The role of a parent is never easy, and there are many different responsibilities that go hand in hand with the job description; from being a full time caregiver to a baby that is entirely dependent on you for safety and nourishment, to raising young adults who have a variety of questions about the world that they look to you for answers to. As your children get older, and you start to wonder what sort of person they will be when they grow up, it can be daunting to consider how you’re going to prepare them mentally, physically and emotionally for adult life. So, if you’re unsure as to where to begin, here are some starting points that you might find helpful.
Prepare them for hard times
There are certain topics of conversation that can be difficult to talk to children about, but the sooner you address these, the more adjusted to them they will be in adulthood. For example, explaining death to a child, and all of the things that come along with it such as an inquest or a funeral, can be a difficult topic to raise, but it will make it much easier on a child if they do lose someone close to them. It will give them some understanding of what it all means.
Allow them to make their own mistakes and give them space to grow
No parent ever wants to see their children be injured or get hurt, which drives the need to protect them from any possible harm that might come their way. However, children need to learn from their mistakes in order to discover important life lessons, so it is important that you don’t intervene too much and allow them to make their own mistakes now and then. This will also go along way to boosting their feelings of self-efficacy and self-esteem.
It is really hard as a parent to watch your children grow up, especially once you get used to them having a level of dependence on you. However, it is important that children are given the space that they need in order to develop into secure, well rounded, independent adults. You can achieve this through little steps, such as encouraging your children to take on more responsibility around the house, allowing them to spend more time away from home as they get older, and providing them with opportunities for socialization.
Encourage them to manage money
It might not seem like the most important thing for a child to be doing, but the earlier that you can show a child how to manage their money, the less likely they are to have problems in the future. Children naturally have a higher need for immediate gratification than adults do, so it’s no surprise that the younger a child is, the more likely they are to want to spend any money they get immediately, rather than saving up for something they really want. However, you can try to guide them by making gentle suggestions and mentioning saving money where you can. Even if nine times out of ten they refuse, you’re still planting important seeds for better financial understanding in the future.