When your children are small, you are expected to run after them and cater to their daily needs. However, as they start to get bigger, develop trusted motor skills and start seeking their own independence, there are plenty of skills you can teach them that will help them live more independent lives. Especially for when they are all grown up and left home to attend university or start lives of their own.
Tidying Up After Themselves
This is an easy skill that can be taught from a young age, especially the age where toys tend to end up all around the house. Teaching your child to clean up after themselves instils good habits for when they are older and making bigger messes, especially when your child might find themselves in a roommate situation, like university accommodation or their first house share away from home. No parent wants their child to become that roommate that the rest of the house residents hold a grudge against for being dirty or messy.
Using the Appliances
While this might sound like an obvious skill, there are plenty of young adults out there that have never used the oven, washing machine or even a kettle. Teaching them to use basic appliances safely can save them plenty of stress when they head out on their own, alternatively, encouraging your child to read user manuals that come with their toys can encourage good habits when they purchase “household toys” for their home in the future.
Talk to Them About Bills
A lot of young people leaving home for the first time are shocked when they come to realise how many bills they are expected to pay every month. Explain to your children, age appropriately, that everything has a cost, from our electricity to our water, not only can you help encourage good habits like turning off lights and saving water, but they will be more informed for when they do eventually leave home.
To Be Polite but Know When to Stand Firm
We all know the power of good manners and a polite attitude, a little please and thank you can go a long way and even make someone’s bad day a bit better. However, it’s important that you teach your child how to read another person’s character and the ability to stand firm, stick up for themselves and seek help when a situation goes beyond their control. For instance, if your child finds themselves in a situation in which they are being harassed in public, they can drop their polite attitude, firmly request the individual(s) to leave them alone and make a scene if the problem persists.
Basic Home Upkeep
There are few small things around the home that may not seem like teachable skills but can be extremely handy for living independently. For instance, changing fuses in plugs, knowing where to locate a water meter and mains water tap, changing lightbulbs and even making the bed. Next time you need to perform some basic maintenance on your family home, let your child lend a hand.
Chores might take a little longer to complete but you will teach your child important habits for keeping their future home looking and functioning efficiently, especially considering that most young people move into privately rented accommodation before getting on the property ladder themselves. Teaching your child these necessarily maintenance skills might be the difference between them getting or losing their deposit when they move to a new home in the future.
Cooking Healthy Meals
How many college students did you know who lived off instant noodles and pasta? While this kind of budget lifestyle isn’t going to make your kids fat, it’s certainly not the healthiest way to live. Spend some evenings cooking meals from scratch with your child, show them how to prepare healthy food that don’t break the budget and after a few sessions together, you might even have them cooking for you!
While many parents do a great job of teaching their child most of these skills, there still might be a few that slip through the gap so take a moment to consider how you run your home and if there are more ways you can encourage your child to help, letting them pick up important skills in the process.