How to let go and let your child take responsibility for his/her studies

22 September 2020

How to let go and let your child take responsibility for his/her studies –

Let’s go on a trip down memory lane…

Think back to when your child(ren) were born.
From then onwards there has been different stages of your child’s development
which required of you to let go in different ways.

When you let go bit by bit it is your child’s/teenager’s turn to take a step forward to becoming
an independent human being.

Their first sleepover, their first day at school, their first infatuation with someone of the opposite sex,
their first boy/girlfriend…

Letting go can be difficult.

Parenting teenagers are probably the most difficult parenting years of all. You do not – and shouldn’t have – as much control over them as you did before. They are in the process of developing their own autonomy – something they have to do in order to become happy, fulfilled, productive adults.

A part of this is letting go and letting your child/teenager take responsibility for his/her own studies.

During this process never lose sight of the fact that it is their homework and their responsibility and that they should do the homework as best they can.

You can help your teenager with school work whilst still letting go at the same time.

  • Listen to your teenager. If they are struggling with a subject/a teacher/motivation, be ready to step in to help if they want you to do that.
  • Focus on the positive. Give out praise when due. Then step back. Remind yourself that you’ve done your best as a parent. Trust that the values you’ve instilled in them, will come to the fore.
  • Build a new relationship with your teen. Show each other mutual respect and appreciation. Celebrate the reality of a new budding adult in your home. Allow your teenager to make their own decisions when and where applicable; in this way they will also learn from their own mistakes.
  • Help them remember. Put a school calendar and/or a study timetable up where it is visible to everyone in the home.
  • Forget perfection. You are not perfect at what you do; no-one else is either. Allow for mistakes.
  • Remember your own school days. You don’t have to share it all with the teenager(s) in your home (!) but thinking back to what it was like for you when you were at school will surely help. Don’t cloud your own memories…
  • Learn to recognise the difference between your needs and your teenager’s needs. Have an upfront non-emotional conversation where you learn to better understand each other.
  • Seek balance. All work and no play makes for a dull existence. Teenagers need social interaction. Emphasise the importance of extra-curricular activities.

Give your teenager space to grow
i.e. let your teenager grow up!


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