As the kids grow up, it can be hard to figure out how much independence to give them. When are they old enough to walk to their friend’s house on their own? When do they get to choose their own haircuts and clothes? Then there’s also handling the teenager that wants to be an adult before their time. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to the process but there are some things that you can work on to ensure that they are prepared for the greater independence and responsibilities in adolescence and then adulthood.
Learn domestic tasks – While many parents feel that kids should have weekly chores to complete, such a tidying their rooms etc. what is perhaps more important is that they understand how things actually work when they are at an appropriate age. For example, learning how to use the Hoover, the washing machine, taking the bins out – all of the essential jobs they will need to be able to do in later life. It is more important to educate them in how to do each task rather than concentrate on them performing one regular task, if it means they are clueless at how to do the rest.
Educate them on finances – One of the key responsibilities they will face when they leave home is managing their own finances. Young adults who have not spent time understanding the value of money or the consequences of taking out credit can quickly end up in financial trouble. People can apply for credit cards at 18, so many are tempted to take credit out to buy things like clothes or even a car, without having enough budget to cover the monthly repayments.
Teaching them how to budget their income and outgoings well before they get to 18 will help to prevent this scenario. Obviously, all kids are different and some wouldn’t even entertain the concept of borrowing money but it helps to provide them with the facts before they start making their own decisions. Interest rates can just sound like irrelevant numbers when they have their eye on a big purchase, so talking to them about how much it would cost after the interest, compared to buying outright might be an eye-opener.
Travel arrangements – It can be tempting to provide lifts on demand to your kids but when they get to the right age, they should be thinking about travel arrangements themselves. Get them acquainted with using public transport and teach them the basics about cars when they are thinking of learning to drive. Learning to drive will give your kids a whole new level of independence and whilst it can be scary for a parent, it is a natural process of growing up.
You can help them to stay safety conscious by showing them the essentials of checking and maintaining a car well before they even start learning to drive. Additionally, you can help them to revise for their theory test using websites like toptests.co.uk.
The best that you can do for your kids is provide them with the knowledge they need to become more independent, even if you don’t want them to grow up too quick.