Sunday, June 23, 2024

Helping Children To Prepare For Adulthood.

June 13, 2020 by  
Filed under Health, Weekly Columns

( Although it probably seems like just a few years ago that you were walking out of the hospital with a brand new human being, your children are suddenly becoming young adults. They now have their own social circles, you’ve started to give them a little more freedom, and they have their own smartphones and devices. So, how can you help to prepare your kids for what lies ahead?

It’s imperative to remember that we cannot protect our children from everything. If we try to keep them wrapped in cotton wool, then the chances are this will force them to hide things from you. They will resent you from stopping them from taking on the challenges and adventures of their friends and eventually you won’t know where they are, who they are talking to and, most importantly, how they feel.

There are lots of ways you can guide your children into making the right choices, show them how to stay safe and be smart, without pushing them away. You want communication to flow easily between you so that you always know they will come to you when and if they need support. Communication should start with your kids at a young age. If you can teach them to share and be honest, then you will have a much easier time as they move into adulthood. Try and remember that they take their lead from you, so be mindful of how open and honest you are with your children. They can sense when we are hiding things, and this will teach them that it’s ok to keep things inside and deal with them without help.

From age twelve to thirteen, you could start to teach your children the importance of being street smart, talking to them honestly about all the problems they could face in today’s society. There are so many challenges that lie ahead, from drinking to drugs and even discrimination. If your children aren’t prepared for the reality of what they could face, then they may not make the right decisions. Talk them through all possible situations without scaring them. Don’t tell them what they should do, discuss what they think they would do or how they would handle these situations, what choices they would make. If you can speak freely to them and they are confident in talking to you, without boundaries, then you may find you can give them the trust that they want to be out exploring the world. 

Our children are going to have to face some challenging situations over the years including prejudiced views and opinions, and they won’t always have you at their side to guide them. If you can instil integrity in them from a young age, then they will be better placed to make the right decisions. They may even support their friends better if they are worried about them. This can improve your whole neighbourhood and keep children from making the wrong choices under pressure. 

You can help them shape their futures, so work with them and support them at all times. 

Staff Writer; Carl Ford

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