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Updated on April 22, 2013


Mum, is it ok if I go into town with some guys? Mum can I go to a gig with my friends? Mum can I go to an all night party? Mum can I go on holiday with my girlfriend? Familiar questions?

All parents face this dilemma sooner or later, but how do you tell if your teen is ready to accept the responsibility that goes with extra freedom?

You may ask if there's a specific age when a teenager should be able to do these things. I'd say no because each child is different. Each teenager has their own level of maturity that isn't dependent upon age.

10 Signs of Readiness for More Responsibility

Here are 10 simple signs to show that your teen is ready to be let off the leash (a little)


1. They always keep their word.

2.They show sound judgement in most areas

3. They do their homework regularly and work to the best of their ability in school.

4.They appreciate peer approval but are not controlled by their peers.

5. They usually do their chores when asked

6. They are doing defined activities or interests when they go out of the house; not just hanging round the streets.

7. You can relax (a little) when they’re out with friends.

8. They’re willing to discuss most of their activities with you. Don't expect miracles!

9. They’ve stuck to any rules or curfews put in place.

10. They can admit when they’ve made a mistake and learn from it

Remember that occasional, minor lapses of responsibility are bound to occur with most teenagers. They’ll forget to do a job or come back half an hour late. If they can acknowledge their mistakes and learn from them and on the whole demonstrate a consistent pattern of responsible behaviour; you can keep increasing their freedom as they mature.

Also remember that you can only ever do your best.  You can instill into them all the morals and values that you want but they will choose whether to abide by them or not. 

Every Parent's Nightmare!
Every Parent's Nightmare!

© Susan Bailey 2009 All Rights Reserved


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    • KCC Big Country profile image


      10 years ago from Central Texas

      Excellent advice. I'm experiencing this now with a 16 year old daughter. I'm proud to say she's doing very well in all the areas listed and it's getting easier for me to let her go out with fewer restrictions. But, I have to admit, that last photo makes me want to go lock her in her room! LOL


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