Friday, January 13, 2012

How to Teach Your 14 Year Old Son About Resposibilities

Your 14-year-old son is closer to being an adult than a kindergartner, but he is having difficulty upholding his responsibilities. Maybe he is neglecting his homework, falling down on his chores or missing baseball practice. Making him take responsibility for himself and his actions and not allowing him to create excuses can help him to see that he can act maturely and responsibly. Through this, he learns that responsibility not only is expected but also rewarded.
Step 1
Make agreements with your son instead of telling him what to do. For example, instead of barking orders and screaming at him to clean his room and do his homework, explain calmly to him that cleaning his room and completing is homework are expected of him. Listen to what he has to say and be willing to make compromises. For example, your son may explain that after school he is tired and needs a break from academia prior to completing his homework. Although you might like him to finish up his homework right away, it would show your son that you are listening to his needs and value his thoughts by agreeing that he is allowed to relax after school but must start his homework at an agreed upon time, such as 4 p.m.
Step 2
Set clear consequences for your son's behavior if he fails to uphold his agreed-upon responsibilities. For example, you may decide that your son is not allowed to watch television or play video games until he has completed his homework for the night. Also, choose clear rewards for your son's positive behavior. For example, you may decide he can earn an allowance if he completes all of his chores for the week.
Step 3
Explain to your son the consequences and rewards you have set. Keep your conversation with your son brief but ensure that he understands what is expected of him and how he will be rewarded or suffer consequences based on his behavior.
Step 4
Follow through with the rewards and consequences you established with your son. When he does well, praise him for upholding his responsibilities and provide him with the previously established reward. When he fails to uphold his responsibilities, simply remind him of his agreement and follow through with the consequence. For example, if your son agreed to start his homework at 4 p.m. and he is watching television at 4:30 p.m., simply turn off the television and remind him that he agreed to start his homework no later than 4 and television is not allowed until he has completed his homework for the night. Regardless of how much he pouts, how upset he is or what he has to say, follow through.
Step 5
Shift the focus of poor behavior away from excuses and toward responsibility. For example, if your son didn't clean his room and explains that he couldn't uphold his responsibility because he didn't know where the vacuum cleaner was, simply explain that you won't be discussing whose fault it is that he didn't clean his room. Explain that you are talking with him only about whose responsibility it is for him to clean his room and that, in the future, if he needs assistance with any of his responsibilities, he is to ask for assistance.

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