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how can I teach my teenager to be independent?

She is 12 years old and is my only daughter.

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Asked by peru2014 at 10:11 AM on Sep. 9, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • Kick her out.

    Answer by anestheticsex at 10:17 AM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • ^^ LOL.

    Start by giving her responsibilities. Make her earn things or privileges. Maybe think about signing her up for the Red Cross babysitting class. She will learn basic child care for babysitting (to earn her own money) and CPR - which will be good for use in an emergency.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:20 AM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • Give her responsibilities,have her cook and do her own laundry

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 10:21 AM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • Give her more responsibilities around the house .. Show her how to do laundry and make her do her laundry .. Things like that start letting her use the stove an cook small meals like Mac n cheese... An slowly but surely she'll become more and more indepndant

    Answer by rachel216 at 10:22 AM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • Figure out all of the things she can do for herself and start having her do them. For example, getting herself up in the morning, packing her own lunch, and doing her laundry. The trick is to really step back on those things. If she fails to do them you can't be standing there with a basket of fresh laundry and a packed lunch as you knock on her door to get her up on time!

    Answer by tessiedawg at 10:24 AM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • The only way to learn independence is to BE independent. But you don't want to dump it all on her at once. Tessiedawg's advice above is dead on.

    Answer by gdiamante at 10:33 AM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • It has to be done gradually. Let her try to do things under your close supervision so that if she makes a mistake, you can correct it and she doesn't end up feeling like a failure. Giving too much responsibility before a child is ready is worse than doing too much for the child. She's only 12, so go very slowly with her, and let her gradually make the transition from childhood. She will grow up to be more independent and to have more self-confidence than if you push her too quickly.

    Answer by NannyB. at 10:54 AM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • Being independent is a broad goal. First, you need to figure out exactly what you want your daughter to learn, and in what order, so you don't just dump her in domestic boot camp and alienate her. Learning independence was a big deal for me as a blind teenager, but I resented it because I got the responsibilities of doing my own laundry, shopping for my own toiletries, and keeping all my stuff in my room and not leaving it lying around the common areas of the house where, if I were in a college dorm, it would get lost or solen, etc. But I got none of the perks. And this was in the same house where my sighted brother mailed his laundry home from college for my mom to do and send back to him! So start teaching your daughter to cook, shop, wash clothes, and the like, but as she succeeds, give her credit for growing up, maybe more freedom to go places, or to decide what she'll cook or what clothes she wants you to buy.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:03 AM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • What kind of independence? Can you describe the situations that leave you thinking she could or should be more independent? Is it task-related stuff, a demand for attention, anxiety around doing certain things on her own or attempts to get out of/get support with certain situations (like confrontations, or resolution of problems, or certain public transactions) that make her uncomfortable, or an emotional dependence you observe in her social behaviors & you'd like to see her sense of self become stronger?

    Generally speaking, supporting kids where they are, while providing scaffolding to help them get closer to where you'd like them to be, is a good approach to whatever reality is confronting you.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:10 AM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • Yikes you are starting a bit late aren't you?
    Give her daily chores, say no when she asks you to do for her.
    make her responsible for herself

    Have her help cook, bake, fold laundry, etc

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 11:41 AM on Sep. 9, 2013

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