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How NOT to prepare your child for a life away from home
What You May Doing To Prevent Your Child From Being Prepared For Life Away From Home - photo by Lynn Scoresby
Every child will eventually grow up and leave home. Whether they go away to college, choose a career, get married, or simply move to their own place they will begin that next phase of life known as adulthood. As a parent, it is your responsibility to prepare them for this next important step. Sometimes, you might be hampering this preparation without even realizing it. Here are three important things to avoid doing with your teenager so that they are better prepared to leave home:

  • Not teaching them responsibilities. While it is much easier to just take care of things at home on your own, there is an important reason that we give children chores and responsibilities at home. These early chores start to teach our children not only how to clean and care for areas of a home, but how to be accountable and responsible for completing tasks. A child who is never expected to do chores around the home will be missing out on a great opportunity. School can be another way of teaching your children about responsibility. While you shouldn't expect your child to get straight As, you can encourage good study habits and being responsible for their attendance. If you fail to teach your child how to have responsibility, you will be doing them a disservice as they move onto the next phase of their lives.
  • Fixing their mistakes or taking care of everything for them. Every child makes mistakes as he/she is growing up. This is an important part of learning. Parents who repeatedly come to the rescue of their children and take away the natural consequences of mistakes by fixing or solving problems are not teaching their child necessary life skills. Its through mistakes, both big and small, and the consequences that follow that your child will learn how to interact in the world. If you are continually making sure your child has an easy path to follow, they will never learn there are bumps in the road and how to learn from them. While it is important to be supportive and be a resource for your child during tough times, it is critical to make sure you are not always stepping in front of them or running interference on problems that may arise.
  • Not teaching them about money. Learning to be responsible and how to learn from mistakes are important, but the most important task you need to teach your child is how to manage their money. If you arent teaching your child how to budget and control expenses they could quickly be moving right back home. Learning how to manage and budget money is a critical life skill every adult should have, and the best way for an adult to know this is to be taught from an early age. One way to teach a child about money is through an allowance. As they get a job you can help them learn to budget based on their income. The important thing is to make sure to talk to them and teach them how to plan expenses based on their income.
When your child grows up and leaves home, it may be a sad or happy experience. Depending on how you prepare them for this important step, it doesnt have to be a scary one, as well. Avoid the pitfalls and make sure your child is well prepared to take that step out on their own.