As the Millennial generation becomes parents, parenting has changed dramatically. For one, it is now expected that parents focus most, if not all, of their time and attention on their children.
While this can be good in many ways, when taken too far it can leave young people unprepared for adulthood. Moreover, this approach can turn into “helicopter parenting,” wherein parents are overly focused on their children to an unhealthy degree. Children who have grown up with overbearing parents are sheltered in a cocoon and become adults who are ill-equipped to handle the setbacks and challenges of ordinary life.
In her book How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen at Stanford University, explains how overparenting harms children, their parents, and the society. Aside from these, Julie lists life skills that young adults need to develop before they leave home. (Read: 3 Millennials Share Why They Choose To Stay In The City… And Why They Moved)
Here are 5 simple and sensible steps from the book that can help you raise your children to become competent, self-sufficient adults.
Life skills for adulthood: How to talk to strangers
Of course, parents would not want their young child to talk to strangers as it may potentially endanger them. However, keeping a child sheltered will make them timid and shy while around people. Strike a balance and teach your child how to approach and talk to strangers– safely and politely. This includes faculty, landlords, co-workers, and healthcare providers.
Life skills for adulthood: How to commute/drive
Parents will not be around forever to drive the children to wherever they wish or need to go. So its best to teach your teen or tweens how to ride public transportation or even how to drive. That way, they will know how navigate cities or their campuses, and know how to get around so they will not get lost when they go out. (Read: This Grab driver offers free rides to commuters)
Life skills for adulthood: How to manage time and workload
If your kid is in kindergarten, then by all means, help and check their assignments or homework every night. But if they are teens, it’s best to teach them to work independently and finish the tasks at hand without mom or dad holding their hand. This will come in handy in the workforce because working independently is a valued trait.
Life skills for adulthood: How to do household chores
Start them young and make them fix their own beds in the morning, or put their used plates and utensils in the sink after eating. It will also help if you instill in them the value of helping others. A young adult needs to be able to look after their own needs, respect the needs of others, and do their fair share around the house.
Life skills for adulthood: How to earn and manage money
Many young adults– or even mature adults!– do not know a thing about budgeting, investing, and spending money wisely. This is why many young professionals have been living paycheck to paycheck or are expecting their parents to loan money to them so they can get out of the red. Teach your kids the value of money. This will help them develop a sense of responsibility, accountability for a job, and an appreciation for what things cost. (Read: 3 Financial Habits to Instill in Your Children)