High school is a time when children struggle for more independence and parents expect to see more responsibility in their children. The problem is this exchange is a slow and inconsistent one.
There are times when parents are not willing to give up their tight hold on their student’s life and education. Perhaps they do too much for them or baby them.
There are also times when students don’t want to take responsibility or they are not adequately prepared for it yet. Even though we are talking about adolescence and adulthood, the transition is like potty training. If it’s too soon and the expectations are too high, there will be accidents to clean up.
My tip is for parents to set fair and realistic expectations for their children, and to have reasonable consequences in place in the event those expectations are not met. It’s important to establish and discuss the expectations/consequences with your adult children rationally and with mutual respect. Demanding, manipulating, and bribing are not healthy incentives. You are establishing mature patterns of communication with your adult children.
Consistency in following through with these consequences without emotional outbursts will result in the most favorable outcome. Parents have to continue to give and take responsibilities/privileges to young adults monitoring the progress. Just as we learned when the kids were young, positive reinforcement is the most effective means of encouragement.
Keep your eyes on the goal: independent adult children dependent upon the Lord.