Re: guarding against future dependency in our kids
Posted by Pugwash
March 07, 02:40PM
Our daughters were encouraged at an early age to cook meals for everyone. Youngest daughter could do a roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings by the time she started at secondary school. Give them some money and send them shopping for food for the family for say a weekend and expect them to cook for everyone.
Give a monthly allowance (rather than pocket money)to encourage budget planning. Decide together what items that parents will be financially responsible for and what kids are expected to pay for. We started this when our girls were around 13/14 and wanted trips to cinema/going out with friends etc. They got weekly pocket money prior to this and expected to keep room tidy and help with odd household tasks.
Allow some freedom but be firm as to house rules i.e. school night had to be home by certain time, weekends x time.
Always know where they are - i.e. visiting x friend's house, going to x cinema and who they are with.
Have an Open House and encourage them to bring friends around, so you get to know who they are with, and know friends personalities and their influences on your child. With eldest daughter, it was nothing unusual to have 4 or 5 friends popping round for the evening - consequently even in late teens and at Uni, many of friends still kept in touch with us.
Whilst not be a willing taxi service, if possible and situation arises, be prepared to pick up from venues, especially late evenings. Install safety measures to be taken when out - i.e. not use phone in public places, never walk home alone at night. We encouraged sleepovers so that if daughters were out with friends, that rather than splitting when journey home, they stayed at our house. This was agreed with all the parents of friends that no one ever went home alone from an event.
Discuss events that are happening in the neighbourhood and wider, encourage independent thinking. I always remember going to a parents evening and hearing my daughter's sociology teacher talking about her way of thinking and analysing situations and asking us if we had discussions at home. As I was doing a degree at the time, there were plenty of ideas swapping and suggestions from my daughter (doing GCSEs at the time) for my own assignments.
Our philosophy has always been, treat other people as you wish to be treated, be respectful and honest and understand that although money is essential, it should not be your prime objective when choosing a career.
Both our daughters did voluntary work from a young age - helping out at a club for both disabled and abled bodied youngsters, local community events, environmental work (path building in Sydenham Woods).