Parenting Teens: Focusing On Life-Holding Chores

Parenting Teens:

Parenting today’s teens can be a challenging task. Or we can say it always has been a difficult task but maybe the previous generation had the right tools to engage them and to direct them. Somehow in our hunger to achieve and get something to be achieved by them, we missed on the right kind of tools. First of all, we need to acknowledge that it is a difficult time for them too. It is definitely not an easy task to handle racing hormones, peer pressure, social media, break ups, school work, academic competition and puzzling emotions and mood swings. They need love and care, they need privacy, they need direction and they need to be listened to and not advised all the time. Since last few months, I have been interacting with parents and teenagers at various levels and for various reasons. As a result, I have a lot to count and measure and write and share but today I am writing only a part of it, which for me has been of utmost concern especially during last few months when everyone was stuck at home including our teenagers.

Academics, scores, knowledge, college, admission all this is important, there is no doubt about that. However, at the same time, parents need to realize that life skills are equally important or maybe more important. And when I say life skills, I am not talking only about general social skills, mannerisms and learning about LinkedIn and all that, but what I am talking about are absolute basics, such as shopping, managing and making your own food, budgeting and money management skills, personal health care, concepts of personal hygiene like cleaning your own room and cleaning your washroom, doing laundry, organizing your desk, folding your clothes and taking care of everything that surrounds you and taking care of yourself along with some basic fun and light reading and watching things for understanding various perspectives and at times understanding yourself, listening to music to enjoy and feel calm, getting bored and being on your own. These are the things that make them independent and confident adults. It’s high time for parents to understand that these are life-holding chores and not household chores. Learning these life skills builds the social-emotional skills that they need at this age and time.

I have been interacting with a lot of mothers and fathers who were really puzzled with the way their kids are behaving and neither of them knows how to address the issue. Teens actually didn’t know what to do in a day because till now they have only been busy with their studies and other classes and parents too never thought to make them engaged with these life-holding chores. One thing that I want parents to learn from the Covid-19 situation and all impending lockdown is that life is beyond scores and it is much larger than we assume. Our teens need to be prepared for an independent and enriched life. They need a schedule where, at end of the day, they feel they have been productive, have learnt, enhanced, and  enriched some skill, and feel confident that they have contributed towards the family’s and their own well-being.

Let them weave their own fabric for life, let them take responsibility for their own well-being and let them chart out their plans to achieve their own dreams.

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Purnima Khanna
Purnima Khanna
2 years ago

Well written. Most of today’s teens are lacking in these skills. It is important that parents teach them to children.