Raising children takes a lot of time, effort and patience, and the biggest goal for 90% of parents is to raise children that can be comfortably independent when they move out of the family home. There’s plenty of reasons to ensure that your children are equipped with the right life skills, the main one being that they’re going to be adults one day and adults need to learn how to do their laundry and balance their bills. You don’t need experts in the world to tell you that children are going from high school to college with little to no knowledge of how to take care of themselves, either. Sometimes, this is down to parents wanting to do everything for their children so that their kids can have a full childhood. While this is wonderful, it’s at a detriment to the children who are so desperate to move out and have a life without parents around!
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[ctt template=”4″ link=”FdERe” via=”yes” ]With all of this in mind, we’ve listed seven epic life skills your teens will need to have before they head out into the big world by themselves. It’s time to get prepared, parents![/ctt]
With all of this in mind, we’ve listed seven epic life skills that your children need to have before they head out into the big bad world by themselves. It’s time to get prepared, parents!
Home Maintenance. Everyone needs to understand how to run a vacuum around the house and load a dishwasher. It may be annoying to constantly ask the kids to complete their chores and get their dishes done but being able to keep a house is so important! You will want to raise boys to be independent men who know how to clean up after themselves and take pride in doing so, and you’ll want to raise girls who can do the very same. It’s more than that, though. Unplugging the drain and using a plunger in the toilet to unclog it are not nice jobs, but jobs that a household needs nonetheless.
Laundry. You probably are the one in charge right now, of gathering laundry, washing it, hanging it to dry and getting it put away in the closets again. It’s a job no one wants to do, but it’s one that is necessary if you want to have clean socks! You also need to ensure that the kids know how to separate clothes into categories, iron shirts and darn a sock if necessary. Self-care is so important for their future comfort, and if they know how to do it young then the better off they will be. Start them slow, with bringing their own laundry to the hamper and sorting it into the right colours. From there you can teach them how to use the washing machine and teach them how to iron.
Cooking. Ovens are hot, hobs are hot, microwaves are dangerous when takeout cartons are put into them by accident. Kettles will boil over with hot water and knives are sharp. There are dangers everywhere in a kitchen, but the kids won’t know that if you never let them in to actually cook a meal! Your kids don’t need to be a famous chef (though that wouldn’t be a bad thing) but going for lessons as a family to various culinary schools can really get your kids engaged in learning to cook. You could put together a book of their favourite meals growing up, complete with recipes and hand it to them when they move out. It’s a sentimental thing to do and a useful new-home gift.
Appointments & Scheduling. It’s easy as a parent to pick up the slack when it comes to schedule management, but if you’ve got teenagers, it’s time to pass the baton. They need to learn time management now, before they go to college and don’t understand how to manage their AP classes and internships. They need to learn how to arrive on time for things without the use of a parent alarm clock to ferry them here, there and everywhere else. Give them the telephone numbers of their doctor and their dentist, too, so that they can make calls and sort their own medical appointments.
Navigation. This may not be the boy scouts, but kids need to learn how to get places without their parents driving them. This is pretty easy if they’ve already been given their first car, as you’d obviously have ensured that they have a satnav to work with. However, your kids do need to know how your local public transport system works. You could make this fun if they’re at the appropriate age, by making up a treasure hunt at various bus stops and tram stops and meeting them at the end of the game.
Budget. Every household lives to a budget and you need to impart a little wisdom on your kids when this comes up. You can be there to guide, but they have to learn how to manage their own cash. You could start doing this when they get their first job, by having them pay a quarter of their pay check to the house. As far as they’re concerned, they are paying toward their living expenses. Instead, you can quietly save up that money so that one day when they do move, you have the ability to hand them over that money and congratulate them on managing their own money all this time and doing it well.
Being Themselves. As parents, we have a tendency to helicopter parent our kids, which is natural and also probably annoying. The one thing that you have to learn for yourself before your kids move out is that they’re going to have to move out one day. They’re going to have to move and know how to manage their house without you solving all their problems for them. It’s time to let go a little and let them figure things out.
You are about to let your baby, the one you gave birth to and taught to walk and talk walk out of your home and live for themselves. You are the person that is going to hand them the tools to an independent future.
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