Learning to be independent is part of growing up. Though it's not easy to relax the rules and push back the boundaries as your child grows, giving them appropriate levels of independence will help them become confident and well-adjusted adults.
It's widely recognised that a generation of tweens and teens lost their natural independence evolution due to the pandemic and its long tail, but there are simple ways parents can help their fledgling adults spread their wings and learn to fly.
Street smarts - or practical intelligence - are the kind of life lessons you learn from experience. They don't come in a book and people pick up these skills at different times. It's important for your teen to learn how to navigate and travel through their local environment and how to speak to new people when they need to, while keeping themselves safe.
This tip is great for tweens who are building their confidence before travelling solo. When you travel, talk about what you're doing and get them to take an active role in getting from a to b.
Once you've done this a few times, make a trip together where your teen takes the lead. You'll still be there to ensure you don't take the wrong street/bus/train, but they are the one making the decisions.
It's widely recognised that a generation of tweens and teens lost their natural independence evolution due to the pandemic and its long tail, but there are simple ways parents can help their fledgling adults spread their wings and learn
If your teen is going somewhere new, help them plan the journey beforehand.
Being prepared means they are less likely to get lost or come to harm.
If plans do go awry, how can your teen get back on track? Getting on the wrong train or bus can sometimes be as simple as getting off at the next stop and travelling back the opposite way. Getting lost means re-tracing your steps and perhaps asking for help. Teens will learn from the way you react if things go wrong.
Your teen should know where to get help or directions if they need it. Along with police, they could approach transport staff or pop into a shop, library or café to ask staff for directions. It's always safer to go into a busy place, rather than approaching an individual on the street.
Being aware of your personal belongings helps to prevent muggings and opportunist pickpockets.
Most teens know their own phone numbers, but do they know yours? If their phone is ever lost or stolen, knowing a few numbers by heart means they can contact you from a different phone.
If your teen is using their phone while walking along, it's likely they won't be paying attention to the roads or surrounds, which can put them in danger - either of having an accident or making them a target for pickpockets.