Sharing power is key to healthy family relationships. Just considering that statement can be scary to some adults! In fact, a 2017 Search Institute survey found that just 58% of parents reported that they shared power with their kids and teens.
Research shows that sharing power makes a positive difference in how kids grow up. Kids and teens feel valued when their voices are heard, and they build social skills in communication, negotiation, and problem solving. Being involved in decision making and practicing leadership skills with caring adults gives kids an ideal opportunity to develop responsibility and self confidence.
Search Institute has identified four actions that parents and caregivers can do to share power with kids and teens:
Respect each other: Take each other seriously and treat each other fairly.
Include each other: Involve each other in decisions that affect them.
Collaborate: Work together to solve problems and reach goals.
Let everyone lead: Create opportunities for all to take action and lead.
Sharing power looks different in different families. Family culture, kids ages and stages, and individual personalities all influence how power can be shared. Using the four actions, try to think about how your family could successfully share power.