Parenting is probably the hardest job out there. Forming a baby into an adult that can contribute to society and be successful is a lot of pressure. But, as every parent knows, it is imperative to prepare their children for the day when they will leave home and enter the ‘real world’.
Being a grown up isn’t easy either, so making sure your children get all the training, advice and proper upbringing is key. Parenting is like teaching. The day to day influence can happen deliberately like when you show them how to tie their shoes or it can happen unintentionally as your child observes your behaviors and interactions.
Below are some thoughts and ideas on what should be shared, taught and modeled. In all cases, be sure to discuss the how’s and why’s—it is easier to learn and mimic if they understand. And most importantly, be encouraging and accepting of mistakes.
First, don’t forget the simple tasks that we take for granted as a part of adulthood:
**how to do laundry and dishes
**how to prepare healthy meals
**how to schedule appointments
**how to clean the house properly
Then there are some things that require more time and effort but will go a long way in making them successful:
**how to communicate well so that points are understood and arguments are avoided
**how to build relationships
**how to treat others kindly and say thank you
**how to deal with feelings of being overwhelmed or conflict
All of the above are important, but probably something more impactful is financial management. Being able to discuss financial choices and make good decisions will definitely help them in later life.
Some tips include:
**determine which family financial decisions they can take part in and include them in the process
**consider fun ways to teach them about money and how it travels into and out of your life
**help them understand what to do with each paycheck—save some, give some, spend some
**if you give an allowance, help them understand the value of a dollar and budget goals
The previous suggestions are only a small part of what it takes to be a teacher, a parent and a mentor.
Children need help to be formed into successful adults—your job is to teach them until it becomes a part of their routine. In some cases, they will continue to need your help well into adulthood.
Making sure your children have essential life skills can feel like an enormous task—and it is! But that is because you play a key role in providing them the opportunities to learn about how the world works. With some patience, some ingenuity and some dedication, the years of effort you put in will result in a well-rounded, contributing adult.