As a parent, your biggest job in life is to raise your child into adulthood. However, providing for their basic needs is only a small part of the battle. It’s just as important to make sure they grow into adults who can care for themselves and others, and have a basic understanding of how the world works.
Of course, when you’re dealing with a child, teen, or even a young adult, it can be easier said than done to “teach” them those things.
Thankfully, it’s not impossible.
If you’re worried that your child is unprepared for adulthood, there are things you can do to provide support right away and help them become more prepared before they step out on their own for the first time.
Let’s look at a few ways you can support them in those endeavors.
1. Let Them Fail
No parent wants to see their child struggling or failing at any age. However, it’s part of life.
Everyone fails at something. Some failures might seem more monumental than others, but they are all learning opportunities.
Instead of “fixing” your child’s failures or doing things for them that keep them from failing, teach them the importance of rising up again. Some of the biggest success stories in the world experienced multiple failures in life, including Walt Disney and Steve Jobs. By using that approach, your child will become more resilient and grow from their mistakes.
2. Help Them Figure Out Finances
It can be scary to think about how your child will handle their finances on their own. Under your roof, they might have the freedom to spend carelessly because most necessities are taken care of.
Take the time now to teach them some basic financial skills. That can include building a budget, opening a savings account, and even teaching them about investing. When they see how much money they’ll need to get by each month and where their funds are going, it can serve as a “wake-up call” to make smarter financial choices.
3. Don’t Do Everything for Them
It’s just as important to let your child take on overwhelming tasks as it is to let them fail. You might be tempted to “hold their hand” through some of life’s biggest challenges.
While you should absolutely provide support and give advice, don’t be so quick to jump in and do things for them unless it’s absolutely necessary. When your child recognizes that they can’t always fall back on someone else, they’re more likely to tackle more tasks on their own.
4. Promote Self-Care
Self-care seems like an easy concept until you actually have to put it into practice. Nowadays, people are busier than ever. As your child enters adulthood, they’ll have to deal with things like an active social life, school, or possibly a career.
It can be overwhelming.
Promote self-care as much as possible. Encourage them to take breaks and do something good for their mental and physical well-being. That could include exercising, cooking a healthy meal, or journaling. If they get into those habits now, they’re more likely to stick with them as they get older.
5. Be a Role Model
The best way you can support your child and prepare them for adulthood is to be a positive role model. You won’t get everything right, and that’s okay. Your kids and teens are watching you more than you think. When you make a mistake, model the best way to handle it. When you face a challenge, show them with your actions how you can overcome it.
If you think your child is unprepared for adulthood, there’s a good chance they’re worried about the same thing. You can support them by showing them what to do, and being there for them when they have questions and need advice.