Despite perhaps never wanting your kids to grow up and to leave you, at some point, they probably will! If they can go out into the world independently you know you’ve done a good job!
We are consciously and unconsciously setting kids up for adult life every day. Here are a few thoughts on how we can consciously prepare kids for ‘the big world out there!’
Perhaps the most important skills our kids develop are those connected to socialising. From the moment a baby learns to attract our attention, or share a toy in a nursery, they’re fine-tuning skills in getting what they want, or in relinquishing what they want, as dictated by civilised human society. It’s a complex task, and quite amazing that it takes place over so short a time. However, to get our kids ahead of the curve, you’ll need to be proactive.
The best way to get children ready for the social pressures of adult life is to introduce them to social situations frequently. Allow them to hold the floor in family conversations. You can start introducing them into ‘grown up’ social interactions too, like paying the bill at a restaurant, or buying the food at the store. As with everything they do, children learn through exposure and get great ego and confidence boosts from performing new tasks well.
As a kid money means nothing, but unfortunately as we get older it means more than perhaps we would like it too! So having a handle on it is one of the most important stages of being fully trusted as a young adult. Exposing kids to the workings of the financial world, the value of certain everyday items and the banking and budgeting systems will stand them in good stead to manage their money later in life.
A good example of this early learning help would be to give your child a small allowance. Then they may choose to spend or save for something bigger. Allowing them to mismanage the cash they have in order for them to form their own ideas as to the value of money is certainly no bad thing either. Setting up junior bank accounts can be a big help too. I remember doing this with my Mum and Dad and loved how grown up it made me feel!
A sense of style may seem unimportant but I think it can really help with a kids identity. It’s amazing how some kids are so stubborn about things they will or won’t wear from such a young age. As much as we might want to fight it, it’s their way of showing the world who they are!
There are so many amazing options for kids fashion these days. So whether your little one wants to dress just like you, loves what you choose for them, or will only step out in an outfit they’ve fully chosen themselves, it’s all developing their sense of style.
There are certain things that are definite staples in any kids wardrobe from investing in a cool Woolrich jacket, awesome summer sandals, super funky leggings and I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t love a good old pair of welly boots!
This is definitely a touchy subject! I certainly don’t want to try and make any judgements on the way any parents utilise technology with their kids. There are those who flat out refuse kids the use of TV, smartphones or tablets. There are some that allow their kids to play on them all day. It’s probably safe to say most parents sit somewhere in the middle of that. It’s all good!!
If you worry about how much screen time your kids are having, setting time limits may be a good idea. Whether that’s through setting an alarm, or showing them the clock (maybe a good way to start teaching time!?)
Personal hygiene definitely does not come natural to kids! It’s something that we’ve definitely got to teach them.
It starts relatively simply when they are little, it’s easy to make bath time fun! But then teeth come in and that can definitely be trickier to persuade kids to do!
Things definitely step up when you need to start introducing deodorant to your less than sweet smelling pre-teen. Vital conversations about periods and all the other body changes are SO important for both boys and girls. Normalising all of these things early on will hopefully help take embarrassment out of it later on.
All of these things are all about establishing healthy patterns of behaviour. While it may be a little awkward for us, normalising all of these things early on will hopefully help take embarrassment out of it later on for them.
Hygiene knowledge prevents infections, promotes self-care as a psychological good, and means that your grown-up child will never miss out on a job for looking or smelly scruffy. It’ll be written into their DNA to be smart and well-washed when it’s important to be such.