Getting Ready for the Bubble-Busting Years
I recently read this article about a ‘bubble list’ of things kids should learn to do before they leave the ‘bubble’ of our home and our protection.
After all, the ultimate purpose of parenting is to help children to launch successfully into lives of their own. That’s why Emily Mendell offers us her list of 31 skills she wants her sons to have before they move out. She contends that it is our responsibility as parents to make sure our children, by the time they are 18, have the necessary skills to run a home of their own, even if it’s just a dorm room.
I certainly want my three children to be ready for the ‘real world,’ too. But I wonder where I can start now? I dare say my 9-year-old doesn’t yet need to know how to “deal with a cancelled flight”.
How do we as parents begin with our younger children in laying the foundation of independence, resourcefulness, and responsibility that they will one day need to navigate life away from home?
Plain and simple. Children from an early age should be contributing members of their family. When children contribute to family life by performing chores, four great things begin to happen:
· Chores prepare children for adulthood by teaching them skills they need for life.
· Chores give children a real sense of accomplishment, leading to higher self-esteem (an ‘I can do it’ attitude).
· Chores create a sense of membership in the family.
· Chores ensure children learn to contribute to the family and not just take from it. (This is the definition of good citizenship!)
Not convinced yet? Maybe you just aren’t sure where to start. Take heart; parents have been raising responsible little chore-doers since the dawn of time. And even if you are getting a late start with the most reluctant kids on the planet, you can, too. Come back next week and learn a simple system for getting your children (of any age) started doing chores.