While you might not want your kids to grow up, deep down you know that one day they will want to get out to a place of their own. No one wants to find out that their thirty-something child is living off a diet of toast and baked beans, so teach your kids to care for themselves as early as possible. For a few ideas, read through our top tips on ensuring your children are self-sufficient long before they fly the nest.
Get them involved with the laundry
This skill will come in handy when you're faced with teenagers who go through several outfits a day. Young kids can help hang things up to dry, and as they get older you can teach them about separating colors and whites and how to use the washing machine. To make chores easier on them and you teach your kids how to use it properly to avoid any shrunken clothing in the future.
Turn cleaning into a game
You’ll find that kids start to pick up some good habits pretty quickly if you turn daily chores into a game, as they won't realize that what they're doing is a boring task rather than a fun new activity. Children tend to learn through repetition, and starting early should make it stick. If they’re already a bit older, try giving them some responsibility for cleaning up the house. Make it seem like they're involved in the decision by offering them the choice about which chore they’d like to take on.
Let them help with mealtimes
Start by letting younger children help to put their lunchboxes together, and slowly progress to asking them to stir the pasta sauce or cut vegetables. This helps to teach them the basics and with any luck they’ll pick up a few tips as they watch you work. Get them to help you out once a week and praise their efforts to give them confidence. It’s also a good idea to invest in a few reliable cookbooks that you can give to them when they’re old enough to move out.
Encourage saving and money sense
It’s important to give your children a weekly or monthly allowance, and to not buy them too much on top of this. Ideally they should be encouraged to be as self-sufficient as possible, using this money to pay for phone credit and any trips out with their friends. They should also be taught about the importance of maintaining a savings account, so help them set one up as soon as possible. Even if it means that they’re only putting in 50p a month, everything is relative and it’s still a good way to teach them about monitoring money.
However old your kids are, it's crucial to set the right example from the beginning. While it might be the last thing you want to do after a long day at work, teaching them how to cook and clean now will mean that when they do start to head out on their own, you can be sure that they know how to fend for themselves.