How to support responsible teens:Responsibility is something every parent hopes their teen will be.  In this month’s Building Leadership talk Máire Cassidy explores one’s ability to respond to people, situations, choices – that space between stimulus and response, in one word, responsibility.   Teens can react instead of react – and as a result make bad decisions, let their emotions hijack their decisions and leave reason and will power.When we teach teens to take responsibility for their decisions and actions, we are helping them develop into conscientious human beings and responsible citizens of our community.  A responsible teen can be trusted, owns up to their mistakes, is true to themselves and makes good choices. Without responsibility, teens can blame others, or refuse to follow rules they find unfair, and even find ways to justify their behaviour regardless of the impact on others.Most parents would like their teen to be responsible, independent —one that lends a hand with household chores without being asked, lets you know where they are and hangs out with good friends. It also extends to being responsible for family, friends and one’s community and those who are in need. But, in reality, all teens are going to drop the ball on responsibility (occasionally, at least).  Responsibility is a virtue or habit which needs to be taught and learned. To best prepare our teens for the future, it’s important to offer a balance between giving enough guidance and allowing for enough freedom. It means our teens learning not to be hijacked by peer pressure and their own emotions.  It’s a long process that requires patience and diplomacy. Many times, it will appear that your hard work is not achieving any results, which can make some parents give up. But take heart! It is possible to raise responsible teens, don’t give up, you will see your teen develop into a responsible adult.

Bibliography: – The Teenage Brain, France E. Jensen– Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend– Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep her Happy, Healthy, and Safe by Meg Meeker, MD– The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control over Their Lives, William Stixrud and Ned Johnson.– The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed By Julie Lythcott-Haims– The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela NorocFilms on the topic of Taking responsibility for others:  – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)– Ride Like a Girl (2019)– Togo (2020) – The Banker (2020)– The Way Back (2020)– Blue Miracle (2021)