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4 Tips to Help Cultivate Your Teen’s Independence

4 Tips to Help Cultivate Your Teen's IndependenceKeeping your teen on track as they navigate the road to adulthood is a challenge for any parent. With plenty of distractions and detractors that could prevent them from hitting goals and milestones, make sure your teen is thoroughly equipped with the skill sets that will help build responsible habits.

After all, the more self-sufficient they are in their adolescence, the more successful they will be as an adult. Teach your teen and provide them with tips on landing a good job, earning their driver’s license, maintaining a bank account, and learning proper household management. Here are some tips on how you can help cultivate your young adult’s independence:

Landing a Good Job

While attending and completing school should be your teen’s No. 1 priority, having a part-time job is a great way to strengthen their work ethic and build a professional demeanor. Encourage your young adult to network and look for any available work. It can be difficult to land a job at a young age, but turn them on to job-posting sites like

Oftentimes, companies are keen on training young people, as they are typically moldable and good workers. Make sure their potential boss has a good reputation in the community and also meet with their manager to make sure they’re providing a fair working environment. When your teen receives a few paychecks, teach them how to save, spend or invest their earnings responsibly.

Earning Their Driver’s License

Driving is all about independence. It requires focus, purpose, skill and safety awareness. Help your teen understand the large responsibility that comes with driving. If they’ve earned their permit, practice driving with them on a daily basis. You should also provide them with resources and materials to help them earn their driver’s license. Websites like offer practice tests and study guides to help your teen ace their driver’s exam.

A major safety concern these days is texting and driving. Explain the huge risk your teen takes when they text and drive, and how common accidents can occur from this negligent activity. The LifeSaver app is a helpful tool that will lock your teen’s phone upon entering their car. Not only will it prevent distracted driving, but it also includes a feature to alert you once your teen has arrived safely at their destination.

Financial Responsibility

Financial responsibility is an important skill your teen should master before they leave home. Research banks online with your teen and find one that offers the most benefits and has the least amount of fees. Then, visit a bank with your teen to set up a checking or savings account, or to open a credit card, and have a banker review your teen’s rights and responsibilities.

While at home, teach your teen how to write a check, the importance of saving, and how to cautiously use their debit card to avoid identity theft. In addition, teach them about conscientious shopping, price evaluation and budgeting. Bank On Yourself offers a useful guide for teaching your teen financial responsibility.

Household Management

Cooking and cleaning skills are also important for your teen to learn before they leave the family home. A clean, structured home will improve your teen’s mood and their ability to stay organized. Have them take on household chores every week for a monetary reward. Make sure to give them some incentive, though — perhaps the more work they do, the higher their accumulated wage.

In addition, have your teen become knowledgeable in the kitchen by learning how to master a variety of recipes. Create meals with your teen that will help them learn about knife skills, different cooking appliances, following recipes, cooking safety and nutrition. You might even want to assign your teen to cook a meal for the family once a week. Make sure they create something nutritional and that challenges their growing kitchen know-how by giving them a specific recipe or some general guidelines.

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