10 Tips for Raising a Well-Rounded Teen

Well-rounded teens are better equipped to tackle the realities of adulthood.
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It’s not healthy for kids to spend their entire teen years playing video games or focusing on a single sport. Teems who are best prepared for the realities and responsibilities of adulthood are well-rounded. They have a variety of skills and can draw from a wide range of life experiences.

Here are 10 tips for ensuring your teen is well-rounded:

1. Encourage Exploration of Talents

Teens won’t know what they’re good at unless they experience a wide range of opportunities.

Encourage your teen to play an instrument, take a cooking class, or join the chess team. These types of opportunities can help teens learn about their strengths and weaknesses as well as help them develop a better sense of their identity.

2. Teach Healthy Communication and Relationship Skills

No matter what path your teen chooses in life, interpersonal skills are essential. Teens who are able to effectively ask for what they need and who can effectively deal with their emotions are likely to have healthier relationships with friends and family.

3. Spend Quality Time Together as a Family

It’s healthy for teens to want to spend a lot of time with friends but it’s also important to spend quality time together as a family. Take opportunities to role model how to be well-rounded and expose your teen to a variety of events and activities. Teach life skills by cooking, working on household projects, or completing chores together.

4. Emphasize the Importance of Physical Activity

Teens certainly don’t need to play sports to be well-rounded but physical activity should be an important part of your teen’s day-to-day activity. If your teen doesn’t care to join a sports team, encourage him to explore other physical activities such as bike riding, hiking, or weight lifting to ensure your teen stays fit.

Also, help your teen develop an understanding of healthy nutrition.

5. Make Sure Your Teen is Financially Savvy

Many teens aren’t learning enough about how to save, spend or invest money. Budgeting skills and financial knowledge will serve your child well throughout his entire life. Invest time into ensuring your teen understands how to manage money so he can avoid financial problems in the future.

6. Help Your Teen Find a Job

Work is one of the best ways for teens to learn a variety of skills. It can also open their eyes to the type of work they may want to do as an adult – as well as teach them what type of work they don’t want to do. A job will expose your child to new people and new experiences that will help him become well-rounded.

7. Allow for Independent Thinking

If you always tell your teen what to do, he will miss out on opportunities to think for himself. Ask curious questions that encourage your teen to think for himself. Be willing to allow for natural consequences when it’s appropriate to do so and your teen can learn how to make decisions for himself.

8. Make Reading a Habit

Reading allows teens to visit far-off lands, learn about new cultures, and think about the world in a different manner without even having to leave the comfort of the house.

Make reading a regular habit for everyone in the family. Books can be wonderful forms of entertainment and can keep your teen’s imagination alive.

9. Foster Creativity

Provide tools that will foster creativity in your teen. Allow your teen to decorate his bedroom or express himself in appropriate ways. Expose your teen to cultural events or new types of music. Talk about photography, art, and other creative endeavors. Encourage your teen to get creative when it comes to solving everyday problems as well.

10. Support Volunteer Efforts

Volunteering can be an excellent way for your teen to try new things without obligation.

Serving at a soup kitchen, walking dogs at an animal shelter, or doing yard work for an elderly neighbor can teach your teen a lot about life. It can instill a sense of gratitude and help your teen see that there’s a lot more to the world than worrying about what to wear on Friday night or which video game to purchase.

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