3 ways to know your child is prepared to leave home
Preparing your child to leave home should start well before they reach adulthood. From the time they are small you begin teaching them important values and habits that will make them successful when they are away from home.
Preparing your child to leave home should start well before they reach adulthood. From the time they are small you begin teaching them important values and habits that will make them successful when they are away from home. Here are just three of the important things you need to teach them:
Teach them about money
That old saying, "Money makes the world go around" may not be true about everything, but it is definitely an important part of making your way in the world. From the time your children can begin to understand what money is and how it is used you should begin teaching them about good money practices. Whether you start by giving your child an allowance or include them in family budgeting decisions doesn’t matter; the important thing is to start talking to them about money and its uses. There are many ways to teach your children about budgeting and being money smart. You can use play money to demonstrate income and expenses, or you can use actual money and show them how your family budget works each month. You can use their actual paycheck when they get their first job and their own expenses to help them create a budget of their own. The key is to find ways for them to learn about and manage their own money well before they are on their own.
Encourage responsibility and independence
Money is a big part of learning to be independent, but there are other things you should be teaching your teen. For instance, teaching your child how to do chores and clean areas of your home teaches them important skills but also important habits and responsibility. Allowing a child to be responsible for a chore allows them to develop their self-esteem as they see that they can complete the task in a responsible manner. It also helps support the family in that every member of the family has a responsibility. Other ways that you can encourage responsibility include, education opportunities, extracurricular activities, and outside experiences. Allowing a child to follow their interests, take classes that will help them to pursue their goals and make decisions for themselves will teach them to be independent and responsible to themselves and the choices they make.
Prepare them for the real world
Everything you teach a child should be aimed at preparing them for the real world. From how to help at home, money management, to how to act and behave as a person. Manners and values are best taught to a child when they are young. A child who has manners and understands their core values will better handle situations and events outside the home. Take your child into the world. Let them meet other people. Let them engage in activities that encourage relationships with others. Teach them how to overcome mistakes. All of these elements will help teach your child how to be an adult and how to live on their own.
Whether your child is a toddler or a teenager, it’s never too early or too late to begin preparing them for the world away from home. The earlier you begin the more time you have to help them learn the important tasks they will need when living on their own. At any age, you can be a source of wisdom and experience for your child to learn those most important tasks and values.
A. Lynn Scoresby, founder and president of My Family Track , First Answers , and Achievement Synchrony , and has been a marriage and family psychologist for more than 35 years. He has published more than 20 books and training programs.