Do you happen to know when your teen was last seen at the dentist? “Oh I don’t know. They’re big enough to make those appointments themselves. They should know when they were last seen and what happened there.” This parent is asking a little too much from their teen.

It’s true that you want to help your teen become self-sufficient and responsible, but giving them tasks that you should be managing is no way to do that and certainly if your teen seems capable there is still no reason you can’t hover in the near distance rather than cross the item entirely off your list. Things like doctor appointments and certain health issues are a way to slowly let go of the reigns and teach good skills in organization, advocacy and healthy lifestyle, but to go completely hands off is a bit of a no-no.

Your teen only learns these skills by watching how someone does it namely you. So the goal is to teach, not let them take things off your “to do” list that may not be appropriate for them to handle alone. There is a reason that American medicine wants your permission to medically treat your teen if they’re under the age of eighteen or not emancipated in some way. Encourage your teen to be self-sufficient, but letting them go too early is equally disastrous. It leaves them to parent themselves and this is not the best way to become the strongest adult.