Parents love their children andthey want to protect them no matter what. Sometimes that protection can mean that the child in question doesn’t reallydevelop any useful life skills as they grow up,so that by the time they reach 18, they can’t fend for themselves in the big wideworld. Thiscan be a big problem, especially if they are choosing to head off to college or go and get a job; without the social and life skills necessary, they may not do as well as they could otherwise. We’ve put together a list of the some of the most essentiallife skills an 18 year old should have to help them on their way in life.
Talk To Strangers
Although we tell our little kids not to talk to strangers, and it’s perhaps one of the first rules that they ever learn, as a young adult making their way in life, it’s vital that an 18 year oldis able totalk to people around them whether they know them or not. That doesn’t mean walking up to random strangers and starting a conversation but it does mean that they should possess the social skills needed to hold a conversation with a coworker, bus driver, landlord, store clerk, employer, or anyone else that they come into contact with.
If they can’t hold a sensible conversation,then they may not be able to move forward and get what they want. Theymight even be seen as impolite or stand-offish, neither of which will help themin the larger picture.
By the time they reach 18, your child should be able to understand how to navigate and find their way to the places they need to go. Thisdoesn’t necessarily mean they have to have a good sense of direction (not everyone does), but it does meanthat they should be able to read maps, street signs, and work a GPS unit. They should also be able to follow instructions given to them. They may only need these skills to find their way around campus, or they could be useful when heading for a job interview, or simplywhen they are out and about with friends so that no one gets lost.
Public transport is something related to this that is another useful life skill to have. Being able to successfully use buses, trains, or even taxi cabs can be extremely beneficial. If their preference is to drive,then they should start to learn as early as possible, and you can take a look at these loans to ensure they have a reliable car to use.
When our children are younger, we tell them what they should be doing and when. That could be homework, getting out of bed, what time to leave the house, eat their food, go back to bed at night and much more. Thiscan mean that they find it difficult to organize themselves if no one else is telling them what to do. However, being able to juggle everything – as adults all have to do – is an essential life skill and one that they will benefit from understanding sooner rather than later.
Rather than continuing to tell your 18 yearold what they should be doing and when it needs to be done by, it’s better to leave them to it. Of course, check up on themto ensure everything is done, but let themwork out how theycan best organize theirtime around all the different responsibilities that are required. Thisis what they will have to do when they enter the world of work or college, after all, so it’s best that they can do it from an early age if possible.
If an 18 year oldis living in your home and working, then they should be contributing to the household. If they don’t, it’s not fair on the parents to have to fund them for one thing, and for another when they do move out to their ownplace, theywill have a big shock because they won’t have had to pay for anything up until then. It’s not just rent or a mortgage payment they will need to take into consideration; all the utility bills and taxes will need to be thought about too, not to mention food.
If an 18 year oldcan contribute to the household and pay their ownway, it will make it a lot easier to transition successfully into being a homeowner or tenant when the time comes. It will also mean that they are less tempted to stay at home for too long if they are havingto pay anyway; they will want their independence andyou can have more space at home.
Handle Personal Issues
Everyone has personal issues that they need to deal with in life, but not everyone is able tohandle them particularly well. Young children, for example, don’t have to worry about any of their personalworries and problems because they know their parents will always be there to help them out and solve the issues for them. If parents do this for too long, it can mean that older teenagers and young adults just aren’t equipped to deal with these problems themselves andthat can lead to further problemswhen they don’t know how to cope with trying to resolve conflicts.
Thisis one of the hardest things a parent will need to do because seeing a child (no matter how old they happen to be) in pain and distress will trigger an automatic response, and the parent will try to fix everything. It’s a natural thing to do, but it won’t help the child in the long term. The key is to be as supportive as possible and allow your child to work out a solution on their own. Whatever they decide, you can be there for them and, if they do seem to be having real problems, you can gently and carefully point them in the right direction.