How to Be a Responsible Teen

Three Parts:School and WorkHealth and HygieneAttitude

Being a teenager isn't easy. Teens can be put under enormous amounts of stress in school, at home, and with friends, and the expectation to be perfect can be crippling. Luckily, teenagers who want to be responsible can find help in lots of help in different places. Being a responsible teenager is all about finding who you are and following a couple simple rules.

Part 1
School and Work

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    Focus on schoolwork. Regardless of how smart you are, excelling at school means being the best that you can be. School can mean a lot of effort, but that effort pays off in the end with jobs, education, and perspective.
    • Finish your homework, even if you think you don't know it. Many teachers give completion points, even if the answers aren't perfect.
    • Try to find subjects that you're interested in and get lost in them. School can be an educational journey that is truly exciting.
    • Talk to your teachers. Your teachers have your best interest at heart. They want to see you learn, have fun, and succeed.
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    Get a job. You may not want to flip burgers or work retail, but the job is less important than the attitude you bring with you. If you are smart, engaging, and work hard, your employers will notice. That extra money coming in will be pretty useful, too.
    • Make a resume of your accomplishments, and bring it with you when you look for jobs. A resume is a list of all the things that make you employable.
    • Look presentable for your job interview. You only make a first impression once.
    • Smile and be yourself. Most people will like you for who you are; the people who don't aren't worth convincing.

Part 2
Health and Hygiene

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    Visit your doctor. When you're a teen, it's a good idea to start practicing good habits, and health is one of them. Visit your doctor and dentist regularly so that you can live your life without worrying about your health. Here are a couple tips to help keep the doctor away:
    • Eat healthy. Avoid excessive junk food and fast food. Try to experiment with eating lots of different fruits and vegetables.
    • Exercise often. Try to move your body for at least 30 minutes every day. This will make you feel and look better.
    • Avoid drugs. Drugs can harm your physical and mental development, putting you in serious risk of your life. If you want to be healthy, stay away from drugs.
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    Practice good hygiene. Teen bodies are constantly changing. Your body is going through some pretty significant hormonal changes, so make sure that you shower and take care of other basic hygiene. Don't be afraid to go to a doctor or ask your parents about anything you are uncomfortable or uncertain about.
    • Brush your teeth, wash your face, and try not to be dirty.
    • Experiment with different styles, but always groom. Grooming means taking care of yourself so that you are presentable to other people.
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    Wear clean clothes. This goes hand in hand with maintaining good hygiene. Wearing clean clothes will communicate to other people how confident you are in yourself.
    • Talk with your parents about how often they want the laundry done. You may have to start doing your own laundry.
    • For job interviews, family gatherings, and other important events, you may want to invest in a nice suit or dress.
    • Above all else, wear clothes that express who you are. Being responsible doesn't mean dressing a certain way. Being responsible means knowing what's acceptable and fitting your own personal style within that framework.
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    Be neat and tidy. Keep your room organized. Your parents shouldn't have to clean up after you like maids. Cleaning up after you make a mess says that you're mature and respectful of their time and feelings.
    • Hang your clothes up or put them in drawers. Your clothes will look nicer on you if you put in the energy to hang them up or fold them.
    • Make your bed after you sleep in it. A made bed feels better to jump into at night.
    • If you make a mess, clean it up. Offer to clean the dishes after dinner. Help clean up the backyard if you throw a birthday party.

Part 3

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    Be honest with your parents. Every parent wants what's best for their kids. Believe it or not, your parents were also kids, once upon a time, so they definitely know what you are going through. Being honest with your parents will give them feedback about what's working and what isn't, and it will help you communicate better.
    • Tell your parents where you're going and who you're going out with. Your parents care about your safety.
    • Tell your parents when you're feeling good and when you're feeling bad. They want to celebrate your happiness and have an obligation to help you when you're sad.
    • Ask for their advice. Your parents might have some tricks up their sleeve, or tell you amusing stories, or suggest solutions.
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    Try to have a relationship with your parents. Parents appreciate it when you take some time out of your day to tell them what's going on in your life. You don't have to tell them every intimate detail of your life, just let them in on what's important to you.
    • Tell them about something funny that happened at lunch or that test that you took.
    • Ask them about their work, their friends, their goals. Listening is just as important as speaking.
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    Treat others the way that you want to be treated. Empathy is putting yourself in other peoples' shoes. Empathy is the opposite of selfishness. Practicing empathy will help you develop emotionally, and help you develop friendships.
    • Show others respect, even if they don't respect you. Those people will learn to respect you.
    • Don't lash out at other people. Keep your temper in check, even in difficult situations.
    • Help others if possible. Helping others doesn't need to mean giving them something. It can mean lending a hand, or listening, or offering advice.


  • Be inclusive of your friends, unless they do illegal or unethical things such as dealing drugs or stealing from work.
  • In certain situations, such as joking with friends, sarcasm is all right. It's okay to be funny if the situation warrants.
  • Your emotions will not be perfect. Feeling angry, sad, bloated or annoyed doesn't mean you're bad; it means you're human.
  • Surrounding yourself with positive things and people is a great way to become happier and more responsible.
  • Do not let peer pressure get to you, by telling your peers that you're not into drugs, alcohol, or stealing. No matter what the situation is, never let the peer pressure get the best of you.
  • There's a time to be serious, and a time to joke around. Remember to stay serious in a serious situation, otherwise you may end up having to pay for it.

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Categories: Improving Relations with Parents | You and Your Parents