Ahhhhh September is here. Back to school. Cool nights. Finishing the garden. So many happy things. School is definitely back underway here and it is fun trying to make our homeschool special for our youngest as he is the only one around these days. It struck me as I was working on curriculum and lesson plans that I need to make sure to be intentional in the “real” life lessons that my child needs.
Maybe you are in the same boat. It takes being intentional about our goals and what we want to teach our kids. Keep it real and TALK to your kids about what you are going through and they will learn a lot by example but sometimes you have to pick a topic deliberately.
Be intentional on the real life lessons that your children need this year
This list could be REALLY long but I've boiled it down to four that we need to work on. Your adventure might look different so don't take my list as law.
What would you add? Tell me in the comments below!
Working when we don’t want to do anything.
Seriously who doesn’t deal with this? (raising hand) We all know that there are things we need to do. We have to CHOOSE to do them even when we would rather watch TV or some other fun activity.
This is HARD for kids (and adults) and I think the best way to teach children this lesson is to model it. AND talk about it. Often out kids don’t realize that we struggle with this as well.
When there is discussion they come to realize that it is not easy for anyone. We can also share our little strategies for working when we don’t want to do so. My favorite is setting a timer for 15 minutes and seeing what I can get done on a small project. If it is a large project then I will set a timer for an hour.
Relationships and all the drama.
People make life messy. People make you want to hide in your closet and not come out.
People also bring joy, love, acceptance and memories.
We have to take the good with the bad. That’s a big lesson as our children begin to deal with friends, family and meanies out there.
We again need to model how to handle the good and bad in relationships. We need to be the sounding board for their thoughts, emotions and actions. This takes TIME and determination to engage with our kids.
As my four have grown up and headed out of the house, I have found that anytime we are together it is a time for them to share about relationships and get some feedback on how they are doing. Parenting doesn’t stop when they are out of the house—in case you thought it was over when they move out.
Keeping all our commitments straight and not missing deadlines.
Life is one deadline after another.
Make sure that you allow your children to start organizing their commitments and deadlines as they move through high school. Not just school assignments but work schedules, visiting family members, buying birthday gifts, household chores etc.
The more that they do this before they are on their own then the more capable they will be when they HAVE to do it themselves.
Managing their money
This is HUGE. How we set our kids up for handling their money can put them on a path for success or failure.
Make sure you talk about the difference between wants and needs. DON’T pay for everything. Help them learn to wait and save for things they want.
Share your family budget so they can see how it works to keep track of income and expenses. It's the perfect time to explain tithing and saving.
If you are starting to feel overwhelmed I want to recommend a series of Real Life Lessons that are often not covered in school.
This series will give you a starting point to intentionally work on these important lessons that we, as parents, might accidentally skipover.
It is SO important to cover all of these by the time they graduate high school. Don't wait until they are almost adults and think they have it all covered. Do it now!