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Chapter 10. Supporting Your Teenagers > Agreeing on Schedule Flexibility

Agreeing on Schedule Flexibility

Up until the teenage years, children generally are pretty happy if they're told when they have to do things. But with a growing sense of independence, your teenager may quickly decide that such time-dependent scheduling is being “treated like a child.” What can you do to alleviate the stress this situation causes without having your family's schedule fall apart? The following sections answer this question and offer information to help you decide when and how to adapt your scheduling to accommodate your family's teenagers.

Reviewing Assigned Chores

You can begin by looking at the chores that you've assigned to your child. Do a lot of them have to be done at specific times? If so, you may want to start to reassign these chores to someone else, especially a younger member of the family. Instead of these chores, delegate tasks to your teenager that require more responsibility. Frequently, these tasks are not as time-dependent. Get buy-in from your adolescent by allowing her to have some input into which family responsibilities she'll take on. Explain that she'll still have to contribute the same amount of effort—or maybe even more—to the family, but that she'll have more autonomy in determining when she'll make the time to do it. Table 10.1 shows you some trades that can be made between time-dependent chores and time-flexible chores.


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