Preparing a child to be “ready” for independence seems like an overwhelming task. Can I get an amen???
Be encouraged! No matter if your child is in public school, private school or you chose to home school there are things you, as a proactive parent, can do at home.
What do you want your child to be able to do before they are out on their own? Make a list of your priorities. Brainstorm ideas on how you will guide your child. Do this and it will make a huge impact in your child’s life as they grow and mature.
My BIGGEST advice? Start now.
It is never too late but the earlier you start then the more flexible and creative you can be as you work to achieve your priorities..
Good habits formed at youth make all the difference. Aristotle
Each child is different. Boy isn’t that an understatement? But their needs are very similar.
Our goals for each of our precious children have been the same as they reached their senior year in high school. We want the ties with family to remain strong BUT we want them to become more independent in their daily lives.
Independence PREPARATION starts with laundry
Teach your child independence by giving them Household responsibilities
I am sure if you are reading this that you already have your children helping around the house. But if not then don't delay, start NOW. A good way to begin is in the small stuff.
- Help your child maintain a clean bedroom. STILL working on that with our 13 year old son.
- Give them responsibility for cleaning an area in your home each week.
- Have them do their own laundry. Funny how they don't want to stink. It gets done around here.
As they grow, the size of their responsibility should grow. If you can trust them to be responsible in the small things then the big things are less of a hurdle.
Looking for more specific ideas? Check out the Parenting & Homeschooling section! You will find the "10 Days of real life lessons not learned in school" series.
Grow independence in your child by explaining Time Management
Around the 7th grade(again remember each child is different), I stop making a weekly plan of our home school work.
I explain what is expected. Then they use their calendar to write down their assignments in.
It requires them to think about budgeting their time wisely.
Assignments, of course, are first priority in our home school but it is easy to get distracted with other more “fun” activities. Like Minecraft. Or a good book. Trust me it happens all the time. Those are good teaching opportunities. Just as good as a math or grammar lesson.
I want my kids to feel the crunch of time here at home before they feel it in college or at work. They are going to fail at this. But is a good failure if they learn from it. I deliberately make some weeks very full so it is hard to get all their work done.
I want them to realize that they can do more than they think they can in a short amount of time.
If you have perfectionist children, as I do, then this also teaches the concept of “good enough”.
Perfection takes much longer to accomplish.
In many cases "DONE" is better than perfect. When they are short on time, knowing this concept helps to relieve a child’s stress. And it gets the assignment turned in on time.
Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact upon both our levels of happiness and success. Shawn Achor
Help Create Expectations of independence by Speaking of Someday
I often speak to my children about “when you are at college” or “when you and your spouse work together“ or “in your job someday.”
This creates the expectation that SOMEDAY they will be doing these things and I can already see that they will do a great job!
Creating expectations for the next stages of life in a child’s mind helps them to prepare for it mentally.
Make sure to look for these opportunities to guide your child along the path to independence.
Or you can drag them kicking and screaming. . . some of them need that too!
These first three priorities just scratch the surface of our goals for our children. There are so MANY more. The first post in the 10 Days of real life lessons not learned in school is all about knowing the information we all need to have memorized! We found out when the kids went to college that they NEED this information! And they didn't know it.
What are your top priorities for raising independence children who can "do" life when they graduate?
I would love to know your tips and hints in the comments or over on the Day to Day Adventures Facebook page.
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