Recently, a coworker told me that her 25 year old child, who is a college graduate, with a job, and an apartment, brought home his clothes for her to wash. Where was he you ask??? Out partying with hometown friends. BOOOOOY… I wish you would!!!! With all the things we have children doing…. OR NOT DOING… are we preparing them to be self-sustaining adults?
Parenting has changed a lot in the last 40 years. The way we raise children has been drastically transformed by the pressure of society, and the temperature of technology. But within all these changes, has the goal of parenting been lost?
In today’s American social dynamic, it appears that some parents have gotten so caught up in the day to day challenges of managing life, that they have forgotten that they need to be preparing their child to become an adult. Teenagers and young adults are working so hard to get good grades, excel at sports, or save the planet, yet they don’t know how to be a functional adult.
Here are a few areas where you can do a self-assessment or Adulthood Preparedness Check?
- Can they do a monthly budget?
- Do they have a concept on what it costs to maintain food, housing, and transportation?
- Do they understand the basics of insurance, like deductibles and co-pays?
- Do they have a concept of interest rates, credit cards, loans, and debit?
- What about banking? ATM’s, withdrawals, tellers, the vacuum tube, online bill pay, and savings accounts?
Every young adult does not need to be able to beat Bobby Flay, but. . .
- Can they make something for each meal of the day?
- Can they make simple meals like oatmeal, rice, and pasta?
- Do they know about expiration dates and salmonella?
- Can they tell the difference between an iron and teflon skillet?
Clothing Inventory Management
That is a fancy way of saying. . .
- Can your young adult wash, iron, fold, hang, and maintain their clothing?
- Do they know the danger and uses of bleach?
- Can they sew on a button?
- Should I even touch phone etiquette? How to talk to people? How to greet someone? . . . . . .Nevermind
Ok… here is the big one?
Living Space Cleanliness
- Can they scrub a toilet?
- Wipe down the shower or tub?
- Wash ALL the cups, plates, utensils, pots, pans, and other cookware?
- Have they heard of a Brillo pad?
- Can they mop, sweep, dust, and vacuum? (Febreezing is not the same as cleaning!)
We don’t all leave home with these skills, but what if we did? What if we arrived at the stage of independent living ready to live, and not just figure it out as we go? We parental units, need to be about the job of preparing our offspring to be productive members of society. We have to arm them with the knowledge and confidence to leave the nest and fly. Every child will become an adult. How prepared they are depends on our commitment to their future.