It is only natural that as parents we should want our children to enjoy life. However, there are certain skills that we as parents should help our children develop so that they can transition to adulthood and independent living more easily. Here are 5 basic skills every child should acquire before graduation.
As strange a it may seem there are teenagers and young adults out on their own for the first time who don't even know how to make a bed, or clean a toilet properly. By starting young and giving your child chores that help them develop the basic cleaning skills you are giving them the knowledge they need for when they finally get out on their own and mom is not around to clean up after them.
I don't care how healthy you feed your children growing up, if they don't learn basic shopping and cooking skills at home chances are once they get out on their own they are going to be eating unhealthy frozen dinners and take out. By having them help with the food shopping and meal preparation you can help your child develop at least basic shopping and cooking skills that will lead to his eating healthier once he is out on his own.
Most parents at least try to teach their children the importance of saving but, why not go one step further and actually teach them to budget their allowance and later their income from that part time job. In addition, it won't hurt to include your older children in discussions about your family budget and even show them where "all that money" is going. It really is amazing the number of young people who rent their first apartment and are actually surprised they have to pay for electric, heat, and water.
Shielding your children from the basic realities of life could set them up for failure when they get out on their own for the first time.
If your child is going to school, attending outside sports or other activities, and spending time with their friends chances are that you the parent are the one that is making sure your child gets where he needs to be when he needs to be there. By making your child responsible for his own schedule you can begin to teach him about time management.
At the very least your child should not have to be told when he needs to start getting ready for baseball practice. If he is late a time or two he will soon learn to start getting ready sooner.
Managing time is an important part of being an adult and helping your child to start developing some time management skills while they are still at home is important.
Once your child gets out on his own and has a real job with a real boss he is going to be expected to do that job in an acceptable manner or face the consequences. By giving your child chores at home and showing them that there are consequences for not doing those chores or not doing them right you are teaching your child the importance of work and meeting expectations.
For example, if your child is suppose to clean his room every Thursday and does not or simply does a sloppy job then missing that Friday night football game to get his room clean is going to show him that doing his job is important and that failing to complete the task may have consequences that he doesn't like.
There is nothing "bad" about teaching your child to be responsible. In fact, it is one of the most loving things we can do for children. They may not think so now, but as they get older they will learn to appreciate all the effort it took for you to stick by your guns and help them to become a more independent responsible adult.
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