Pre-flight training

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
It's important to teach your child the basics of everyday living before they leave the nest, writes Ian Munro.

Ian Munro
Ian Munro

A month ago, I wrote about dealing and coping with the day your offspring leave home. That was about us, their parents. There's also another consideration - the offspring themselves and how well we've prepared them.

Of course, everything we've done to date in getting them to that point is about preparation for life, but sometimes we forget about some of those little practical basics of day-to-day living.

Things such as cleaning basics. They need to leave home having mastered the basics of keeping the toilet, shower, hand basin, kitchen bench and fridge clean. This would include familiarity with the appropriate cleaning products.

Then there's how to deal with the rubbish. The jury is out on whether it's worth the battle to have them keep their room tidy. So if that's an issue, think cleanliness and hygiene rather than tidiness.

It's also surprising how much knowledge is needed to do the laundry without ruining clothing and to keep the machine operational. Laundry is something we tend to do without thinking. And don't just show them - get them doing it. That makes it their fault if something they desperately need is sitting dirty and smelly in the bottom of a pile somewhere.

If they drive do they know what to do if they get a flat tyre - do they know how to access the spare and make the change? And do they know to check the oil, water and tyre pressure and how, and know that there's an owner's manual buried in the glove box?

Using public transport and understanding a timetable could be one of life's mysteries (and still may be even for us in some cities around the country). So, some help in unravelling that mystery beyond any real-time, online information could be required before they head away.

Another is how to make an appointment over the phone. A surprising number of teenagers don't go to the doctor or the dentist because they don't know what to say. I'm sure there are many receptionists who have had convoluted conversations when teenagers do phone, as they're often unclear about what they need to ask for and the information they need to give and receive.

Then there's remembering the appointment and getting there on time. The world doesn't wait for them to turn up and often a fee is charged regardless.

Eating. They can all do that, but can they prepare a half-decent, nutritious meal? By early teens they should have a small repertoire of family meals they can call on.

Finally, they need to be able to manage money so they do have food and can pay the rent and electricity bill on time. That's training you can begin with them very early on.



Keeping themselves safe. Consistent over the years. Sadly, there are as many predatory sex maniacs as there were in the sixties, er, 19 sixties. Shouting, kicking men in the bells lessons.





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