There are certain things that all teens and young adults should know and skills they should have before they leave home for the first time. Our role as parents is to prepare our children for independent living, get them ready for the big, wide world and hopefully instil a sensible, pro-active attitude. Here are a few of the most essential things we need to impart:
How to manage your money and budget is one of life’s crucial skills and a lifelong learning curve! Knowing how to live within a budget and understanding the dangers of credit cards, loans and debt are important lessons to learn.
How to recognise basic symptoms and where to go to receive treatment are other vital skills, as is knowing what medication can be used for which ailments and where to get hold of them. Whilst you might not want to think about the sex life of your son or daughter, it’s important to have ‘that’ conversation about safe sex. Let them know about the dangers of unplanned pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. For Home STI Kits, visit https://www.bexleysexualhealth.org/home_sti_kits/
- Domestic skills
When leaving home, it’s important that your son or daughter knows how to perform basic domestic duties. Show them how to operate the washing machine and dryer, what to use for cleaning bathrooms and toilets, how to fix a clogged toilet, how to vacuum and the best way to wash dishes. They may have been doing this for some time already but you’d be surprised at how many young people don’t know how to operate a washing machine or how to iron a shirt.
They don’t need to be the next Gordon Ramsey but the ability to fix themselves an easy, nutritious meal is essential. Explain where to go to get the best deal on food items, how eating out all the time will eat into their budget and the importance of a well-balanced diet. Nutrition affects health so it’s good to practise cooking some healthy meal options with them.
Whether it’s attending lectures on time, completing assignments by their due date or not being late for work, instilling a sense of responsibility from an early age is great practise for when they must cope in the real world as a grown-up. Responsibility is about doing a job well, being reliable, attention to detail, perseverance and understanding the consequences of failure. Having jobs that they are responsible for from an early age is a good way to introduce these ideas.
- Who to trust
Some of the most important life lessons involve the sorts of people they are likely to encounter as they grow up. Helping your child to understand whether friends bring out the best or worst in them, protecting themselves from crime, strangers and people who might take advantage of them and talking about the differences between love, infatuation and sex are all essential discussions that need to take place in a relaxed and loving environment.