Parenting for Personal Growth: The Best Investments You Can Make in Your Child



Your child's personal growth starts the moment they're born, and it continues throughout their lives as they learn, develop, grow and become a unique individual in their own right. The best way you can help your child in their personal growth is to provide them with the resources they need to become independent, successful and happy adults. But what are the resources that will help your teen grow more responsible and focused? If you are thinking about values and education, you are not entirely wrong. Yet, we all know that the best way to learn skills is to be able to apply them in a real-life environment where the consequences of our actions are real. Ultimately, there is no miracle formula: If you want your teen to become more responsible and careful with their decisions, you need to trust them first. Here are the most important investments you can make in your child's personal growth to show them trust and help build a sense of responsibility.

Buying them a car

Choosing a car for your teen is not a decision to take lightly. There are many factors to consider, from the type of vehicle to the cost and more. When you are deciding on a car for your teen, it is important to consider the age of the vehicle, what they will be using their car for, and how often they need access to a vehicle. As a parent, one of your top priorities is cost. Indeed, gas mileage and insurance can be an issue depending on where your teen lives and commutes to school or work each day. If you live near public transportation like trains or buses, that can make the expense of owning a car less significant than if your teen lives in an area with few or no transit options. However, having their own vehicle can teach them:


  • To budget for mileage so they can use their allowance for it
  • To look after the vehicle to keep it longer
  • To increase their opportunities as they can get part-time jobs or attend university more easily with a car

Joining educational trips

Participating in school trips is good for personal growth because it shows your child that there are many different people and opportunities out there. They get to experience knowledge in real life rather than read it in a book, which is why trips such as geography field trips or overseas trips are so popular for GCSE and A levels education purposes. It also helps them develop a sense of curiosity about the world, which is an important part of developing as someone who needs to decide on their future study path and career. These trips are crucial for students to develop leadership skills or social skills. Being able to function well in a group promotes cooperative abilities and communication, which are essential to make the most of their studies. 

Supporting their passion

Whether they enjoy dance, soccer, or even calligraphy, extracurricular activities serve an important purpose in an individual's personal growth. They are part of a self-discovery and self-affirmation journey. Adolescents can fully explore their identities through their participation in a variety of activities. While parents often wonder whether it is worth investing in activities that don't necessarily relate to school, be assured that you are not wasting your money or your teen's time. Extracurricular activities can not only empower young people to grow more self-confident and grounded, but they also provide access to positive role models:


  • sports coach
  • arts tutor
  • disciplined athletes etc. 

Unsplash - CC0 Licence

Investing in a smartphone

Should you buy a smartphone for your child? If you are still wondering whether it is an appropriate investment, it's time to understand that a smartphone is so much more than a texting device. These devices are personal computers that give them a window into the world and make it possible to interact with others and with their surroundings. For instance, they can provide navigation services, help access additional public services such as the library or public transport via an app, and also stay connected with their community. 

With a smartphone, your teen can explore new interests, research school projects, and connect to friends around the globe, all while exploring the digital world. More importantly, as everyone owns and uses a smartphone, the question is not whether to buy one but how to make it a lesson for responsibility. You can budget for their monthly phone bills in their allowance, ensuring your teen manages their phone usage accordingly. You can also request that the phone doesn't interfere negatively with interpersonal relationships in the household or with schoolwork. 

As a parent, you are aware that raising children comes at a (high) cost. Nevertheless, it is important to make a differentiation between investments that support your child's essential needs (food, clothes, education, health) and investments that can propel their growth. The ideas mentioned above belong to the second category.


*Contributed by Sam Jones. *Header image Unsplash - CC0 Licence

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