Our son is in high school and he’s desperate for more freedom.
My wife and I try to understand his needs and give him the independence he craves, but he also lacks responsibility.
We’ve been trying to teach him the balance of freedom and independence while also being more responsible, but it hasn’t been going well. Last week, my wife and I decided to take a trip together. It had been years since the two of us got away without our kids, and with our son wanting more independence, we thought this was the perfect opportunity! Before we left, we gave our son a list of chores and responsibilities while he was at home with his younger brother. He was responsible for taking out the trash, doing the dishes, and keeping the entire house clean. We also instructed him not to touch the thermostat settings, because we had it programmed to run most efficiently according to the weather. When we returned, we were disappointed to see that the house wasn’t clean and he’d changed the thermostat settings. The house was so cool that it felt like my wife and I were walking into an icebox after our trip. When I checked the thermostat settings, the temperature was 67 degrees! This was 6 degrees cooler than it was supposed to be! Our energy bill was going to be atrocious, so we grounded our son and told him that he was going to have to pay the difference on the next utility bill. We think that will teach him some responsibility.