Bringing up a child is one of the hardest and most rewarding things you can do. It’s a journey that’s full of love and enjoyment – but featuring no end of challenges and learning curves, too.
Those early years seem to fly by so fast, and before you know it you’re packing them off to primary school. Then comes secondary school with the big kids, soon followed by learning to drive, going out with their friends, their first holiday without you, and maybe even university.
It’s a wild ride, and all parents have to accept that their little ones won’t stay little forever. But it goes without saying that as their guardian you have a direct impact on their childhood and how that shapes their development. Here are a few ways you can prepare them for becoming an adult.
Give Them Some Responsibility
It can be important for your child to learn the value of independence and you can support this by bestowing certain levels of responsibility on them. This must be age-appropriate of course – you wouldn’t leave a toddler to look after their baby brother or sister while you nip to the shops, for example.
But as they grow older and more capable, things like walking the dog or doing the odd chore around the house can help to instill a sense of ownership and pride in a job well done.
Allow Them To Make Mistakes
Nobody’s perfect, so we certainly shouldn’t expect that from our offspring. They’re bound to make mistakes, just like the rest of us. And while you hope those mishaps are never too serious or harmful to them or others, it’s important to impress that it’s to be treated as a learning experience. The mistake itself is less crucial than the way they react to its consequences in the aftermath.
Educate Them On Finances
Even handing out pocket money at a young age can help to teach them about the principles of saving up to buy something they really want, rather than spending it all immediately. It can be difficult to control these impulses, of course, but as they get older you can help them to see the wisdom of being more prudent. You could even open up a children’s savings account and encourage them to make regular contributions. Even if it’s only a few pounds here and there, it will help them get into good habits.
Encourage Them To Seek Part-Time Work
A recent study found that only one-in-four 16 and 17-year-olds were in traditional part-time roles such as working in retail or hospitality. While you can’t force your kids to go out and find work, it can teach them important values like punctuality, teamwork, and respect for those in more senior positions. All of which will serve them well through their adolescence and into adulthood.