As parents, we are often guilty of wanting to protect our children too much from the world. We want to prevent them from the pain of the hardships we have faced. We believe our role as a parent is to make their lives as sweet and comfortable as possible.
Don't get it wrong: It is a beautiful and praise-worthy feeling. However, it can make it hard for your teen to learn essential basic skills. The truth is that no school is going to teach our children how to become successful adults. Therefore, as parents, we need to make it part of everyday life to show them the skills they will need. So how to best introduce positive "adulting" habits into the household so children can naturally develop the skills they need?
Encourage them to be independent early on
According to Jeanne Williams, a psychologist, parents can save themselves a lot of time and hassle by doing less parenting during the day. It's important to give notice to your child, as early as possible, that they are old enough to do some big kid jobs, as Williams explains. Children of all ages can receive tasks they can do by themselves (such as brushing their teeth for little ones) and build up their independence from thereon.
Being independent is an essential skill for children, and it can help them develop the confidence to try something new by themselves, figure out their own goals and dreams, and focus on their own journey. An independent child is also less likely to struggle with peer pressure at an older age.
Let them help you from a young age
It is unfair to expect your child to know how to cook if they can never help you in the kitchen. By helping you prepare ingredients and gradually participating in the process when they get older, they can learn how to make chicken parmesan at home, how to whip a quick chocolate mousse dessert, or even how to prepare a yummy family roast dinner. Cooking can feel overwhelming if you never get to learn the basics. But if they are given simple tasks in the kitchen from a young age, they can get familiar with most techniques and utensils.
Embrace modern tech to support new skills
Giving your child a money allowance is a neat idea. However, in a world where most payments are plastic, giving your child coins or banknotes may not be sufficient to help them manage their budget. As soon as a child becomes an adult, the old piggybank disappears. Money management for grown-ups focuses on budgeting, managing, and controlling expenses when money is not a physical and tangible currency. When you pay with plastic, training your child to the same approach makes sense. So, how about trying debit cards for your younger ones? More and more financial companies are working hard to empower children, ensuring even those under 13 can learn to use a debit card safely. Greenlight and Go Henry are popular money management platforms that provide debit cards for kids and let parents manage their allowance.
More importantly, it also helps children build confidence, self-discipline, and budgeting skills with modern tools they will continue using as an adult.
Parents are crucial in helping their kids develop essential skills for adulthood. From mastering basic skills to being independent, these are difficult to learn as an adult. But for children, now is the right time to build the foundation for a successful and happy adulthood.