One of the biggest challenges faced by the parents of today’s youth is that they are not ready to take responsibility. When it is time for them to make their mark on the world, they are not ready to take charge of their lives. Parents of kids who are right on the cusp of adulthood are worried for their future as it seems uncertain because of their lack of responsibility.
However, we have been taught that it is never too late for anything if we are set on doing something. But, one thing is for sure, it is not going to be easy. It is also not impossible. Our mind is very powerful. If we are set on doing something, we can achieve it. So, what do you do if your child is a grown-up and not yet responsible?
Give them responsibility to make them responsible.
I am sure a majority of parents have been hesitating to give kids responsibility because they are unsure whether their kids will be able to handle it. And they keep finding reasons to keep them away from it. And when finally it cannot be delayed any longer, they realize their kids are not at all prepared.
If we want our children to take up some responsibility, we need to give them some in the first place. We cannot just assume that they won’t be able to do it. Just give them a chance first. Our fear makes us crippled. It never lets us see beyond the dark tunnel that we find ourselves in. but we need to take the leap of faith and start somewhere.
Don’t freak out if they make mistakes.
Once we have initiated the process of giving responsibility, it is inadvertently going to be followed by mistakes. That is a given for whenever someone is going to start something fresh. We seldom see someone doing everything right on the first attempt.
But, what matters is not that they blundered, it is what happened after that. Did you panic when they faltered? Did you have an extreme reaction to it? Or, did you calmly handle the situation?
Now, if the answer to the last question is yes, then congratulations, you are on the right track. However, if we make a huge deal out of it and declare that they are incompetent to take up responsibility, we will never let them learn.
Keep reminding them that they are growing up now.
There is a specific way in which you have to do it. Whenever they exhibit self-doubt or they ask you to do something which should have been primarily their job, then you have to subtly remind them that they are growing up now, they can do it.
When you say that you can do it, it gives them a huge confidence boost. They start believing themselves when they hear from their parents that they are capable of doing something. It gives them the start they need to do something. We have no idea how much our words can influence our kids. So, we need to ensure that our influence is only positive on them.
There needs to be a shift from the role of being a parent.
As kids start growing up, we need to evolve to the next version too. We cannot be the same parents that we were to them when they were five years old. The next stage in parenting is becoming your child’s friend. They need a confidante, a comrade to be with them.
Our watchful eyes can take some rest now. Now, it is not our job to look after them. It is their own. If they know that their parents are there for them all the time, they will never feel the need to step up their game. They won’t feel the need to take responsibility because they know that someone is doing it for them.
You have to gradually transfer the ownership of their life to them so that they become the prime responsible person for themselves.
One thing no one likes is someone always being on their back making them do something. Whatever someone does, for it to mean something to them, it should come from within for them. If they are doing something because someone was constantly asking them to do it, they will never understand the gravity of it.
So, stop nagging your kids and giving them reminders every few minutes. Everyone likes to work at their own pace. And if they are made to do something by constant reminders, there is definitely going to be some negativity flowing around.
And more importantly, is it not tiring for you too? A lot of parents tell us that they are so tired of running after their kids all the time that it takes the life out of them. Well, you should also have a chance to relax a bit. When your kids grow up, it is time for you to calm down and treat yourself to some free time.
Let them make their own decisions.
Every person is the architect of their own future, and that is how it should be. Because that is what produces the best results. If we are taking every decision for our kids then we are not letting them carve their own future.
We are deeming them incapable of making choices for themselves. It does not bode well for a person when their life is not their own making. So, just let them do it.
What is the worst that could happen? They would make wrong decisions. So, what? That will just help them learn! And if you are not going to make the wrong decisions in your youth, when are you going to do it? Life gets more real, more serious after this. People start depending on them, and the stakes are much higher then.
If your kids are grown-up already remember that it is late, though opportunity still exists. Their habits have started cementing. It is not going to be easy to change them. You need to be patient and let them take their time.
Your role is to not let the time slipping away intimidate you. There will be results, surely, but not giving up is essential.