Getting Them Ready for Independent Living

I strongly believe that all children (all people really), whether they are male or female, need to be prepared for living independently. Even if we hope our children will partner or marry and we LOVE to do housework, take care of them, and take care of all of the domestic duties, we are short-changing our children if we do not guide them and teach them those every day living skills and get them ready to live independently.

Doing a few chores a week until they graduate from high school is probably not enough for an independent future. Children do need to learn how to cook basic things, take care of their own laundry, and clean–but they also need to learn how to open a checking account, prepare a household budget, make purchasing decisions, pay bills, etc. If we protect our children from learning all of these tasks, are we really getting them ready for the realities of an adult life?

I have found that even though I have been working to introduce basic living skills to my kids since they were young, and as a single parent, my children probably have had more opportunities to learn these things–they still need more. Every once in a while, my older kids will ask me how to do things that I think I have already taught them. It reminds me that preparing them for independent living does not mean one lesson or telling them once–it may mean several experiences and lessons, years of lessons and practice in fact, in order for them to be ready to branch out on their own. My job as a parent is to give them continuous opportunity to learn how to manage these details of daily living so that they will be able to soar when they finally leave the nest.

Also: The Independent Baby

The More “Good Stuff” You Can Pass on the Better