. Instead, they will use it as a teaching moment to give their teen a chance at earning back that responsibility.
When you are a parent, you have certain expectations for your teenager as far as behavior, activities and the way they interact with the family and others. When those expectations are age appropriate, realistic and you allow for some failure every once in a while, your teen will be well on their way to becoming a responsible, well-adjusted adult.